The Chalkboard: Staggering statistic shows Leeds must start Bamford and Roofe

Leeds had 63 per cent of the ball against Norwich but were beaten 3-1, so how can Marcelo Bielsa’s side turn their dominance into goals?

On the chalkboard

Leeds started the season in stunning fashion, but as the injuries mounted up the Whites lost some of the sting in their attack.

The consecutive injuries to Patrick Bamford left the boss with just one senior striker in Kemar Roofe, and while Roofe has had an excellent season, the former Oxford ace was always going to hit a dry spell at some point.

He has scored just once in his last six games, and the lack of squad depth has thus reared its ugly head, as Bielsa’s side have lost some of the fluidity that made their attack so ruthless.

According to Whoscored’s stats, the Whites have scored 14 goals from 143 shots in their last eight games, while opponents in those games have bagged 16 goals from just 78 shots.

Possession-based managers often struggle to break down packed defences when they arrive in England – just ask Maurizio Sarri about his recent trip to Bournemouth – but for Bielsa and Leeds there is an easy fix; add another goalscorer into the mix.

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A new focal point

Aforementioned, the injuries to Bamford have left Bielsa with just one senior striking option for most of the season, but the 25 year-old’s return now offers the boss a huge opportunity to mix things up and surprise his opponents.

The 6 ft 1 in former Middlesbrough man will be desperate to get on the scoresheet when the Whites travel to the Riverside stadium on Saturday, and a strike partnership of Roofe and Bamford offers a wonderful balance.

Both players are natural finishers, and while Roofe will work the channels and run tirelessly to create chances for himself and his teammates, Bamford will serve as a more traditional target man.

The former England Under-21 international showed his aerial prowess with a lovely headed finish against Norwich, although it was little more than a consolation, and his presence could be just what is needed to get Roofe firing again.

Bielsa clearly loves to pack his side with gifted midfielders who can move the ball around, but after several ineffectual displays, the side-to-side passing must stop, and an extra goalscorer is an absolute necessity for the trip to Middlesbrough, who have conceded just 22 goals in 29 league games this season.

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