Leicester City knew what to expect from Jesse Marsch's Leeds United despite it being his first game
Leicester City already knew what to expect from Jesse Marsch’s Leeds United side even though it was his first game in charge, The Athletic reports.
The Foxes won a tight contest at the King Power Stadium as a much-improved Whites side succumbed to a Harvey Barnes strike to lose 1-0, following a string of thrashings under Marcelo Bielsa.
Although it was the American’s first game in charge of United after his appointment last week, according to The Athletic’s Rob Tanner: “Leicester City knew what was coming.”
The hosts reportedly analysed the new Leeds boss’ RB Salzburg teams heavily, while watching interviews the manager had given to determine what his set up would be.
Only one feature was apparently a surprise for Brendan Rodgers’ side with Tanner writing: “The only aspect of Leeds’ play that did surprise was how narrow they played, with wide players Raphinha and Jack Harrison coming inside to form what looked for large parts like an interchangeable front four in a 4-2-2-2 with Rodrigo and Daniel James, forcing Rodgers into an adjustment.
“Leicester struggled for large spells to find an answer.”
Element of surprise
Leeds were unlucky to come away with nothing from a game where their defensive performance had improved and they produced a number of chances.
Fans would have been hoping that the mystery of it being the first game under a new regime might have helped the players get the jump on the opposition.
But this is just as easily cancelled out by the lack of preparation time for the incoming manager.
If other sides have followed the same kind of homework pattern as Rodgers and his staff then the chances of the new-look Leeds springing a surprise will be low.
In terms of how the opposition sets up to deal with United’s threats they should be better off than they have been in recent weeks at least.
The man-marking system that took such a barrage of criticism in the final days of Bielsa’s reign has now gone, so the fact that it appeared too many other coaches had figured out its flaws is no longer and issue.
Renewed belief, and a more compact system, have to wring enough points out of the remaining games for Premier League survival, so the new coach can get proper time over the summer to embark on next season.
In other Leeds United news, one first-team squad member has reacted angrily to criticism on social media.