MOT View: 29y/o struggles, Nketiah has to stay - Three things learned from Leeds draw v Preston
Leeds United missed the chance to close the gap between themselves and Championship leaders West Brom as they drew 1-1 against Preston at Elland Road in their Boxing Day clash.
Stuart Dallas rescued a late point for the Whites with a goal in the 89th minute after an impressive Preston counter-attack in the 22nd minute led to Alan Browne netting the opener.
Alex Neil’s side had a clear plan at Elland Road as they ramped up the pressure on Leeds’ defenders, forcing errors and eventually bagging a deserved goal.
However the away side soon ran out of the steam and that allowed the Whites to get back into the game and eventually grab a point.
Here, MOT Leeds News has listed three things learned about United in their draw with Preston.
1. Defence needs to improve
Liam Cooper’s return from injury has not had much of an impact on Leeds’ defence. Three games ago the Whites had conceded just 10 goals in 21 matches but they have now leaked six goals in the last three. Preston found it way too easy to cut through the defence at times, especially when Browne scored the away side’s goal. Cooper and Ben White are both showing weaknesses that they didn’t show earlier in the season and that is something for Bielsa to fix.
2. Klich form is worrying
Since he scored two goals in the 4-0 win against Middlesbrough – has Klich has a good game for Leeds? In his last five outings he has been very average and in the draw with Preston on Thursday, it is hard to think of anything he did of note. Klich lost the ball in the build-up to Preston’s goal, failed to make any tackles or interceptions and only made one key pass in the match [WhoScored]. We need to see more from the struggling 29-year-old.
3. Nketiah needs to stay
Leeds must be sweating over whether Eddie Nketiah gets recalled by Arsenal in the January transfer window. He is still yet to start a Championship fixture but, as shown on Boxing Day, he still has the ability to make an impact off the bench. Although Nketiah did not score, he came very close just moments after entering the action in the 63rd minute and that just seemed to spark a new lease of life into the Whites. It will be a blow if he goes back to Arsenal next month.
In other Leeds United news, Angus Kinnear has confirmed one player is set to leave Elland Road next month.