Michael Brown has told Football League World that he reckons Marcelo Bielsa could be about to make a change to his leeds United starting line-up, ahead of Saturday’s clash against Stoke City at the Britannia.
Leeds have impressed during the first stages of the 2019-20 campaign, picking up 10 points from a possible 12 after wins over Bristol City, Wigan Athletic and Brentford – while failing to beat Nottingham Forest at Elland Road.
The last time Leeds travelled to the Britannia, the club suffered a 2-1 defeat to Stoke as Pontus Jansson was sent off and both Sam Clucas and Joe Allen scored – cancelling out Gjanni Alioski’s consolation goal.
Former Leeds United midfielder Brown watched on as Eddie Nketiah scored his second goal in two appearances for the Whites to beat Brentford, and Brown reckons the young striker could start ahead of Patrick Bamford on Saturday.
“His goal against Brentford was a similar goal to the one at Salford and underlined the sort of player he is, sharp and quick to the ball. I know a lot has been said about Patrick Bamford and he has been criticised at times,” Brown said.
“But he and the team have started fantastically well. It’s getting close between him and Bamford because he [Bamford] scored at the weekend against Wigan. Bielsa said Nketiah was a couple of weeks away fitness-wise.
“That might make his decision but in having that recent game time I would say he is getting very close to starting.”
TBR’s view – Could Bamford and Nketiah combine?
All the talk has been about whether Nketiah will replace Bamford this weekend, but it must be remembered that Bamford has scored three goals in four Championship outings. Both strikers ar in good form and have made solid starts.
In Bielsa’s system, there is only room for one striker. But the Argentine gaffer showed signs of a Plan B on Wednesday night when chasing a goal, by bringing on Nketiah to play alongside Bamford.
Could Leeds partner Bamford with Nketiah? It is unlikely, but it might just give Leeds that firepower required.