Leeds United travel to Moor Lane to take on League Two outfit Salford City in the first round of the League Cup tonight.
The Whites’ Championship campaign has so far gotten off to a broadly positive start. An impressive opening day win against Bristol City was followed up with a frustrating draw against Nottingham Forest at Elland Road. Marcelo Bielsa will be keen to see his side get back to winnings ways tonight.
There is some extra incentive for Leeds to overcome Salford, given the latter’s links with Manchester United. Leeds share a bitter rivalry with the Red Devils. Salford City are part-owned by Phil and Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham – all legends of the Old Trafford club. A victory tonight will particularly please Leeds fans for this reason.
However, Bielsa appears very wary of the threat that Salford City might pose. As quoted by Leeds’ official website, the Argentine coach said, “Salford have some characteristics of typical British style of play, with big strikers and big defenders too. At the same time they have a modern dynamic too, they have a good link and good balance of styles”.
It is in Bielsa’s nature to be pre-occupied with every aspect of his opponent’s game. However, Leeds should have enough to progress against the League Two club.
What’s more, this fixture represents an opportunity for the Yorkshire outfit to test their strength in depth. Youngsters such as Jack Clarke, Leif Davis and Robbie Gotts may well be afforded the opportunity to show their quality. Whilst Salford City must be respected, Bielsa can afford to rotate, and he certainly will.