Newcastle vs Leeds: Bielsa faces key decision on Rodrigo and Roberts
Even the most optimistic Leeds United fan would struggle to argue that Marcelo Bielsa’s side deserved anything from Sunday’s clash with Liverpool.
The visitors stormed to an emphatic victory at Elland Road. And the scoreline could have easily been a lot more emphatic.
For some, it is alarming. But Leeds supporters should not lose sight of how close the game was to starting in a completely different manner.
The Whites asked a lot of questions in the early stages. However, they failed to make the most of the pressure while perhaps on top.
And no player squandered a better chance than Rodrigo. The Spaniard hit his shot straight at Alisson after being played in by Raphinha.
It still seems remarkable that Rodrigo opted to not try and find the corner. Alisson would have surely had no chance had the forward put the ball either side of him.
Ultimately, Rodrigo was taken off at half-time. In his place, Tyler Roberts came on. And in truth, Roberts actually seemed to do well.
He did squander a couple of good chances. But by then, the game was largely gone. And a lot of his overall performance was impressive.
No bigger decision ahead of Newcastle than who Bielsa picks at number 10 for Leeds
Leeds’ trip to Newcastle now seems a massive game. And perhaps no decision is bigger for Bielsa than who starts in the number 10 position.
Roberts has staked a claim for a first league start of the season. And it looked ominous that Rodrigo came off at half-time against Liverpool.
But having said that, Rodrigo did a lot of good things against the Reds. His miss was extremely poor. But he bounced back from that.
Bielsa looks to be incredibly reluctant to drop players. And with Leeds already requiring changes in defence, it seems possible that he may keep faith with Rodrigo to avoid further upheaval.
But Roberts is undoubtedly knocking on the door. Fans will not be surprised if he is named in the starting lineup at St James’ Park.