With Bellusci available will Leeds change formation tonight?

Neil Redfearn

Defensive frailties were evident in Leeds' 3-2 defeat to Watford on Saturday, so will Neil Redfearn be tempted to tinker with the Italian back available?

Leeds adopted a 4-2-3-1 formation in the FA Cup defeat to Sunderland in January and since then have seen a surge up the table to relative safety. A run of just three defeats in 10 games has included some notable wins against promotion-chasing Bournemouth and Middlesbrough and included four clean sheets.

Palermo loanee Sol Bamba has been credited with triggering that defensive stability since his arrival at the end of the January transfer window, but in Saturday's Sky Bet Championship defeat to Watford, both he and fellow centre half Liam Cooper were repeatedly stretched by the Hornets' incisive attacking.

Leeds also face selection problems in midfield, with the absence of the injured trio of Rodolph Austin, Granddi Ngoyi and Tommaso Bianchi, and up front where Billy Sharp is vying for the lone front man spot with fit-again Steve Morison and disgruntled top scorer Mirco Antenucci.

A previous diversion to 4-4-2 at home to Brentford in February did not go well, and Leeds lack the natural width to play that system. Some fans are now calling on a 3-5-2 formation for tonight's visit of promotion-chasing Ipswich Town, which could complement perfectly the players Redfearn has available.

This system could utilise the returning Bellusci as a third centre half, two wing backs in Sam Byram and Charlie Taylor, the only three central midfielders available in Luke Murphy, Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt, and two from three front men with justified calls for a starting spot. Acting right-back Scott Wootton could be the man to miss out. 

So will Neil Redfearn take the gamble?  

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