Leeds United face West Ham United in the Premier League this weekend looking to end their winless run of five games since the start of the season.
While Marcelo Bielsa and the players won’t be panicking over the start to the season, this Leeds United team is not used to going long periods without picking up wins.
Even in the top flight, Leeds’ form has been exemplary and it’s never resulted in major dips in form.
While individual form is not at its lowest, there are some that will be looking at the current run from game one to now knowing that they could have done more.
It’s been a very tough start to the season with two title-hopefuls and two strong defences in the first four games, followed by one the players know they should have won away at Newcastle.
As Bielsa looks to get the most out of an injury-hit and depleted squad, there are some that need to bring more to the table than they have done.
Here, we take a look at two players that have a point to prove as we welcome West Ham to Elland Road…
It’s by no means been a vintage start to the season for the Spaniard as he continues to struggle at fitting into Bielsa’s system.
Coming from Valencia, it’s been a frustrating year for him playing out of position, and it’s quite obvious in his play that he would be better placed up front.
The issue is that we have Patrick Bamford there.
So, he’s got to settle for attacking midfield and it was underwhelming so far, up until the Newcastle draw, where he was brilliant and much closer to his best:
The point he’s got to prove as the Irons travel to West Yorkshire is whether he’s able to replicate his form in more than one outing, and against a far better midfield setup.
He’s got the quality to cause problems against any team in this league, but we’re not seeing it enough.
Hopefully, the Newcastle game has done wonders for his confidence.
Another with a point to prove is left-back Junior Firpo, who hasn’t set the world alight as much as many would have hoped since joining from Barcelona.
As is the case with Rodrigo, settling into arguably the most high-pace side in Europe is going to take some time and there are flashes of a very good player there.
There are also moments that are somewhat concerning, such as skying a huge chance from nine yards against Newcastle or perhaps struggling with man-marking, but it’s a process that will take time.
What this game will present is a huge test of his defensive capabilities and how he can form another wide partnership as Jack Harrison continues to sit out, meaning he’ll be linking up with Dan James again.
Firpo has all the characteristics of being a great defender for us, and his aim against West Ham will be to stop whichever dangerous attacker he’s up against. It’ll be a challenge regardless of who that may be.