Leeds United are back in Premier League action on Saturday afternoon as they take on leaders Manchester City at Elland Road.
Jesse Marsch’s side have put together a good run of form in recent weeks, going unbeaten in their previous five league games, and picking up 11 points in the process.
Despite that, the Whites still find themselves in the midst of a relegation battle, with both Everton and Burnley looking to bring them back, and Marsch will have a big task on his hand to get anything out of the game on Saturday against one of Europe’s top teams.
One huge decision the Leeds boss could look to make in terms of his starting line-up, is dropping Mateusz Klich from the fold, who apart from having a rather disappointing night at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace last time out, was also seen in a confrontation with his manager.
As per Sofascore, he made just two tackles, had no interceptions, and had no attempts on goal whatsoever, while he won just 50% of his total duels on the night – an indication of how things just seemed to bypass him in midfield.
Writing in his post-match player ratings for Leeds Live, Beren Cross gave him a measly four, saying: “Couldn’t bring any degree of control to the middle of the pitch. Hooked at the break after a few choice words from Jesse Marsch during the first period.”
Speaking after the game, Marsch himself said: “First, it wasn’t anyone’s best game. Klichy and I spoke after the match and spoke about things that could be better and then discussed how to handle the tough moments as well.
“Obviously, Mateusz is a more attacking player and Robin is a more defensive player, but there are different needs for different situations. I could see in the match we were struggling with the ball and even though Klichy normally helps us in those situations, I knew defending in that moment was going to be the biggest factor because Crystal Palace had the ability to unbalance us at times.”
If the reason behind axing Klich at half-time was to offer some greater defensive presence, then it’s imperative they have that from the get-go against a side like Manchester City who will no doubt be looking to fire on all cylinders in their attempt to preserve their lead at the top of the Premier League table.
Marsch simply has to make the ruthless call and drop the £3.6m-rated Klich from his starting line-up against Pep Guardiola’s side.