Former Leeds United winger highlights benefits of a ‘two-up-front system’

Leeds United striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga. PIC: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
Leeds United striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga. PIC: Dave Howarth/PA Wire
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FORMER Whites winger John Hendrie believes copying Sheffield United and Cardiff City’s 3-5-2 system could benefit Leeds United, insisting: “I don’t think it’s any coincidence how the two of them are up at the top of the league.”

Whites head coach Thomas Christiansen has favoured a 4-2-3-1 formation this term with Pierre-Michel Lasogga playing the lone striker role in front of a no 10.

Former Leeds United and Middlesbrough striker, John Hendrie.

Former Leeds United and Middlesbrough striker, John Hendrie.

But Hendrie believes the German would benefit from lining up beside a fellow striker and that United need not sacrifice a midfielder as a result. Hendrie looked on as Chris Wilder’s second-placed Sheffield United side lined up at Elland Road with a 3-5-2 system at the end of October and left with all three points. A 3-5-2 formation has also been used by boss Neil Warnock at Cardiff City who are just two points behind the Blades in third.

Leeds now find themselves tenth after seven losses from their last nine league games and Hendrie believes switching to a 3-5-2 at United might work the oracle and provide another alternative for the already existing calls to go 4-4-2.

Hendrie told the YEP: “I was at the Sheffield United game and Sheffield United played three at the back and Lasogga was up front on his own against three big, tough, no-nonsense centre-backs. In that situation it was a tall order and a tough ask to perform on the night.

“It was three centre-backs versus one centre-forward and Sheffield United had two up front against Leeds’ two centre-backs.

“They had Leon Clarke and Billy Sharp who worked their socks off and two-v-two is a lot easier than three-v-one so it doesn’t necessarily have to be 4-4-2. We saw that night that Sheffield United played 3-5-2 and Neil Warnock is playing 3-5-2 at Cardiff City with two wing backs.

“And I don’t think it’s any coincidence how the two of them are up at the top of the league because they are playing with two strikers and three at the back.

“With the two strikers you are getting you’re rewards. It’s a lot easier having two strikers than it is for one striker.”

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