By Mark Smith

4th Dec, 2021 | 2:30pm

Phil Hay: Leeds will play three at the back against Brentford

Phil Hay has insisted that Leeds United are almost certain to play three-at-the-back in their Premier League clash against Brentford.

The Bees travel to Elland Road on Sunday (5th December) and will no doubt start with Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbuemo leading the line.

Hay shared that despite not performing as well in the system, Marcelo Bielsa will never change his ways regarding his two formations and when to use them.

Dan Moylan posed the idea that most will agree with on The Phil Hay Show, and that is that the Whites simply aren’t as good when changing system.

“I see two up-front there, I don’t like it when we play two up-front because it means we start to faff around with our defence,” he said.

Hay responded, and insisted that it will never change whilst Bielsa is in charge at Elland Road this season.

“We’ve been over this and the numbers do show that they are better in 4-1-4-1 than three at the back.

“You almost may as well park that on the hard shoulder, because it’s never ever going to change is it? It’s going to be the strategy.”


It hasn’t been the best of seasons for Leeds while playing three at the back and looking at their record, it’s clear.

In our three wins against Watford, Norwich and Crystal Palace, the Whites have played four at the back against a one-striker system.

Recent displays against the likes of Brighton and Spurs haven’t been too positive, apart from the first half against the latter.

Bielsa will know that, but we all know how stubborn he is and it will be a three-man defence tomorrow (5th December).

Toney and Mbuemo have caused problems for some of the best defences in the league, so having that extra man will clearly help.

Our only wish is that Kalvin Phillips isn’t taken out of the midfield too much, with his presence in there clearly needed alongside Adam Forshaw.

Let’s hope we can buck the trend and pick up our first three points in this system in the Premier League – fingers crossed.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are ready to make major January signings with unexpected deals to force action