Leeds United’s Northern Ireland international Stuart Dallas had a good preseason, scoring some impressive goals. So while it’s not necessarily been a surprise that Kemar Roofe and Gianni Alioski have been preferred to him for the two league matches against Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End, the Fulham match on Tuesday would give head coach Thomas Christiansen a chance to introduce some squad rotation on the wings and give Stuart Dallas his first League start this season.
In the final preseason game for Leeds against Oxford United, Stuart Dallas came on in the second half and provided an excellent goal cutting in from the left hand wing to shoot on his favored right foot. This performance capped off a pretty decent preseason campaign for the winger. Currently Kemar Roofe, who also had an excellent game against his former team, and Gianni Alioski are both preferred to Dallas in the first team. Alioski has been used on the left by Christiansen, although the two wingers did swap sides at one point against Preston.
Dallas did not even make the bench against Bolton, which left many pundits and fans a little surprised. Hadi Sacko was the preferred winger to be on the bench against Bolton, and he looked poor when he came on. Dallas did start last week against Port Vale and it was his cross that bounced off the crossbar for Saiz to collect that created the first goal for Leeds against Vale.
Last Leeds sub: Borthwick-Jackson off, Stuart Dallas on. 82nd minute. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 12, 2017
Dallas was introduced late in the match against Preston as Leeds were chasing a goal to break the draw, but he barely played and didn’t have a big impact on the match. Roofe, Alioski’s usual partner on the wings, seemed off against Preston and didn’t seem to ever settle into a groove in the match. It could have been from the physical nature of the play of Preston, or simply Roofe didn’t have a very good match. Either way, perhaps the Fulham game will provide an opportunity for Roofe to take a rest.
Giving Stuart Dallas the start on the left wing opposite Gianni Alioski on the right wing against Fulham would allow Alioski the chance to play on the right wing, where he looks more comfortable, and if Saiz starts at the number 10, attacking midfield position, it will allow Alioski and Saiz to once again work some of the chemistry that they showed against Port Vale. Sacko wasn’t very good against Bolton and was quite poor against Port Vale. It was telling that all of the three of the goals were scored after he came off the pitch for Alioski. Having Dallas once again play during the midweek game will allow Christiansen to keep the players fresh, as another big match against Sunderland looms on Saturday.