The five key quotes from Marcelo Bielsa's pre-Crystal Palace press conference
Photo: Michael Regan.Getty Images

Marcelo Bielsa met with the press ahead of Leeds United hosting Crystal Palace at Elland Road. 

Leeds are looking for their third victory in their last four games as they host Palace - the side who got the better of them in the reverse fixture in London earlier in the season.

Here are the key moments from the Leeds boss as he addressed the most important topics heading into the 22nd match of the Whites' Premier League season.

On facing Crystal Palace

In the first meeting between the two sides on November 7th, the Eagles ran out 4-1 winners, thanks to goals from Scott Dann, Eberechi Eze, Jordan Ayew and an own goal from Helder CostaPatrick Bamford scored the lone Leeds goal.

"I'm trying to find an answer that would be worth it. If you saw the number 11 (Wilfried Zaha) and number 25 (Eberechi Eze) play, they are very good, which is the most significant thing I can add.

"The left full-back is very good attacking. Or that they have two players for every position in attack. When you analyse an opponent, those are the things that you take into account."

On the season so far

With Leeds exceeding expectations so far, sitting in 11th in the league table after being promoted, Bielsa was asked to reflect on the season up to this point after having been reluctant to do so when previously asked.

"If you use the reflections of what's happened up until now to predict the future, normally, there's very few times you get it correct.

"The most important thing is how the team plays throughout the competition and I prefer to give an opinion at the end of the season. This is logical because football is the biggest sport in the world because it's very unpredictable." 

On entertaining people across the footballing world

Leeds have drawn plaudits from people across football for their exciting style of play and Bielsa was as practical as ever when responding to the question.

"There's those who find it entertaining to face a side who concedes as many as we do. Our team, like all the other teams, we choose to play a certain style because we think it's what's going to bring us closer to winning.

"The most important factor of all is the capacity to unbalance each player in their positions. If you take into account, the form, the style, it brings you closer to the aspects that are most beautiful about the game, but the efficiency is what we most look for."

On facing a team with contrasting styles to recent opponents

Palace's style of play is different to recent clubs that Leeds have played, as Roy Hodgson's side like to concede possession and hit their opponents on the counter attack. Whereas Leicester City and Everton were more attacking.

"When the opponent gives you the ball, lets you be more of a protagonist in the game, there are three consequences. We can attack against an opponent in their own half, but we're going to defend with 40 metres of space behind our defenders.

"It would be difficult for me to pick what style i'd like to come up against. What I do like is to face a team who doesn't manage to do what they're trying to do."

On Pablo Hernandez' season 

Having been one of the best players in the club since joining in 2017, Bielsa feels Pablo Hernandez can continue to show his talents now Leeds have made the step up to the top flight.

"If I didn't think Pablo had the same possibilities as his teammates, and specifically, those who play in his position, I wouldn't have wanted him to be a part of the group.

"After the season goes by, game-by-game I take decisions. I have no certainty the decisions I take are the best ones, but I take them by closely evaluating the situation."

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