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Is it Leeds United’s season to finally win promotion to the PL?

08 January 2019 | Championship | Articles
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Is it Leeds United’s season to finally win promotion to the PL?

It has been nearly 15 long years since Leeds United last graced the English Premier League.

The Whites have languished for a decade and a half in the Championship and even spent three humiliating seasons in League One. Now, after several false starts, Leeds could be on their way back to the top-flight.

Manager Marcelo Bielsa has done a remarkable job at Elland Road. In fact, many of his critics didn’t expect the Argentine manager to last to Christmas in charge of the club. Yet, Bielsa has thanks to leading Leeds to the top of the table and gaining 51 points from a possible 78. Two points separate Leeds and second-place Norwich City after 26 matches. But just eight points are the difference between Leeds and sixth-place Derby as the Championship continues to be an incredible knockdown, drag out fight.

Leeds are certainly not out of the woods and automatic promotion is far from guaranteed. The Whites have lost back to back games in the Championship, putting a dent in their hopes of winning the league. Those losses came to Hull and Nottingham Forest. The former is midtable and showing no signs of contending for promotion. The latter is a promotion playoff hopeful.

The Whites are in their ninth straight season in the Championship after gaining promotion from League One. In nine years, Leeds have never finished a Championship season higher than seventh place. It is a remarkable stat based on the club’s size and history.

It isn’t just losses in the Championship that have slowed Leeds’ momentum. Bielsa watched his team lose to Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup, 2-1, at the weekend. Leeds Achilles’ heel has been set pieces which resulted in their loss to QPR. They have conceded 10 set piece goals this term, the ninth highest total in the Championship. It is a figure that is completely damning for a promotion seeking club and one that could ultimately sink them.

Two of Leeds’ next four matches will see them play promotion chasing teams. The Whites will clash with Derby County on Friday night. A loss would narrow the gap between the two clubs to five points. In February, Bielsa will take his team up against Norwich. By the time the two sides meet at Elland Road, Norwich could have moved past Leeds into first place.

Leeds have set the pace for the Championship this term, but they are by no means certain for promotion. While Wolverhampton Wanderers ran away with the Championship last season and had it nearly wrapped up by this time, Leeds are fighting to preserve and extend their lead.

Predictions for Championship

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_2 CH
West BromwichBirmingham City
29/03/2019 20:00
1
flag_2 CH
Aston VillaBlackburn Rovers
30/03/2019 15:00
1
flag_2 CH
Derby CountyRotherham
30/03/2019 15:00
1
flag_2 CH
Ipswich TownHull City
30/03/2019 15:00
2

England Championship - predictions, tips, statistics
Regular Season
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Norwich City 78 38 23 9 6 77 48 29
2. Sheffield United 74 38 22 8 8 64 34 30
3. Leeds United 73 38 22 7 9 63 39 24
4. West Bromwich 67 38 19 10 9 72 48 24
5. Middlesbrough 58 37 15 13 9 40 31 9
6. Aston Villa 57 38 14 15 9 68 54 14
7. Preston North End 57 38 15 12 11 58 50 8
8. Derby County 56 37 15 11 11 46 44 2
9. Bristol City 55 36 15 10 11 45 38 7
10. Sheffield Wednesday 55 38 14 13 11 48 51 -3
11. Nottingham Forest 54 38 13 15 10 52 44 8
12. Hull City 51 38 14 9 15 54 56 -2
13. Birmingham City 50 38 12 14 12 53 49 4
14. Brentford 49 37 13 10 14 60 50 10
15. Swansea City 47 36 13 8 15 45 46 -1
16. Stoke City 47 38 10 17 11 37 42 -5
17. Blackburn Rovers 47 38 12 11 15 52 60 -8
18. QPR 44 38 12 8 18 45 59 -14
19. Wigan Athletic 39 38 10 9 19 41 57 -16
20. Millwall 37 37 9 10 18 41 55 -14
21. Reading 37 38 8 13 17 40 56 -16
22. Rotherham 36 38 7 15 16 40 61 -21
23. Bolton Wanderers 29 38 7 8 23 26 63 -37
24. Ipswich Town 24 38 3 15 20 30 62 -32

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