'Unfair' - Ex-Leeds United ace issues Joel Piroe verdict in suggested team v Southampton call

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A former Leeds United star has provided his Joel Piroe verdict in naming a suggested Whites XI for Sunday’s Championship play-off final against Southampton.

Dutch forward Piroe dropped out of the starting line-up for the play-offs semi-final first leg at Norwich City as Archie Gray was brought into the side to play a more advanced midfield role behind Georginio Rutter upfront. A compact Leeds side that effectively featured a new-look three-man midfield left with a goalless draw, four days ahead of the second leg at Elland Road.

Bengal Brasserie Arena Quarter – serving authentic Indian cuisine in the heart of the city. Proudly supporting Leeds United and the YEP.

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Whites boss Daniel Farke was then dealt an injury blow ahead of the second leg as full-back Sam Byram suffered a hip flexor injury which led to Farke putting Gray back into the right back position. As part of another team shape change, Piroe replaced Byram in the sole change to the team and partnered Rutter in the front line.

START SHOUT: For Leeds United striker Joel Piroe, second left with boss Daniel Farke, from ex-Whites midfielder David Prutton. Picture by Danny Lawson/PA Wire.START SHOUT: For Leeds United striker Joel Piroe, second left with boss Daniel Farke, from ex-Whites midfielder David Prutton. Picture by Danny Lawson/PA Wire.
START SHOUT: For Leeds United striker Joel Piroe, second left with boss Daniel Farke, from ex-Whites midfielder David Prutton. Picture by Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

With just 40 minutes on the clock, Leeds were 3-0 up and Piroe on the scoresheet along with Ilia Gruev and Georginio Rutter as part of an extremely impressive 4-0 victory that booked United’s place in next Sunday’s play-off final.

Farke has been without his main no 9 option Patrick Bamford of late due to a knee injury and Bamford has said he would need to train by Wednesday in order to have a realistic chance of being involved at Wembley. Ex-Leeds midfielder David Prutton, though, feels that Piroe deserves to start in Sunday’s final on the back of his display against the Canaries and that an unchanged XI would be the best port of call.

Prutton told the YEP: “Even though you look at potentially what Patrick brings to the side and has done on quite a regular basis, to be that emphatic in that game and then completely change it up, I think it would be slightly unfair on Joel.

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"But it is a one-game and I think maybe they need to get their heads around that a bit more because it's got to be the best team to face that particular task of beating Southampton. I would leave it as is because of the way that they approached the game.

Bengal Brasserie Arena Quarter – serving authentic Indian cuisine in the heart of the city. Proudly supporting Leeds United and the YEP.Bengal Brasserie Arena Quarter – serving authentic Indian cuisine in the heart of the city. Proudly supporting Leeds United and the YEP.
Bengal Brasserie Arena Quarter – serving authentic Indian cuisine in the heart of the city. Proudly supporting Leeds United and the YEP.

"It was more about how they started and how they went about it with that type of intensity. There are very fine margins between a Patrick leading the line and a Joel leading the line but I think given how good he was, what it brought out of Georgi and the players around them, I think you leave it as it is."

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