Because of the “freedom” of the front four, Sunderland interim manager Mike Dodds thinks Leeds United could be a more difficult opponent than Leicester City.
This season, the Black Cats have already played table-topping Leicester City, and although they caused plenty of problems, they lost 1-0 at the King Power Stadium.
After they defeated West Bromwich Albion 2-1 on Saturday, they will be led by Dodds in the dugout for the second straight game. Tony Mowbray was the manager at the time but was fired.
The wide players Dan James and Crysencio Summerville both scored on Saturday, bringing their goal totals to seven and nine, respectively, as Leeds’ front four has been on fire lately.
During his pregame press conference, Dodds told the Northern Echo that he thinks Leeds’ attacking players will pose a greater threat, which will make his job as a coach more difficult.
Leeds must play with their best front four.
“Those games, in the greatest respect for Leicester because their coach has done so incredibly well, I think we find, or as a coach, I find, a lot easier because you can almost identify the patterns,” Dodds stated.
Leeds, in my opinion, is particularly dangerous because they don’t seem to be as pattern-based when it comes to particular movements. They play with a true structure and set of principles, but when it comes to their front four, they are completely unrestricted.
“That freedom can create issues because, as a coach, it becomes much more difficult when you give elite players the freedom to go and find areas on the field. In certain situations, as we’ve discussed with the players, I will have to rely on the players to solve problems.
The distinction is that. Although they are both elite teams, they have very different styles.
In recent weeks, Leeds’ attacking group has been praised for being “unplayable,” and that will need to be the case again tonight against a Sunderland team that presents a number of threats of its own.
With Sunderland being an attacking team tonight, Leeds’ strength as the best counterattacking team in the division—according to Leicester manager Enzo Maresca—may prove vital.
Leeds is unpredictable, which makes Leicester, a team that loves to control possession under Maresca, more difficult to setup against.