For last Saturday's game, we all were focused on picking up maximum points from the three remaining fixtures. We overlooked Burton. For that, we paid a big price and lost the game. We now find ourselves somewhat cut adrift from the top six and desperately need others to help us if we are to sneak into the playoffs.
The collapse of the team over the last month has been monumental. We have only accumulated 4 points out of a possible 18 available since we beat Brighton in March. 4 from 18!!
I understand that at the beginning of the season we would have given our left arms to be where we are now. But there’s no denying that this season is now a failure if we don’t get in the playoffs. The facts don’t lie: we were comfortably in the playoff positions and the international break between the 18th of March and the 1st of April stopped all momentum: Leeds haven’t yet recovered.
That said, if the players can get back on track and some long overdue luck descends upon the Might Whites, Leeds still have a reasonable chance of making the top six. Reading, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield & Fulham can still mathematically drop out of the playoff positions - and where there’s a possibility we have hope to drive us forward.
I've given myself a stern talking to & wiped my nose.— MikeT/AdrianTeakdesk (@Mike_J_Thornton) April 24, 2017
can all drop out of playoffs.
Keep Fighting! pic.twitter.com/6eP88zFeRf
So once again, I have a look at all the fixtures for the playoff contenders in the coming week to see where Leeds may be coming Saturday evening.
Here’s this weekend’s outlook:
Leeds vs. Norwich
Leeds need three points at home against Norwich to stand a chance of making the playoffs, so in the interest of the article (and my heart), I am obviously going with a Leeds win. The game will be very difficult as the Norwich players will be playing for their place in next season’s squad, but Elland Road will be sold out and if we can recreate that atmosphere from the fixture in EFL cup in October we will be ok.
Wolves vs Huddersfield & Birmingham vs Huddersfield
Huddersfield have stagnated over the last weeks and have only had 1 win in the last four, making their position in the playoffs not yet confirmed. However, they do benefit from a game in hand and tonight they travel to the Midlands to visit a decent Wolves side. I think the fixture might be tricky for Huddersfield, and I think they may only draw 1-1.
They will be back in the midlands on Saturday to visit Birmingham. Birmingham have had a torrid time and I can’t see that getting any better and I expect Huddersfield to win 3-1 and grab their place in the playoffs. If Huddersfield don’t take advantage of their game in hand and lose these two, their goal difference is so poor that Leeds could trump them on that, so here’s hoping.
Reading vs Wigan
Credit to boring Reading: except for the 7-1 defeat to Norwich, they have won when it is needed and sit third. Third. On Saturday, they play a Wigan side on the brink in a game I expect they will win 2-0 and guarantee their position in the top 6 but, like Huddersfield, their goal difference is dreadful and that could be their downfall should they slip up. (That Reading is +1 on the season and in third place is almost offensive.)
Ipswich vs Sheffield Wednesday
Portman Road can be a difficult place for any club to visit, and Sheffield Wednesday do have a poor record against the Tractor Boys. I think Wednesday will lose on Saturday 1-0 and give us a chance... Wednesday host Fulham the week after, and I think they’ll points to ensure their place.
Fulham vs Brentford
Going on the current form of Fulham, people may think this game is a forgone conclusion - but Brentford are in decent form themselves and have registered comfortable wins against Leeds, Derby and Queen Park Rangers in recent weeks so you can’t discount them in the game. However, I do think Fulham will nick the points 3-2 and with their superior goal difference make the 4.
Predictions For Sunday Morning's Table
Overall, Leeds need to win - period. If they do that, then the chase could still be on. Nothing is guaranteed at this stage and this season has already surprised numerous times. We’ve been through it all together and maybe - just maybe - this season will surprise us again. MOT.