Bielsa must revive successful partnership when Leeds face Liverpool
It was little surprise to many that Leeds United were much better defensively when they faced Burnley in their final game before the international break.
The Whites had conceded seven goals in their first two fixtures. And given the Clarets’ strengths, it appeared that they would be in for a tough afternoon.
Ultimately, there was no clean sheet at Turf Moor. But Leeds coped with the large majority of what was thrown at them.
And that was partially down to the return to the side of Diego Llorente.
The Spaniard was outstanding in the second-half of last season after a torrid start to life at Elland Road.
Unfortunately, he picked up another knock ahead of the new campaign. So the trip to Burnley was his first league appearance of the season.
He played as part of a back three with Pascal Struijk and Liam Cooper to combat Burnley’s front two.
And he reminded many of why they believe he is the club’s best defender.
Unfortunately for Leeds, their next game is certainly not going to be any easier. Liverpool travel to Elland Road this weekend.
Liverpool clash the ideal chance for Bielsa to revive Leeds’ best centre-back partnership from last season
It is a game that Llorente will have fond memories of. His first goal for Leeds came in the same fixture last season on a night when every neutral seemed to be supporting the Whites.
And it is arguably the game that presents the perfect opportunity for Bielsa to revive the partnership that brought Leeds so much success last term.
Struijk was superb alongside Llorente during the latter stages of the season. He certainly did not look out of place next to a Spain international.
The decision would be harsh on Cooper. But the Scot is also returning from international duty so may not be as fresh anyway.
And if Bielsa is picking the partnership with the best track record, surely it has to be Llorente and Struijk who start against the Reds.