How Leeds could line-up under Jesse Marsch with ex-RB Leipzig boss a Ralf Rangnick disciple in favour of 4-2-2-2

LEEDS are set to embark on a new era following the sacking of Marcelo Bielsa.

The Elland Road side were thumped 4-0 at home to Tottenham in what proved to be the final nail in the Argentine's coffin.


Bielsa brought Premier League football back to Leeds and even guided them to a top-ten finish with his riveting style of play last term.

But with relegation an increasingly-possible outcome this season, Leeds chiefs decided to pull the trigget.

And with Bielsa out, Leeds' attention turns to his replacement – with ex-RB Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch set to arrive.

The American's arrival could cause widespread changes on the pitch, too.

Bielsa typically lined his Leeds team up in a 4-1-4-1 formation.

A flat-back-four with one holding midfielder, two wide men and a central midfield pair with more licence to roam – and still boasting a centre-forward, Bielsa was all about attacking.

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But that's seen the Yorkshire club dragged into a relegation battle as rivals cottoned on to their brazen style.

Yet under Marsch, Leeds are set to balance attacking prowess with defensive fortitude.

The former Leipzig boss – and disciple of now-Manchester United chief Ralf Rangnick – is a fan of 4-2-2-2, essentially a 4-4-2 with two No6s, rather than a No6 and No8.

And there's no reason to think Leeds couldn't thrive under that system – even if the experiment appears to have failed at Man Utd.

Leeds have plenty of options across the back four – and that won't change much in life after Bielsa.

However, the introduction of two holding midfielders could tweak the setup slightly.

Kalvin Phillips was typically the man tasked with holding down the fort.

But with a fellow No6, much like the system in which he thrived with England at Euro 2020, Phillips could be given more scope to attack.

The holding midfielder could line up alongside Adam Forshaw or even converted centre-back Robin Koch.

Where the biggest change will lie will be in attack.

Rather than two wide forwards and a central striker, Marsch will likely send Leeds out with two wingers and two attackers.

And with plenty of versatile forwards – including Raphinha and Daniel James – Marsch will have plenty of options.

The pair could play in the deeper, wider roles as well as in the more central attacking positions.

Patrick Bamford, when fit, will almost certainly start through the middle, leaving one spot alongside him – which could be filled by record-buy Rodrigo or Tyler Roberts.

Rodrigo is also more than capable of operating out wide, meaning Marsch may be able to allow his team to play with more fluidity.

Rather than setting up with a rigid attack of four separate forwards, they could rotate during the game to cause match-up nightmares for opponents and draw defenders out of position.

When done properly, the 4-2-2-2 can cause nightmares for opponents.

However, it's about how Leeds will adjust to the system after years of 4-1-4-1.

Marsch could opt to stick with the status quo in a bid to survive relegation.

But with results going against Leeds in recent weeks, he might be best served being brave and implementing his new system from day one.

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