MARCELO Bielsa’s determination to keep Leeds United on the front foot will be tested by in-form Burnley at Elland Road on Sunday (noon kick-off).

The Whites’ coach came in for plenty of media criticism for his side’s gung-ho approach in the crushing 6-2 defeat at Manchester United last Sunday – but he won’t be changing his tactics.

He said: “When we lose there are questions about the style of play and when we win we are praised for it.

“We will correct what is bad and try to keep the good things, but we will not abandon the way we play.”

Sunday’s clash at Elland Road will be a battle between idealism and pragmatism.

Bielsa loves his teams to attack, no matter who they are playing. He likes to win with style. Free-flowing Leeds have rarely achieved scruffy victories during the Argentinian maestro’s watch.

In contrast, resolute Burnley are one of the Premier League’s most well-drilled defensive outfits. Manager Sean Dyche has done a marvellous job at a relatively small club with modest gates and not an awful lot of cash in modern-day football terms. After a slow start they have moved out of the relegation zone on the back two wins and a couple of draws in their last four games.

How Bielsa plans to deal with the Clarets, who usually play in a traditional 4-4-2 formation with physical, direct, effective football, will be fascinating. Burnley’s strengths are United’s weakness.

Their team is packed with height and power. At the back James Tarkowski and Ben Mee are rock-solid, backed up by the towering Nick Pope, the former York City loanee, in goal.

At the other end, strikers Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood – both scorers in Monday’s 2-1 win against Wolves – are a big physical presence.

Both Wood and York-born full-back Charlie Taylor will be making their first return to Elland Road since switching to Turf Moor in summer 2017.

Burnley are a huge danger at set-pieces – an area where Leeds are especially vulnerable.

It’s Bielsa’s preference to have three centre-backs when facing two strikers like Wood and Barnes. Just who that trio will be is the conundrum.

Robin Kock is still recovering from knee surgery, Diego Llorente only returned to training this week from injury and the Whites are sweating on the fitness of skipper Liam Cooper, who hobbled off 13 minutes from the end of Sunday’s Old Trafford tanking.

Bielsa’s options could be limited to Luke Ayling and Leif Davis - both full-backs - Pascal Struijk, midfield general Kalvin Phillips or rookies Charlie Cresswell and Oliver Casey.

Whatever defensive combination Bielsa goes with, it will be severely tested. Against Manchester United, Leeds were destroyed by brilliant counter-attacking football. Burnley will offer a completely different, but dangerous, challenge.

Cardiff City are reportedly interested in taking Leeds striker Sam Greenwood on loan in January. The England youth international, who joined Leeds from Arsenal for £1.5m in the summer, has yet to make his first team debut for the Whites.