Manager Sam Allardyce hinted at a change in formation for Sunday’s clash between Leeds United and West Ham to cover Junior Firpo’s red-card ban – and here is how Leeds may line up in a three-man defence, with two changes.
Firpo was shown a red card against Newcastle and it means he will be banned for the trip to the Capital on Sunday. We take on a West Ham side that just secured their place in the Conference League final, with a win over Alkmaar.
Leeds do have options to come in. Pascal Struijk played on the left side of the defence for the majority of the first half of the season. But Firpo came back in following Struijk’s head injury in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United.
But Struijk conceded a penalty in Sam Allardyce’s first game and the manager has spoken of his frustration at diving in in the penalty area. He may not trust Struijk. The other options include using Max Wober on the left of defence.
Wober is arguably our top defender, though. On the left, he is out of position and much better as a centre-back. So, how can Allardyce combine everything? Well, he suggested in his press conference that he could change system.
Here is how Leeds could line-up in three-man defence; Two changes
Allardyce hinted at a possible switch from the back four he has already used, so far “We’ve got to look at what players we’ve got available and pick a system to suit our team that’s available and/or compete against West Ham.”
So, a three-man defence would see Wober play in the middle along with Liam Cooper but eradicate the need for a left wing-back – and allow Jack Harrison to play slightly deeper. It would also see Allardyce combine two strikers.
There would be no place for the likes of Willy Gnonto or Cree Summerville, but it would see Leeds look defensively sound with enough to worry West Ham in the final third. In come Cooper and Forshaw, for Greenwood and Firpo.