Jesse Marsch must take major gamble for Leeds United safety on final day
The final day of the Premier League season is nearly upon us and Leeds United know what they must do to stay in the Premier League next season.
With one game remaining in their season they currently sit one point above Burnley in the relegation zone, with the Clarets having an extra game to play on Thursday [May 19] against Aston Villa.
The result of that game on Thursday will determine where they start the final day in the table, but it changes nothing when it comes to what they must do to ensure Premier League football next year.
Leeds must win. There’s no ifs, buts or maybes about it, a win is the only thing that will do for the Whites on the final day. That has to be the mindset going into the game for the players, the coaching staff, the manager and the fans.
So with that in mind, Jesse Marsch must be willing to take some big gambles with his team selection and tactics on that final day in order to ensure they have the best chance of getting that much needed three points.
The Leeds season has been absolutely littered with injuries and suspensions, and the same can be said of the final game.
Luke Ayling and Daniel James will miss the game after their red cards against Arsenal and Chelsea respectively, while Liam Cooper and Patrick Bamford’s fitness for the final day is up in the air.
The manager has so far been non-committal about whether they will return but if there is any sort of suggestion that they can play a part then they must be in the side.
Marsch needs to be able to call on his best side and best players, so even if Bamford is only fit for 15 minutes of action then he must be on the bench to take advantage of that scenario.
Joe Gelhardt has shown that he can be trusted to lead the line despite his young age, so Marsch must do exactly that. He must trust him, rather than make random adjustments to shoehorn players in.
Essentially he needs to play his best team. Whatever he deems that to be, to win the game. Not be conservative, not look to not lose, but simply to go out there and beat Brentford in the most convincing manner possible.
Defensively the team has struggled, but the difference with Cooper in the side is huge and noticeable. He has to play. If there’s any sort of suggestion that he can play, then he must play.
It’s a gamble of course that could go against him, but you’d much rather regret doing something than not doing something. Marsch and Leeds must remember that and out there to perform.
Staying up is more than doable, but without a win on the final day in west London it is almost impossible. Do your jobs and leave the rest up to fate. But do your job first.