Leeds United have had a decent start to life in the Championship this season.
After an exciting end to end season opener ending in a draw with Cardiff City, the Whites have grown in confidence.
Their recent games saw the team go on an unbeaten run in the league after the loss at Birmingham. The streak of great performances continued as Leeds kept four consecutive clean sheets in September, a feat that had not been achieved at Elland Road over the past year.
However, Leeds were brought crashing down after a defeat away to Southampton, where the Saints were 3-0 up at halftime.
After the game Daniel Farke was disappointed in his team’s showing:
“I got the feeling I didn’t have to do a bit more with the attitude or with the mentality [of the players],” he said. “It was more like I want to give the players a chance to show a reaction because if you go back into the dressing room at half-time, you are 3-0 down, it’s always difficult.”
“I didn’t want to show there is, with two or three substitutions, these two or three players were crucial for being back (behind) that much. I didn’t want to embarrass them.”
“I want to give the whole team the chance to show a reaction. That’s what they did because I didn’t have the feeling after the first half there are one or two players just to blame.”
“It was more like, as a team, we could have been a bit more sharper and a bit more aware and the lads showed a good reaction. Sadly, it was not enough to turn the game completely.”
Leeds vs Southampton
During the Southampton game, Liam Cooper, Glenn Kamara and Daniel James notably struggled in that first half, and were the leading candidates to be subbed off going by Farke’s post match comments.
Cooper was slow and flat footed as he couldn’t keep up with the Dynamic Saints front line – his positioning was also suspect as he failed to keep up with Adam Armstrong for the opening game.
Glenn Kamara also wasn’t at his best, it seems like he will need some time to adjust to the pace of Championship football. At times it seemed like anytime a Southampton player went past him they had a straight route to goal.
After being an effective creator out wide and providing a few assists recently, Daniel James was shocking last weekend. He only completed one of his seven crosses, and completed one successful dribble vs the Saints.
Daniel Farke has ready made replacements for the trio, in Archie Gray, Jaidon Anthony and Joe Rodon.
Rodon and Gray started the season well but with the recent run of games you would understand why Farke would stick to a winning team.
Anthony has also provided a spark every time he has played.
Due to these reasons I believe Rodon, Anthony and Gray must return to the lineup for the next game.
Predicted lineup vs QPR (4-2-3-1):
Meslier; Shackleton, Rodon, Struijk, Byram; Gray, Ampadu; Anthony, Piroe, Summerville; Rutter