Marcelo Bielsa is going to play a 3-3-1-3 formation with Leeds United this season

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Marcelo Bielsa’s attempts to win promotion to the Premier League with Leeds United last season ended in disappointment.

The Whites were firmly poised to go up in their first season under Bielsa until a late collapse saw them finish in the play-off spots.

And they were beaten by Derby County in the play-off semi-final, bringing a once hopeful season to a crushing end.

Bielsa will try once again to reach the summit of English football this season.

And this time around, he’s going back to a tried-and-tested formula.

Bielsa has played a 3-3-1-3 formation during pre-season and he looks set to make the switch permanent, having used 4-3-3/4-1-4-1 for the majority of the previous campaign.

The 64-year-old used a 3-3-1-3 formation during his time as Chile manager and his Leeds players lined up in the revolutionary formation in their pre-season friendly against Cagliari last weekend, which finished 1-1.

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Bielsa's 3-3-1-3 system

The formation includes three central defenders, two wingbacks/wide midfielders either side of a deep-lying midfielder, a creative midfielder in the hole and three attackers.

The system is very fluid and will suit Leeds, who have several attacking options.

Check out the breakdown from @AllStatsArentWe on Twitter.

The Daily Mail note that the formation has never been seen before in English football.

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Last summer Chris Taylor, known as @LUFCDATA on Twitter, broke down Bielsa’s 3-3-1-3 formation for LeedsLive.

“Bielsa has admitted being heavily influenced by the Netherlands sides of the 1970s, and developed an early style inspired by the Total Football philosophy of Rinus Michels, where sides would regularly interchange between 4-3-3 and 3-4-3 formations," Taylor wrote.

“Bielsa is now famed for using a flexible 3-3-1-3 system with a firm emphasis on fluidity.

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“His players are tasked with switching positions with teammates seamlessly, using their mobility to outrun and overload opponents in key areas.

“His trademark 3-3-1-3 can easily morph into a 5-4-1 with wing-backs and wide forwards tucking into shape without the ball.

“Bielsa has also adopted a fluid 4-2-3-1 system at Bilbao and Marseille.

“He transformed his Chile and Argentina sides to playing in a 3-3-1-3 systems despite receiving substantial scepticism, before they showed signs of progress.”

Just like last season, Bielsa’s Leeds are going to be must-watch this year.

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