Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa is wary of the threat Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy poses but will not make any special plans to contain the in-form forward.
The striker has scored six goals in five Premier League appearances this season and was also on target in Thursday’s 2-1 Europa League win against AEK Athens.
However, as the two sides get ready to meet in Monday night’s Premier League clash, live on Sky Sports Premier League, Bielsa will not be compromising his side’s own style to combat the pace of Vardy.
“Leicester are a team who manage the ball well and they have a spirit to attack,” said Bielsa.
“Vardy is a very good player, who scores lots of goals and he’s very quick.
“Of course, we take into account all the characteristics of the opponent’s attackers, but there is not going to be any particular change with that in mind.”
Leeds bounced back from their 1-0 defeat to Wolves in emphatic fashion last Friday, halting Villa’s four-game winning start with a 3-0 win.
But despite Bielsa’s side sitting sixth in the table, three points behind leaders Everton, the Argentine was in no mood to reflect on their impressive return to the top flight just yet.
“It’s too premature to make conclusions at this moment in time,” Bielsa added.
Leeds should have Liam Cooper back in contention for the game after the captain missed last week’s Villa win with a groin injury sustained earlier this month while on international duty with Scotland.
However, fellow central defender Diego Llorente, who also sustained a groin injury while on international duty for Spain is still out as is midfielder Kalvin Phillips (shoulder).
By Jack Wilkinson
Doubters will doubt, haters will hate, that’s just what they do.
But, in the case of Patrick Bamford, there has been plenty of ammunition to embolden the naysayers questioning his suitability to Premier League football.
As he prepared to embark on another chapter of top-flight football having helped Leeds win promotion, the 27-year-old had just a solitary Premier League goal to his name from 27 appearances.
It’s a record and a stick that has been used to beat Bamford. ‘He can’t cut in the Premier League’, ‘he’s better suited to the Championship’. The verdict followed a familiar pattern.
So when Bamford capped a breathtaking start to life back in the Premier League with a hat-trick against Aston Villa, thoughts immediately turned to the striker silencing his critics…
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Exactly what is Bielsa-ball, and why is it working so well at Leeds? Plus, have Sheffield United been unfortunate this season? The Regional Review section of the Pitch to Post podcast has the answers…
Sky Sports News’ reporter Tim Thornton brought an in-depth analysis into all things Yorkshire, with their two Premier League sides at opposite ends of the table.
Having beaten Aston Villa 3-0 on Friday thanks to a Patrick Bamford hat-trick, Leeds sit fifth in the top flight following promotion last term, with many in awe at their relentless playing style under Marcelo Bielsa.
“It’s an example of what Leeds were all about last season – they outrun teams, and grind them down. A lot of managers have already commented on how hard it is to play Leeds, because they come at you from all angles,” Thornton said.
“Since Bielsa came in, he put the emphasis on getting the players as fitter than they have ever been. He got Leeds fit, monitored their weight, and they are relentless, they never stop.”
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