Rotherham United v Leeds United – Contrasting styles set to clash at New York Stadium

WE MEET AGAIN: Paul Warne, left and Marcelo Bielsa, skae hands at Elland Road earlier this season and meet again today in South Yorkshire. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
WE MEET AGAIN: Paul Warne, left and Marcelo Bielsa, skae hands at Elland Road earlier this season and meet again today in South Yorkshire. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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RESPECTFUL Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa says Rotherham United’s direct style is “no better or worse” than the free-flowing, high press football pursued by his own high-flying team.

Championship leaders United are looking to bounce back from last weekend’s 2-1 loss at Stoke City – a display that Bielsa felt was United’s worst display of the season.

Despite still leading the division by a point, the Whites have lost three of their last four league games and United’s head coach is now preparing himself for a very particular type of threat from this afternoon’s hosts.
Having already cited that Leeds have had problems defending corners, Bielsa also recognises that capitalising on set pieces will be a key part of Rotherham’s game plan.

The two sides may be separated by 20 places and 29 points in the Championship table, but Bielsa says Rotherham’s own unique style is deserving of plenty of respect.

“There are different styles,” said Bielsa.

“They usually play long balls. They use prolongations of the ball and 50/50 balls, they try to get the second balls. They use long throw-ins, they rely on set pieces.

And we have different styles. Ours is not better or worse than theirs. They will try to play using their style and we will try to play using ours.

Marcelo Bielsa

“And we have different styles. Ours is not better or worse than theirs. They will try to play using their style and we will try to play using ours.

“I think they know what they have to neutralise in our game to weaken us.

“And we know what we have to be careful about to prevent the opponent from growing inside the game.”

Bielsa will make two changes with Kalvin Phillips replacing the banned Pontus Jansson at centre-back and January recruit and former Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla handed his Whites debut in replacing Bailey Peacock-Farrell between the sticks.