Three aspects of Sean Dyche's Burnley system for Leeds United to look out for

In the latest of his previews for the Yorkshire Evening Post, Jon Mackenzie - from All Stats Aren't We - takes a deeper look at Leeds United's next opponents - Burnley.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 11:15 am

Earlier this week, Burnley confirmed their safety in the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Fulham.

It’s easy to be complacent about opponents like Burnley who make it their goal to avoid relegation season after season.

However, playing Burnley is never a pushover. Despite winning 1-0 in the reverse fixture earlier this season, Sean Dyche’s Clarets gave Leeds a run for their money.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

FRONT TWO: Burnley strike force duo Chris Wood, left, and Matej Vydra, right. Photo by OLI SCARFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

Marcelo Bielsa recognises that Burnley have a system and implement that system to an impressive degree.

So effusive was he of Dyche that he pointed out that he had “praised” the Burnley manager for 10 minutes in the pre-match press conference.

Here are three aspects of Dyche’s system to look out for tomorrow lunchtime:

1. A change of style

It’s tempting to repeat the same old tropes about Burnley “sitting deep” and “playing direct” but their style has shifted in the course of this season.

Where they began the season playing striker Chris Wood with either Ashley Barnes or Jay Rodriguez, the last run of games has seen Matej Vydra being brought in.

Of course, Burnley will still play with a level of directness and will be solid defensively.

But don’t expect them to just “lump it in the box and see what happens” tomorrow.

2. The 3-3-1-3 system

With Burnley favouring a 4-4-2, we’ll likely see Leeds lining up in the 3-3-1-3 formation that has been associated with Marcelo Bielsa throughout his career.

This season, Leeds haven’t exactly excelled when playing this structure, but with a full crop of centre-backs to choose from, everything is set for that to change at the weekend.

With Kalvin Phillips not required to play in the back line, as he did against Southampton, he will be able to patrol the midfield area, allowing Mateusz Klich or Tyler Roberts to push into a more advanced position.

3. The wing-back conundrum

Given Leeds will be playing in a 3-3-1-3 formation, one of the current midfielders will have to drop out to be replaced by a centre-back.

Most likely, Stuart Dallas will be moved into a wing back position – probably on the left hand side – meaning Gjanni Alioski could be dropped.

There are, however, a number of permutations: for instance, Luke Ayling could be played as a right-sided centre-back with Dallas and Alioski used as wing-backs.

Jon Mackenzie runs All Stats Aren’t We, a Leeds United media channel that focuses on the tactical and statistical aspects of the game.

A message from the Editor:

Leeds has a fantastic story to tell - and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been rooted firmly at the heart of telling the stories of our city since 1890.

We believe in ourselves and hope you believe in us too. We need your support to help ensure we can continue to be at the heart of life in Leeds.

Subscribe to our website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app.

With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Click here to subscribe.

For more details on our newspaper subscription offers click here.

Thank you Laura Collins