We used to do a version of it when I played rugby as a kid but our murderball was nothing like the murderball that Marcelo Bielsa has Leeds United playing as they look to gain peak fitness. Nothing like it at all.

Bielsa’s version is intense beyond intense as plyers run and run with the ball in continual play. If it goes out of play, a coach is there ready to instantly throw a ball back onto the field of play. High octane doesn’t even come close to describing the lung-bursting intensity that Bielsa has his players perform this session at.

The Yorkshire Evening Post, in an article written by Joe Urquhart, confirms that Leeds United’s training schedule involved “four murderball sessions” with the Whites gearing up to nip down to Stoke for a run-out against Michael O’Neill’s Stoke City side at their Clayton Wood training ground.

Leeds turned over O’Neill’s Potters side 5-0 in one of the final games of last season. It was a display of all-out running football that was so incisive that it cut the Staffordshire outfit to shreds. After one passage of United play, O’Neill simply shrugged. There was nothing his side could do to stem the tide that threatened to engulf them.

Stoke will be helped by the fact that Leeds will be missing a plethora of players due to international call-ups but the Potters need to not rest easy on that point. They will face a Leeds United outfit coming to run them into the ground. After four sessions of murderball, this game will be like a cool-down for them.

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