Three questions that face Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United ahead of Wigan Athletic trip

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Leeds United make the trip to Wigan Athletic on Sunday lunchtime - but what big questions are facing Marcelo Bielsa ahead of the trip to the DW Stadium? YEP's Whites writer Joe Urquhart takes a look.

The growing concern over Leeds United's right-back position? Will Stuart Dallas be the 'go to' man?

Leeds United's Jack Clarke takes on Nottingham Forest at Elland Road.

Leeds United's Jack Clarke takes on Nottingham Forest at Elland Road.

Will Marcelo Bielsa opt for a 4-1-4-1 or 3-3-1-3 formation at Wigan this weekend? Well, isn't that the million dollar question but it may be answered by his ability to select a natural right-back.

No matter what or which way the Whites line up on Sunday the right side of defence appears thin on the ground following injuries to Luke Ayling, who is set to be sidelined for two months, and Gaetano Berardi, who the club are yet to give an update on over the Swiss' condition.

Noises out of Leeds following his substitution against Ipswich Town weren't overly positive over the prognosis for the fiery right-back turned central defender under Bielsa which leaves the Argentine with a burning issue.

Who will start at right-back against Wigan?

Stuart Dallas has been called upon as Bielsa's go to utility man with the right winger making the step back into a wing-back role and he is fully expected to take up his place again at the DW Stadium.

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The Northern Irishman, however, had a torrid opening half an hour with Ayling suspended at Blackburn before switching to left-back. Dallas also featured in both full-back positions against Nottingham Forest in the controversial 1-1 draw on Saturday.

The question that is on United's fans lips are whether Jamie Shackleton, an 18-year-old midfielder that Bielsa has utilised at right-back, or Robbie Gotts, a natural full-back who has shown strong form for Carlos Corberan's under-23s this season, are ready to not only fill the void in defence over Dallas but provide the attacking threat on the flank that is so important to United's style of play.

The issue, as Bielsa has stated in the past, is not to rush youngsters into his side due to circumstance but ease them in at their own pace. Similarly to his use of Jack Clarke to date, someone who has impressed on each occasion he has stepped off the bench, the Argentine has been unmoved in his approach and in Dallas believes he has a utility man who is more than adequate.

Shackleton impressed against Swansea City after a late call-up to the side providing a wonderful ball for Kemar Roofe to level proceedings but was chosen in an attacking midfield role for the under-23s victory over Hull City on Monday - is that an indication that we're more than likely to see Dallas?

Sunday will provide the answer.

Can Leeds United sort out their set-piece problem?

Leeds have conceded 12 goals in the Championship so far this campaign with five coming from set-pieces, five from open play and two from the penalty spot.

Do the Whites really have a set-piece issue?

Tony Mowbray, who was speaking after his sides 2-1 victory over Leeds at Ewood Park two weeks ago, revealed the game plan Rovers put in place ahead of their two headed goals from corners against Bielsa's men: "Pontus Jansson is a monster of a man and (Liam) Cooper is dominant but you take those two out of the box, we felt they were vulnerable, which is what happened."

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The 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest at the weekend again exposed that weakness and the soft side of United's defensive play and with Leeds having conceded three goals in their last three games from a set-play it is threatening to become an issue but it doesn't quite feel we're at crisis point.

The Whites are yet to win a game they have conceded in first this season, although as many rightly point out a difficult task for any side, but perhaps more interesting is the average time of the first goal Bielsa's side have allowed this season.

At home the average minute Leeds concede is in the 33rd, while away from home it is the 28th minute. Those are two very early times and if United can sort their defensive woes that have slowly crept into their game in the last few weeks, especially from set-pieces, they stand a far better chance of grabbing the first goal which more often than not leads to three points.

Is it time for Jack Clarke to be handed a chance?

"I thought about it," Bielsa said last week over whether he had entertained the idea of handing Jack Clarke his first Leeds United start.

"Every time Jack Clarke gets in place in a game as a substitute, he gives positive answers."

Another strong cameo against Nottingham Forest at the weekend did the winger's chances no harm at all despite Bielsa's insistence that he will be managed correctly and with patience.

Clarke has shown strong form for the under-23s this season (and last) and once again provided an assist for Ryan Edmondson on Monday in the 2-1 win over Hull City at Thorp Arch.

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The 17-year-old represents everything that Leeds have been missing in recent months on both flanks. Clarke, despite his limited minutes, has provided United with the the possibility of beating a man, driving at the opposition and making something happen.

In no slight against Gjanni Alioski, Clarke provides a very different angle of attack to his fellow winger and appears to make the opposition think twice about attacking in fear of leaving their side exposed with his raw pace.

There is a youthful naivety in Clarke's play than swells from a no fear attitude and it might just be time for the youngster to be called upon and handed his first chance.