Patrick Bamford must step up v Wigan
Marcelo Bielsa confirmed that he would be naming an unchanged line-up for the Championship game against Wigan on Saturday.
That means Patrick Bamford, 25, starting up top again with new striker Eddie Nketiah – who scored for Leeds on his debut on Tuesday against Salford – likely on the bench.
It’s not entirely surprising. Bielsa tries wherever possible to keep his team the same and Nketiah has still only been at the club a week.
However, despite looking sharp this season, Bamford is one of the biggest culprits of Leeds’ conversion problem.
Last season, that saw Leeds convert just 11.4% of their chances, compared to 17.7% for champions Norwich and 17.3% for Sheffield United. Leeds created over 100 more chances than both promoted sides but scored less than both of them – 20 less than Norwich.
525 chances created
17.7% chance conversion
450 chances created
17.3% chance conversion
638 chances created
11.4% chance conversion
If Leeds had averaged a 17.5% chance conversion we would have scored approx. 112 goals 👀 pic.twitter.com/EXXxntK6FS
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) May 19, 2019
Bamford has scored 11 in 28 games since he joined Leeds after missing a big chunk of last season with a cruciate ligament injury.
However, he’s only scored once since April, in the first game of the season against Bristol City.
He was guilty of missing a whole host of chances in the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest, a game Leeds should have won easily.
His last goal before that was, ironically, against Saturday’s opponents Wigan in a 2-1 defeat that signalled the start of the end for Leeds’ promotion hopes.
According to WyScout he had five shots against Forest and only managed one on target. He had six touches in the box and no goals.
It’s one thing looking sharp and creating chances but it’s no good if you can’t finish them. Bamford’s xG was 0.89 in that game and he should have had at least one goal. In the game against Western Syndey Warriors in pre-season his xG was 1.66 from seven shots and he didn’t score then either.
Having faith with your players is good but Bamford must step up against Wigan or the cries for Nketiah to start will get louder and louder.