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.
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.
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.
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Thank you Laura Collins