The Chalkboard: Leeds should switch to a 4-3-3 vs Swansea

Fixture In Focus banner Richard Lee

Leeds welcome Swansea to Elland Road on Wednesday night, and the Swans’ style away from home should tempt Marcelo Bielsa into a slight formation change.

Leeds have operated in a 4-1-4-1 formation recently, a system that allows all four midfield players to link up with the striker, dominate possession and carve out chances.

However, the Whites have struggled to break teams down since the turn of the year despite dominating possession in almost every game, so it might be time for a slight change of tactics when Swansea come to town.

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On the chalkboard

Graham Potter’s side are just six points from the play-off places with 15 games to play, but their defensive deficiencies, particularly away from home, make them very vulnerable.

The Swans have conceded in each of their last six league games away from home, and those six games have yielded a total of 20 goals.

This is of course good news for Bielsa’s side, who can expose their opponents’ defensive weaknesses by attacking the wings in a 4-3-3 formation.

By pushing the wide players further up the pitch and crowding the midfield with a tightly packed trio, the Whites will be able to launch balls in behind a very open Swansea side, all the while maintaining enough numbers in central areas to break up any attacks coming the other way.

New role for Harrison?

While the wide men will love this formation, it could bring a new role for Jack Harrison, as Mateusz Klich is in desperate need of a rest.

Harrison has been poor on the wing in recent weeks, mainly due to a lack of end product, but his technical qualities should serve him well if moved to the middle of the park.

If Klich does get the rest he so clearly needs, Kalvin Phillips and Adam Forshaw can mop up behind the Manchester City loanee, while the 22 year-old can focus on making Swansea’s full-backs’ lives miserable, using his vision to knock balls in behind to the wide players.

Leeds have already lost four games in 2019, and a switch to a more fast-paced, less possession-based system could be the perfect way to get back on track against a very open Swansea side.