Preston are back in action on Tuesday night, hosting another promotion-chasing giant at Deepdale.
North End lost 1-0 at home to Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon. With Leeds losing at Birmingham City, the Blades leapfrogged them into second place.
It’s now Leeds’ turn to visit Deepdale in another huge clash. Leeds are desperate to win as they chase promotion, whilst North End need a response to keep up any last-ditch attempt to reach the play-offs.
Back in September, Leeds hammered North End 3-0 at Elland Road, adding to our dismal start. However, Bielsa’s first competitive defeat in English football came at the hands of Preston, losing to Alex Neil’s side in the EFL Cup in August.
North End will hope to repeat that performance on Tuesday night, and we at least have previous of big displays. League leaders Norwich City were outclassed at Deepdale in a 3-1 Preston win back in February, showing just how Neil’s side can dismantle the so-called ‘big clubs’.
Ahead of Tuesday’s game, Neil has spoken to the club’s official website about the style of the two clubs. In fact, Neil suggested that his approach is similar to Marcelo Bielsa’s, believing the two teams play a similar way.
North End press brilliantly on top form, but Neil’s style has received little praise this season. Compare that with Bielsa, whose style and methods are hailed constantly.
Neil thinks Leeds fans will be baffled by his comparison given the league positions of the two clubs, but looked at the bigger picture. The Scot added that Leeds are trying to do it with more experienced players than we are, and tomorrow’s game should be a belter.
“Our styles aren’t too dissimilar. I am sure some of the Leeds fans will read that and think ‘how can you say that if we are up challenging for promotion and you are tenth?’. But when you break the games down in terms of what both teams are trying to do, they are not dissimilar,” said Neil.
“They are trying to do it with more experienced players, players that have played at this level for a long time and some who have played in the Premier League and they have a more experienced coach as well, who has been around for years and years and knows how to adapt what he does. We are still striving to be the best that we can be, but we are trying to improve upon that aspect of how we play, with and without the ball, and they are very good at it,” he added.