Marcelo Bielsa has revealed that Leeds will “try to play the same way” as they did last season, despite coming up against “one of the best teams in the world” in Liverpool.
Leeds stormed to the Championship title last season with the high-intensity style that has made Bielsa one of the most respected coaches in world football.
It is a difficult style to execute, but both Leeds and Liverpool have shown that it is possible, and when it is possible, it can be devastating.
However, as has often been the case with sides moving up to the Premier League, there are question marks over whether this will translate to the top flight, based on the players at Bielsa’s disposal.
The Argentinian is not concerned with this, however, as he told reporters on Friday, via a translator.
“We prepared for this, but we need to show it on the pitch.
“We have been forming a group now for some time and have maintained the players that we feel can play at a higher level.
“To begin with we will try to play the same way.”
He later added: “We have to show we can continue to play the way we want.”
Bielsa also confirmed, strangely, that he will continue as Leeds manager this season, with it not being formally announced whether or not he had signed a new contract with the club.
It is no surprise, of course, particularly given the backing of the club’s owners with the record signing of Rodrigo, along with the challenge of Bielsa testing himself in the Premier League.
Asked about Liverpool, he described Jurgen Klopp‘s side as “a just champion with a consistent style of play,” and said “without a doubt, it’s one of the best teams in the world.”
However, while he was full of praise for Klopp and the Reds, he stressed that despite Leeds facing a tough trip on their first game back in the top flight in 16 years, the lack of supporters is an advantage.
“We are going to play at Anfield, but Anfield is only Anfield if it is full,” he said.
There were certainly signs of that in the final games of last season, when Liverpool were not at their most intense or aggressive without the fire of the Kop.
But the Reds are an established side, champions of England, and with Bielsa vowing to set his side up to play the way that got them to the Premier League, they could be exposed by an opponent with more experience and quality.