By Mark Smith

3rd Apr, 2021 | 8:10am

Beren Cross: Leeds set to change system v Sheff Utd, new defensive trio used

Leeds United are likely to revert to three-at-the-back against Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

Marcelo Bielsa often changes his system when the opposition plays two strikers, and the Blades have done that consistently under either Chris Wilder or Paul Heckingbottom.

Beren Cross has claimed that Liam Cooper and Diego Llorente are almost guaranteed to start at Elland Road, with Pascal Struijk and Robin Koch fighting for the final spot in defence.

Writing in his Leeds Live column, Cross made the suggestion that we could all finally get to see our summer signings play together.

“The formation change will actually make things easier for Bielsa. He has four, fit, high-quality, proven centre-backs to choose from now.

“Pascal Struijk and Diego Llorente have not put a foot wrong in their two matches together while Liam Cooper was in a rich vein of form before his illness on the other side of the break.

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“That leaves the small matter of the Germany international Robin Koch, one of the best performers in the first half of the campaign, kicking his heels on the sidelines.

“Bielsa has rarely left Cooper out when available, while Llorente’s international status and recent form surely means he retains a place. It could come down to Struijk vs Koch.”

Struijk or Koch?

Given that Koch has been out for some time now through injury, it is likely that Struijk will continue after impressing in his absence.

Having said that, the German international came onto the pitch in the 2-1 win at Fulham before the break and has shined in the under-23s in a new holding midfield role.

Bielsa could be tempted to bring his most experienced players back into the starting XI with tough fixtures coming up against both Manchester clubs and Liverpool after this one.

It would be harsh on Struijk, but the Whites are finally in a position where they have a full-strength squad to choose from against the Blades.

With survival in the Premier League all-but-secure, who knows where the Whites could end up should they play their strongest side at every opportunity.

It’s a luxury we haven’t had much this season, and it would be brilliant to see against the struggling Sheffield United.

In other Leeds United news, David Villa blown away by one Whites ‘sensation’ in the Premier League this season