A two-week break from English football = the perfect time to recap the balanced bottom half of the Premier League. This time we look at 14th place, where Leeds are. One of the main relegation candidates is still two points above the precipice.
Leeds bet on a risky route of American reinforcements with an American coach before the season, which didn’t work out too well. Coach Jesse Marsch was sacked in the winter and replaced by Javi Garcia, who hasn’t fared too well in recent years.
The young speedsters
Leeds is a rare example of a Premier League club that gives a lot of space to youngsters. The biggest diamond is 19-year-old Wilfried Gnonto – a skilful dribbler with a quality finish, he is a steady member of the Italian national team.
The whole squad, apart from the defence, has potential and a big part of their career ahead of them. Goalkeeper Iliano Messlier is 23 years old, eight of the 12 midfielders and strikers attacking the starting line-up were at most 24.
A bet on one card
Leeds are innocuous away from their ground, picking up points through a raucous home atmosphere. The latter can whip a youthful squad into a heroic performance, but one that at times lacks a goal scoring spearhead. Patrick Bamford hasn’t replicated the 2020/21 vintage so far.
The defensive performances are also unstable. It lacks any real personality or guarantee of quality, which every defensive side in the league apart from Nottingham and Bournemouth has. And Meslier is also prone to misses, even taking age into account.
The plan for the rest of the season
Leeds, like last year, will probably save themselves until the last few rounds. He will go into the next seasons with the same goal if he stays among the elite. Although there is money at the club, the quality of the squad is not yet up to playing for mid-table.
Leeds have perhaps the toughest lot in the league in the remaining rounds. From the big six it will challenge Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City, at home it will welcome three rivals in the fight for salvation (Crystal Palace, Leicester, Nottingham). Bournemouth and West Ham will be the two most competitive teams on the road.
Source: Premier League
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