Leeds will be on cloud nine after their midweek thriller against Newcastle gave them a well-deserved three points to hoist them further up the Premier League table. The Championship winners hit the Magpies for five goals, with five individual goal-scorers impressing on the night.
Their next test will come as they face Manchester United on Sunday at Old Trafford. It will be a very tasty affair as both sides are coming off the back of a hard-fought victory and neither will be prepared to drop points.
Marcelo Bielsa’s secret weapon comes in the form of Raphinha, who has been troublesome for the opposition down the right-hand side. Whilst he may have just the one Premier League goal so far this season, his ability to create chances and break down defences has been crucial for Leeds.
In his last outing against Newcastle, Raphinha made two key passes, completed 100% of his attempted long balls and 100% of his dribbles (via Sofascore). Comparing that to the performance of Alex Telles for Man United against Sheffield United, the defender could be in for a difficult game.
The Reds’ summer signing had a tough time against the Blades, losing the ball 24 times and struggling to create his usual sharp long-range passes from the backline. If Telles is up against a speedster like Raphinha, he could easily be forced into a mistake and runs the risk of losing possession just like he did at Bramall Lane.
Bielsa’s creative winger has attracted a lot of praise for his performances in his maiden Leeds season. Graeme Souness recently labelled him a “flair player” and lauded his work ethic both on and off the ball. The £27,000 per week playmaker has already shown his promising potential as a player the team has been crying out for to help Patrick Bamford break down tough opposition defences.
In other news, Radrizzani will be glad to offload Eunan O’Kane next summer…