Leeds United set-piece problems Newcastle must take advantage of on Friday night

By Andrew Hankinson & Stuart Jamieson

Leeds United's key weakness has again come under the spotlight following their 3-0 defeat to Liverpool - and it could help Newcastle finally get their first win of the season.

With the Magpies having lost three league matches so far, and their only point from a draw at home, Steve Bruce is under pressure to put things right against a similarly struggling Leeds side at St James’ Park on Friday night.

Marcelo Bielsa's side lost 3-0 at Elland Road against a Liverpool team who laid a marker for the Premier League title.

And once again Leeds conceded from a corner, with Fabinho taking advantage of one of their main weaknesses.

Leeds conceded 15 goals from set pieces last season, which was the worst record of any team in the Premier League - Newcastle conceded only eight goals from set pieces last season.

Former Leeds striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, working for Sky during yesterday’s game, said: “They had a problem defending set pieces from last season, and it looks like this year they still haven’t resolved it.

"They need to resolve it otherwise it could cost them throughout the season. It is such a poor goal to concede.”

While Gary Neville, commentating for Sky, said: "Leeds are scruffy at set - pieces, there's no doubt about that.”

The problem was also illustrated during Leeds’ 1-1 with Burnley this season, when Leeds conceded after again being unable to clear from a corner.

LISTEN: Lee Ryder discusses Steve Bruce at NUFC on The Everything is Black and White Podcast

Pundits have speculated that the reason for the set piece leakage is the man-marking system becoming messy in the box, the lack of height among Leeds players, or it may just be due to the quality of the players compared to the opposition.

Whatever the reason, with Newcastle’s attacking options currently limited by injury to Callum Wilson, it may be that the best plan is to defend robustly against Leeds and hope that a well-rehearsed set piece will sneak a victory.


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