Spotlight on Tyler Roberts and Patrick Bamford after Leeds United reshuffle with Pablo Hernandez return
TYLER ROBERTS had 45 minutes in two different positions against Fulham and Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa now has two separate decisions to make over his front two positions for Tuesday's clash against Luton Town.
Roberts had strongly advertised his claims to start in the lone striker role before lockdown when netting a clinical brace on as a second half substitute for Patrick Bamford in the 4-0 romp at Hull City.
After a brief outing from the bench upfront in the 2-0 triumph at home to Huddersfield Town, one and a half games in the no 10 role had followed in the absence of Pablo Hernandez in the 2-0 loss at Cardiff City and the first-half of Saturday's clash against the Cottagers.
But the introduction of Hernandez from the bench during the interval against Fulham saw Bamford and not Roberts withdrawn with the young Wales international given another shot in the lone striker role that Bamford usually fills.
As it was, Spanish magician Hernandez took the plaudits with his sublime passing including a majestic long ball for Jack Harrison to net United's third.
Speaking after the game, Bielsa highlighted the co-ordination between Hernandez with Roberts' movement and said that Bamford's energy in the first-half had not been transported into an efficient performance.
Leeds were definitely fortunate to enter half-time in front yet it was Bamford's clinical strike that gave United that advantage to hold on to.
Thereafter, United's no 9 worked hard but found getting involved difficult aside from having claims for a penalty when tumbling to the ground after looking to poke the ball past 'keeper Marek Rodak towards the end of the half.
After moving upfront, Roberts then looked lively in the second half but without making quite the same impression on the game as Hernandez.
On the figures, Bamford had just 12 touches of the ball with the forward attempting seven passes of which five were accurate but crucially his only shot at goal ended up in the back of the net.
Roberts, who it should be remembered, was on the pitch for twice as long as Bamford, had 32 touches of the ball and attempted 20 passes of which 15 were accurate including one key pass which set up the Harrison chance shortly after the restart.
Roberts also had two attempts at goal with one off target and one on target but never troubling Rodak.
Yet it was Bamford's strike that had ultimately got the ball rolling for Leeds and Bielsa is now left with a double quandary of who to start in not just the no 10 role but also upfront.
Much obviously depends on Hernandez's fitness and a fully fit Hernandez is the first name on the team sheet.
But essentially it looks like two from three out of Hernandez, Roberts and Bamford to start against Luton with Bamford and Roberts again vying for the lone striker role.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. These are challenging times but the team at the Yorkshire Evening Post need your support more than ever in the weeks ahead.
While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you. In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you - wherever possible and providing it is safe for you to do so - to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.
Inevitably falling advertising revenues will start to have an impact on local newspapers and the way we continue to work during this period of uncertainty.
So the support of our readers has never been more important as we try to make sure that we keep you connected with the city you live in during this time.
But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. We need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
Our team of trusted reporters are working incredibly hard behind the scenes - from kitchen tables and spare bedrooms - to look at how we can do this and your continued support to the YEP will help to protect its viability in the days and weeks ahead.
For more details on our subscription offers please visit www.localsubsplus.co.uk/YEP, email [email protected] or call us on 0330 4033004
READ MORE: https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/opinion/were-therewithyou-now-your-yep-needs-your-support-too-laura-collins-yep-editor-2521777