Leeds United chief Marcelo Bielsa casts verdict over Derby County play-off showdown

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.
Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.
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Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa denied that the club’s previous displays against Derby County this season would give them a significant edge in the play-offs, despite two clinical victories over Frank Lampard’s side.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa denied that the club’s previous displays against Derby County this season would give them a significant edge in the play-offs, despite two clinical victories over Frank Lampard’s side.

Leeds’ bid for promotion rests on a semi-final clash with Derby after the final Championship table set them up for an engrossing battle in the play-offs.

United head to Pride Park next Saturday before hosting County at Elland Road a week on Wednesday, with a place in the final at Wembley on May 27 at stake.

Bielsa’s side demolished Derby during Lampard’s first home game as manager in August, winning 4-1 at a canter at Pride Park, and County were comprehensively outplayed during a 2-0 loss at Elland Road in January.

The Elland Road fixture was overshadowed by the ‘Spygate’ dispute which broke out ahead of kick-off and led to Leeds receiving a £200,000 fine from the EFL.

Lampard, however, admitted afterwards that his side had been outclassed and the former England international has five days to construct a plan for the visit of Bielsa’s squad.

Bielsa played down prior meetings between the clubs, saying: “I don’t think the games we played against Derby are decisive.

“I wouldn’t be able to tell you things about this team which are not already known but the team is defined by the profile of the players, and the players at Derby have important, creative players.”