Leeds enter 2020 with something of a baptism of fire as they face one of the toughest challenges in the Championship, heading to The Hawthorns on New Year’s Day.
Slaven Bilic’s side have a number of attacking threats, but there may not be a more dangerous player within their squad than Matheus Periera who has contributed to 15 goals already this season – more than any other Baggies player.
Fortunately, the Whites may have a way to deal with him.
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Marcelo Bielsa has favoured a three at the back formation at times, but in one of Leeds’ recent games he reverted to a back four in order to deal with another of the Championship’s most dangerous players.
Indeed, the Whites moved Stuart Dallas to left-back in order to nullify the threat of Jarrod Bowen, and it worked an absolute treat against the 15-goal man.
Dallas made six tackles and two interceptions that day while Bowen uncharacteristically fired a blank, failing to register a goal or an assist.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Pereira is one of the most exciting players in the division as his tally of ten assists is the joint-highest of any player in the league.
Leeds may not want to revert to a back four this time, but giving Dallas specific instructions to hound Pereira in the same way he did with Bowen in early December would be a great idea.
Dallas has been incredibly effective in the middle of the park in recent weeks, scoring against Birmingham, but this game may call for him to drop deeper in order for the Northern Irishman to do a job on the tricky Brazilian.