Bielsa namedrops Palace dangerman amid talk of altered Kalvin Phillips role

Bielsa namedrops Palace dangerman amid talk of altered Kalvin Phillips role

Marcelo Bielsa insists he won’t make any specific plans to limit the threat of Eberechi Eze when Leeds lock horns with Crystal Palace on Monday night.

Leeds will be bidding to buck the trend at Elland Road and claim an all-too-rare home win. Indeed, six of their nine top-flight wins this season have come away from home.

They lost 4-1 at Selhurst Park in November and the return fixture promises to be another intriguing encounter between Leeds linchpin Kalvin Phillips and Palace playmaker Eze.

Eze – a target for Leeds before his move to Palace – has often given the England midfielder a torrid time.

There was even talk Phillips could be removed from his man-marking role against Eze in order to protect his own influence on the game.

However, Bielsa says Phillips’ role would remain as normal. Furthermore, he insists he will not be putting in place specific measures to nullify Eze.

“It’s not that there’s a formula which we have to neutralise the number 25 (Eze),” Bielsa said.

“He moves in certain spaces and determines certain spaces on the pitch normally. We position players in that sector to prevent him from evolving or producing his best.

“When an opponent beats one of our players there’s an elective response we have allocated. (But) to attribute a formula to neutralise one player is unreal.”

Another player who Leeds struggled to handle back in November, Wilfried Zaha, will, however, miss out through injury.

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Bielsa reassures Pablo Hernandez

Bielsa, meanwhile, has told Pablo Hernandez he still has a big part to play for Leeds this season.

Hernandez is a hugely popular figure in West Yorkshire and is regarded as their best signing in the last 20 years.

Pablo Hernandez Leeds United

After playing a leading role in their promotion to the Premier League, he has found himself on the periphery this season.

According to reports, Hernandez was approached by Castellon over a return to Spain in January.

While Leeds rejected the move, the Segunda Liga strugglers will likely make a fresh move in the summer. Hernandez is a part-owner of the club and his exit would come as no surprise.

Bielsa, however, is adamant Hernandez remains part of his plans this season and sent him this message….


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