Date: 26th July 2019 at 1:29pm
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David Prutton’s recent comments in the Yorkshire Evening Post state that for Leeds to have the tag of favourites heading into the Championship season is a misrepresentation of the club’s actual promotion credentials.

Indeed, Leeds came within touching distance of the Premier League last term, but there was a huge downturn in form towards the back end of the season that simply can’t be ignored.

“Leeds are only favourites because of what happened last year and because of the size of the club,” said Prutton.

“I think it’s going to take another super human effort from a group of players that unless they are working off something vastly different in pre-season are going to have to try and repeat the same trick but with the opposition knowing what goes on behind the curtain.”

He’s spot on. Bielsa’s system took the Championship by storm last season, Leeds were dominant in their first few games as teams didn’t know what hit them. The Whites went unbeaten for the opening eight matches of the campaign with an aggregate score of 18-5 during that run.

It was scintillating stuff, and the incredible results reflected the amazing football they were playing. During this run they beat eventual champions Norwich City 3-0.

Of course, this run continued as Leeds remained top of the league at the turn of the new year, but from then onwards their form fell off a cliff.

In fact, from January 1 until the end of the season, Leeds’ form had them as the ninth-best team in the league, and they’ve not shown anything that suggests they’re likely to change that.

Leeds haven’t addressed their main problems from last season which were injuries, squad depth and finishing chances.

The Yorkshire club had a terrible injury record, and despite this Bielsa has apparently been training them even harder this summer.

Kemar Roofe has already succumbed to injury, and due to Leeds’ lack of depth up top they now only have one senior striker available for the opening day.

That fact also feeds into their finishing problems. Bielsa’s side had the worst conversion rate in the division last term, but they haven’t signed any new strikers during this window.

 

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