Portrait 22 July 2023, 00:57

The Championship, tactics... All you need to know about Leeds United

The Championship, tactics... All you need to know about Leeds United
After a week-long preparation camp at St. George's Park near Birmingham, the Rouge et Blanc will face Leeds United this Saturday afternoon (5 p.m. French time). So before kick-off, here's what you need to know about the former Premier League side.

That’s it ! The preparatory course for AS Monaco players at the base camp of the English selection has come to an end. And after a first victory against Real Betis on Wednesday (1-3), Adi Hütter‘s group headed for York in the northeast of England.

There’s now a second interesting match in sight against Leeds United this Saturday, before returning to the Principality. So a few hours before kick-off (5 p.m. French time), here’s a look at the English team. 🗓

A back-to-back 🔄

It will be a reunion between the two sides as AS Monaco traveled to Elland Road last December, as part of a post-World Cup 2022 friendly  match. After a completely wild but controlled meeting, the Rouge et Blanc won 4-2, thanks to a double from Breel Embolo, and a first goal for Ismail Jakobs with the Club. Can they repeat this? 

Back to square one 🔙

Promoted at the end of the 2019-2020 season, Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds managed to extricate themselves (finally) from the Championship and return to the Premier League for the first time since… 2004! Unfortunately three years later, they are again in the second tier of English football ahead of this new season. Indeed since the departure of the Argentinian, three coaches have succeeded each other on the Peacocks’ bench in just over a year: Jesse Marsch, Javi Garcia (12 games) and Sam Allardyce (four games).

With these setbacks, none of them will found the formula to relaunch a positive dynamic. Nineteenth last season with only 31 points and the worst defense in the championship (78 goals conceded), Leeds therefore had a difficult and very unstable season, synonymous with a return to the second division.

The experience of Daniel Farke 🧠

It was therefore on July 4 – the same day as the arrival of our coach Adi Hütter – that the 46-year-old German coach, Daniel Farke, inherited the heavy task of turning the tide and attempting an quick comeback to the Premier League. To do this, he will be able to rely on his knowledge of the Championship, where he coached at Norwich between 2017 and 2021, a club which he had promoted to the top flight by winning the Championship in 2019.

A practitioner of 4-2-3-1, especially during his last spell at Borussia Mönchengladbach, he appreciates that his teams like to be in possession of the ball and play with intensity, getting forward quickly in transition. He has an obvious kinship on several points with one of his predecessors: Marcelo Bielsa. Not dogmatic, his scheme is flexible and he does not hesitate to give up possession of the ball to recover it in a better position. It’s a game plan that depends above all on his players. Here are a few to watch…

Players to watch 🎯

Illan Meslier 🧤

The native of Sochaux now has 126 games in a Leeds shirt. Last March, he became the youngest goalkeeper to reach 100 matches played in the English top flight. Over three Premier League seasons he has played in 35, 38 and 34 games, making him an extremely reliable goalkeeper in addition to being still young (23 years old).

Liam Cooper 🧱

Present at the club since the 2014-2015 season, he is one of the great architects of the rise of the Peacocks. Captain of his team, he is a tough defender, with an average of 3.53 aerial duels won and 2 interceptions per game. He has a great sense of sacrifice and of working for the collective.


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Georginio Rutter ⭐

Formed in Rennes before joining Hoffenheim with whom he scored eleven goals and had eight assists in the space of 64 games, the 21-year-old French striker is a very active defensive striker, good with both feet and mobile. He arrived only in January 2023 in Leeds, and he will have to carry the British side’s attack this season.

The mercato 🔁

A month before the closing of the transfer market, the trend is towards departures. Nine players have indeed decided to leave, including the Spanish center forward Rodrigo, present since the team’s promotion to the Premier League and top scorer for his team last season (13 goals).

Central defender Robin Koch has joined  Eintracht Frankfurt on loan. To replace him, Leeds are counting on a return to form from a former Monegasque, the Portuguese Hélder Costa, and an improvement from their 22-year-old new signing in central defense, Ethan Ampadu, who’s arrived from Chelsea.

As a reminder, this preseason match against Leeds will be live from 5 p.m. (French time)  on the Youtube channel of AS Monaco.