How Leeds United's last visit to Burnley highlights magnitude of Marcelo Bielsa's feat

SEPTEMBER 2017. Plenty has changed since Leeds United last took on Burnley at Turf Moor.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 11:30 am

Plenty has changed since Leeds United last took on Saturday's Premier League hosts Burnley at Turf Moor.

In the grand scheme of things, the Whites were nearing a way back having almost made the previous season's Championship play-offs under Garry Monk.

Yet ultimately the Whites were still firmly planted in English football's second tier and under new boss Thomas Christiansen's care following Monk's departure.

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FAMILIAR FACES: Leeds United mob Stuart Dallas after his winning spot kick at Burnley of September 2017 in which Luke Ayling, Gaetano Berardi, Mateusz Klich, Gjanni Alioski and Pablo Hernandez all finished the game. Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images.

Burnley were a Premier League side but still a new one having gone up as 2016 Championship champions in the season that Leeds finished 13th under Steve Evans who had replaced Uwe Rosler.

Then came Monk, before Christiansen, Paul Heckingbottom and ultimately Marcelo Bielsa.

It's been a long road and all change yet equally United's last visit to Burnley also highlights the transformation from within under the club's Argentinian head coach.

Three and a half years ago, the September 2017 contest served up something of an epic in the EFL Cup as Christiansen's side progressed with a 5-3 victory on penalties after a dramatic 2-2 draw.

The Clarets side featured Chris Wood against his former club, just one month after his £15m move to the big time, to the Premier League.

Nearly four years on, Wood has helped himself to 46 Premier League goals and the New Zealand intentionally typically netted against the Whites in the EFL Cup tie of September 2017.

But nearly four years on, Leeds are now back as league rivals under Marcelo Bielsa and even that cup clash at Turf Moor highlights the magnitude of the wonders Marcelo Bielsa has performed.

The Leeds line up at Burnley of September 2017 featured several names who were swiftly moved on including the likes of Pawel Cibicki, Jay-Roy Grot, Conor Shaughnessy and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.

Felix Wiedwald, Madger Gomes, Hadi Sacko and Pierre Michel-Lasogga were also among those on the bench.

Yet even the match day squad of September 2017 featured seven players that are likely to be involved again on Saturday in Luke Ayling, Gaetano Berardi, Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich who all started plus Gjanni Alioski, Pablo Hernandez and Kalvin Phillips who were all on the bench.

There will be some familiar faces then for Burnley and Wood to see come Saturday's 12.30pm kick-off, with a few new additions of course; the most recent additions like Raphinha, Rodrigo, Robin Koch and Diego Llorente but also the likes of Patrick Bamford, Jack Harrison, Pascal Struijk, Tyler Roberts and Illan Meslier.

And the biggest addition of all, Bielsa, who has transformed a side of which there are still big traces of from as far back as September 2017 at Turf Moor.

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Thank you Laura Collins