5 reasons why Leeds United will be promoted to the Premier League
Sam Barnard | 2 January 2017
5 reasons Leeds United will be promoted
Leeds United’s anthem ‘Leeds, Leeds, Leeds’ is one of the most renowned in football, but in the last few years the lyrics have become more ironic than iconic with the words “Marching on together, we’re gonna see you win” being chanted before every game.
However, this season, the Whites have really picked up the pace in the Championship, after a slow start to life under new boss Garry Monk, as they find themselves in the play-offs after 23 games (exactly half-way into the season) and with breathing space.
While automatic promotion seems unlikely as Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion are miles ahead, they are still brilliant 5/1 chances with betting partners Coral to return to the promised land of the Premier League for the first time since 2003/04.
So, read on to find out five reasons why Leeds will be promoted…
While Leeds are the joint-10th highest in the second-tier in terms of goals scored, it is their defence that has been most impressive, particularly in the last 16 games after they overcame a poor start.
The Yorkshire outfit have conceded just 12 from those matches, and only Newcastle, Brighton, Derby County and Aston Villa have let in fewer overall this season.
It is largely thanks to the efforts of on loan centre back duo Pontus Jansson and Kyle Bartley, from Torino and Swansea City respectively, as well as full backs Luke Ayling and in-demand Charlie Taylor.
The quartet have been Monk’s first choice for the season, and any new January signings that come in will find it very hard to oust them.
Spreading goals about
Former Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion frontman Chris Wood may be having one of his best ever seasons, having bagged 14 goals in all competitions so far – 11 of which have been in the Championship – but other Leeds stars have also chipped in to help the New Zealander out.
Fellow attackers Souleymane Doukara, Kemar Roofe, Marcus Antonsson and Pablo Hernandez, as well as Bartley, all have at least three goals this term.
While, the efforts of Hadi Sacko and midfield teenage starlet Ronaldo Vieira have not gone unnoticed either, with the former adding four assists to his two strikes and latter showing great maturity.
Key players back from injury
Despite a number of players spending spells on the sidelines, Leeds have managed to cope without the likes of club captain Liam Bridcutt, Gaetano Berardi, Hernandez and Eunan O’Kane for large chunks of the season.
Thankfully, though, the former trio are now back in action, and the return of Bridcutt in particular will be a great help in centre midfield to give young-guns Vieira and Kalvin Phillips a break.
The pair have done well to cover, along with 21-year-old pair Alex Mowatt and Matt Grimes, but the experience of Scotland international Bridcutt will be a big help.
Possible funds in January
Although with the above section saying that Leeds’ players are returning to fitness, Monk has suggested that he wants more recruits this January to help his promotion charge.
As mentioned too, while the Whites’ defence is very solid, an injury or possible departure of Taylor, who is out of contract at the end of the season, would leave them struggling for cover.
Meanwhile, with injury issues in midfield, could there may be an early return for Lewis Cook, who has played just three times for Bournemouth since his summer transfer from Elland Road. Like Fabian Delph in 2012, the 19-year-old would be welcomed back with open arms, even if only for a loan spell.
In attack, Wood will also need more pressure taken off him up front, so the club have been rumoured to make an offer for former England players Dave Nugent from Middlesbrough or out-of-favour Stoke City striker Peter Crouch.
Stability of Monk
Finally, in Garry Monk, Leeds have a very level-headed boss, who at just 37 years of age is one of England’s up-and-coming managers.
The former Swansea defender most notably led the Welsh outfit to an incredible eighth place in the Premier League in 2014/15, and has already showed signs of his ability with Leeds.
In complete contrast to controversial owner Massimo Cellino, the stability of Monk has got Leeds fans dreaming once again after so many years in the wilderness.
“We are so proud, we shout it out loud, we love you Leeds, Leeds, Leeds” has certainly been chanted with more meaning of late at Elland Road, and who’s to say that Monk won’t be the man to lead the march back into the Premier League this season?
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