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3 things Javi Gracia might already be thinking about changing at Leeds United ahead of March international break

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Leeds United manager Javi Gracia has plenty to mull over as his side prepares for an international break, with the relegation battle set to go down to the wire in the Premier League.

Gracia is four league games into his stint at Elland Road where he will have surely taken stock of his squad as survival remains the only objective.

After the game against Wolves yesterday, Gracia now has a fortnight before Leeds travel to Arsenal to kick off April and the final stretch of league games.

There is a lot that he needs to get right in order to get Leeds clear of the bottom three after an encouraging start.

Here, we look at three things Gracia might already be thinking of changing at Leeds ahead of the international break…

Improve set-pieces

One of the very poor things about this season that we have seen is how bad the side are at attacking set-pieces.

Leeds have scored a decent amount of goals from set-pieces this season, but have won so many corners and free-kicks, only to see Jack Harrison or Brenden Aaronson hit the first man or balloon the cross over everyone.

Teams at the bottom end need to take every advantage they can, and set-pieces are a very straightforward way for us to find goals.

It says a lot that Robin Koch is our tallest defender and hasn’t scored a competitive goal for us.

Work on routines that get the best out of some solid aerial presences, because we’re crying out for better in those positions.

Change formation

Gracia hasn’t changed much in the way of Leeds’ formation, with a 4-2-3-1 most often employed in his five games so far.

However, the side isn’t best suited to that with three good striker options all warranting a start and Patrick Bamford likely to benefit from support.

A 4-4-2 switch would be beneficial for Leeds going forward in attack, while also giving the defence much more cover when we get caught in transition.

Two flat banks of four behind the ball would be so much better for us looking to keep clean sheets and guard against teams previously cutting us open.

Is Gracia the right manager for Leeds?





Can we get more out of Georginio Rutter?

The switch to two up front would certainly give Rutter more chance to play from the start in the league, perhaps as a second striker.

Leeds committed £36million to sign the Frenchman and while that value is based on his potential for the future, you can’t pay that much and not play him right away.

He’s arguably our most talented forward and has an impact every time he plays, so Gracia needs to find a way for him to start more often.

Should we do that, we will start to see more of him, including goals and assists.

Quiz: How well do you know Leeds United head coach Javi Gracia? Find out here…

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Leeds United season ticket holder since 2013/14, currently situated in the middle of the FA5 noise. From Pablo Hernandez to 5-1 drubbings, I've seen it all at Elland Road.