Marcelo Bielsa identifies the City star Leeds must halt
PUBLISHED: 16:26 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:28 31 January 2019
Marcelo Bielsa has targeted Teemu Pukki as the man Leeds United have to stop in a Championship promotion shoot out against Norwich City.
Pukki took his tally to 17 league goals for the season in the 2-2 draw against Sheffield United, and Bielsa respects the attacking threat posed by Daniel Farke’s squad ahead of this weekend’s Elland Road showdown.
“Pukki’s skills are not common in English football,” the Argentine said at his pre-match press call on Thursday lunchtime. “He’s a player who is hard to neutralise, he is always in good positions to receive the ball and makes many movements.
“He plays very simple, but he is very efficient.
“Norwich is a team that attacks very well and is designed to attack. It doesn’t mean that they don’t defend well, but the profile of the team is a creative one.
“We want to attack, but we know we will have to defend a lot too, it is an opponent we have to respect.
“If you have a difference of six points and the team plays with regularity, it is a big difference.
“If the team doesn’t and has ups and downs, it is not as significant.
“I think apart from the position that both teams occupy, the offensive aspect is for both teams is attractive to supporters.”
Bielsa has been embroiled in a spying controversy sparked when a member of his staff was spotted at Derby’s training ground.
The football authorities continue to investigate that matter but Bielsa was happy to name his starting line up for Norwich’s visit.
Pablo Hernandez has been passed fit after a knock in last week’s comeback win over Rotherham, as Leeds look to move six points clear of their nearest challengers.
“If we have a difference of six points and if the team plays with regularity then it is a big difference,” he said. “If we have ups and downs then it is not. In England the desire to win is stronger than the fact that we don’t want to lose.
“In England they prefer to win than avoid a loss. This tells us a lot about how the English culture sees the game. This is what makes English football around the world.”