Marcelo Bielsa’s methods justified as underlying data vindicates Leeds United’s attacking stance

Leeds United’s attacking philosophy has been scrutinised to the nth degree this season.

For better or for worse, Marcelo Bielsa has proven he won’t deviate from the principles that have stood him well in his career so far.

After all, they returned Leeds to the Premier League for the first time in 16 years, transforming a mid-table, under-performing side into automatic promotion contenders within 12 months.

Leeds’ all-out-attack style has been further hammered home by some intriguing underlying data, courtesy of Fbref.

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The Whites have the second-highest expected goals tally in the Premier League, bettered only by Liverpool.

The data experts claim that Bielsa’s boys should have scored 29.3 times, compared to the 30 they actually have this season.

Whilst that difference is negligible, only Liverpool have a higher xG at 33.1, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Leicester all dropping below Leeds in the xG table despite scoring more goals this season.

This highlights that Leeds are creating better quality goal-scoring opportunities than 18 other teams in the division, justifying their attacking style. The numbers suggest that if Leeds were less attacking their output would drop off.

Leeds United have suffered another early and embarrassing FA Cup exit after slumping to a 3-0 defeat at Crawley Town.

Next up for the well-beaten Whites is a return to Premier League action when they host Brighton at the weekend.

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However, on the opposite side of the fence, United have the second-worst expected goals conceded at 31.3. This means the quality of chances created against them is incredibly high, which underlines that there is no fluke that only West Brom have conceded more goals this season.

Of every Premier League team, Leeds have second-lowest difference between their xG difference and their actual goal difference. With the underlying data stating Leeds should score a lot and concede just as many, as in real life, only Crystal Palace and Arsenal are performing as closely to their XG difference.


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