'Huge' - Exclusive: Pundit fears for Leeds v West Ham after pre-match update
Alex McLeish fears the Leeds United defence will be under siege when they face up to a “huge” West Ham side on Friday.
The former Aston Villa and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes David Moyes will be looking to exploit the Whites’ weakness from free-kicks and corners after Marcelo Bielsa addressed the issue at his press conference.
Speaking ahead of Friday night’s game, the Argentine boss told Leeds Live that his side had a “marked difficulty defending set-pieces” against Chelsea and that he had not yet found the solution to their issues at the back.
Kurt Zouma’s header from Mason Mount’s corner was the fifth time Leeds have conceded from a set-piece since their return to the Premier League, meaning a quarter of all goals scored against the Whites this season have come from dead-ball situations.
McLeish has insisted West Ham’s physical presence would be a threat against most teams in the league and that Leeds face a battle to keep the Hammers quiet.
McLeish told Football Insider: “Especially with Bielsa mentioning it, it won’t go amiss from David Moyes. His analytical team will have seen the game and how the goals were given away and they will try and exploit that.
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“Bielsa meanwhile will try to keep his team playing the good brand of football they do but you’d have to think now the defence is under pressure, they face a lot of these challenges now.
“West Ham are a huge, big team and they have the presence there that could harm any team in the league.”
As quoted by Leeds Live, Bielsa said: “In the game against Chelsea we had a marked difficulty defending set-pieces. Usually, we don’t have the height, as a team, the opponents do. This also means we need to add things to our game which are difficult to add.
“We are trying to improve this aspect in all the ways I can imagine are possible to improve it and if up until this moment we haven’t been able to resolve it, it shows I haven’t yet found the tool to prevent this from happening.”
In other Leeds United news, a player could sign a contract at Elland Road within weeks after announcing his love for the club.