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Stats: Cooper, Pearce or Bellusci - who is Leeds' best bet after yet another defeat?

Neil Redfearn still has a conundrum on his hands after Leeds' 2-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers.

After Leeds United's 3-1 win at Blackpool before the international break, Giuseppe Bellusci could have had no complaints at being considered second choice right now to Liam Cooper and skipper Jason Pearce.

But, after seeing the Elland Road outfit lose 2-1 at Blackburn Rovers yesterday, he may be rather more hopeful of being restored to Neil Redfearn's starting line-up.

The verdict was mixed on the Yorkshire side's centre-back pairing on Saturday. Some felt Liam Cooper was a rock aside from his mistake for Blackburn's first goal - others felt he was poor.

Some, meanwhile, believed he was not really at fault for the equaliser and chose instead to blame Marco Silvestri. Others, however, disagreed...

So what do the stats say?

  PositionTeamInterceptions WonAerial Duels WonTackles WonEffective ClearancesAppearancesMinutes Played
Sam Byram DF Leeds 1 4 3 5 1 90
Liam Cooper DF Leeds 1 3 2 13 1 90
Stephen Warnock DF Leeds 1 5 0 5 1 90
Jason Pearce DF Leeds 0 3 0 3 1 90

Well, the first important thing to note is that Cooper was at least partly to blame for that first goal - whether it was entirely his fault or not. But, very interestingly, he completely outshone Pearce statistically.

As Opta stats show, 23-year-old Cooper won one interception, three aerial duels and three tackles against Rovers. Where he impressed most, though, was in the clearances department - he made 13.

Pearce, by contrast, won no tackles or interceptions. He did win just as many aerial duels but made a whole 10 less clearances. Again, though, it was Cooper's mix-up that led to the goal...

So what does Redfearn do? Does he bring Bellusci back into the Leeds line-up or does he persist with his current duo?

The 49-year-old, on balance, was probably right to keep the Italian out of the side against Blackburn - based on Pearce and Cooper's previous display together - and would be wise to give them time together. But if the goals continue to be leaked, which one of the two is dropped?

And if the problems persist, should Redfearn look at a new centre-back altogether?

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