Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa on the 'beauty' of the FA Cup, reveals details of Crawley Town analysis

The Whites take on Crawley Town in the FA Cup this afternoon.

Sunday, 10th January 2021, 12:51 pm

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa has admitted he is a fan of the romance that the FA Cup can produce.

The Whites travel to League Two foe Crawley Town in the third round of English football's historic competition this afternoon.

John Yems' hosts will be hoping to provide a giant killing at Broadfield stadium when the two sides - separated by 62 places in the football league pyramid - meet on level terms.

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Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Getty

United have impressed in the Premier League this season, sitting 12th as the campaign nears the halfway mark.

Town themselves are in good form heading into the tie, having put together a nine game unbeaten run in all competitions which sees them sit in the the play-off spots of the fourth tier.

Bielsa will be hoping his players can put on a professional display against their lower league counterparts, but did concede ahead of kick-off that he is a fan of the stories that can be produced by cup shocks.

"More than the aesthetic beauty of football, one of the beauties is that the best team doesn't always win and for clubs it is a very big way of identifying someone," Bielsa said.

"Someone increases their form of identification when they come up against a bigger club. The fact that the best players are playing against someone who is perhaps not as good is something very valuable.

"The worst thing that can happen to football is that clubs with historical value disappear and a way to keep them alive is with a competition like this one."

Bielsa will not underestimate Crawley despite Leeds expecting to make a number of changes to their line-up in West Sussex.

The Argentine and his coaching staff, as always, have given the Red Devils their full attention ahead of the encounter, studying and analysing their opponents in great detail just as they would for any other opponent.

"It's exactly the same," he said over the analysis undertaken.

"We consider every opponent in the same way and the same as a Premier League team we have analysed this team in League Two.

"Nowadays all the games are available and we can watch all the games that Crawley have played this season, so we take advantage of this opportunity to learn as much as possible.

"But knowing an opponent does not mean that you can control them or neutralise them. You can be dominated by a rival that you know by memory and can be superior to an opponent that you have never seen before.

"It's part of our job and we have time to get to know our following opponents.

"One of the things I didn't mention when I was asked about Crawley is that they change the positions of their players a lot during the games and for every player apart from the two centre backs the majority of the players pay two or three different positions.

"For me, this is something to admire and something to praise for the public, for Crawley and for their manager."