Leeds United are the team under the most pressure in the Championship, a level that West Bromwich Albion will not be under, according to Sky Sports pundit Andy Hinchcliffe, in conversation on The Debate.
At present, Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds sit five points clear of third-placed Fulham after 35 games played.
The Elland Road side has won their last three Championship games by one goal to nil, putting an end to the poor form which affected the Whites at the turn of the year.
However, Leeds and West Brom were streets ahead earlier this season, and when they played out their 1-1 draw on New Year’s Day, they were both nine points clear of third place.
“The only problem with Leeds is that Leeds are under the most pressure in the Championship,” Hinchcliffe told Sky Sports. “They’re not under the same pressure that West Brom are under. After what happened last season – we know what the fans are like at Elland Road, every time they play the noise there is absolutely relentless. I think the team can sometimes be a bit frazzled by it.
“The pressure that they’re under – they want Marcelo Bielsa to stay as well, if they don’t go up there’s a good chance that he could be going so the pressure on them is far more than it was last season. People criticise them because of the chances that they miss but I still think they’re a very good side and will get promoted.”
Leeds fans have experienced a pretty rough ride for much of the 21st century, financial issues contributing to their relegation from the Premier League in 2004, and then years in the Football League wilderness – even dropping into League One – before numerous failed attempts at reaching the top flight.
Last season was painful in a different manner – the legendary Bielsa turning Leeds into an exciting, swashbuckling outfit which looked set for automatic promotion, only to lose form, end up in the playoffs and fall agonisingly short.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that there is so much pressure to see Leeds finally right the wrongs of the past 16 plus years, and once again sit at the top table of English football – and with 11 games to go, things are looking good so far.