Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Pundit slams Leeds for ‘playing as if they’re safe’ and hits Jesse Marsch with relegation reality check

Jesse Marsch, Leeds v Southampton April 2022

Gabby Agbonlahor has warned that Leeds United have become the team to watch in the Premier League relegation battle after further Everton and Burnley wins.

The Whites’ threat of relegation set in towards the end of Marcelo Bielsa’s reign at the club. The Argentine lost five of his final seven games in charge with an aggregate scoreline of 23-7 against Leeds.

Current boss Jesse Marsch has overseen something of a resurgence in recent weeks. Despite two defeats to start his reign, the American has orchestrated three wins and an unbeaten run of five matches in the subsequent six games.

Leeds headed into last weekend in 16th with 34 points, with Everton in 18th on 29. Burnley sat 17th with 31 points.

But Leeds’ unbeaten run came to an abrupt end with a 4-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday. Meanwhile, Burnley and Everton both won against Watford and Chelsea, respectively, to put Leeds firmly in the relegation mix again.

While Everton stayed 18th, they are now only two points behind Leeds and Burnley, who are separated by goal difference. The Toffees also have a game in hand over their rivals.

As a result, Agbonlahor insisted that Leeds need a reality check over their struggles to stay up, especially given their remaining games.

“Leeds, for me, were playing as if they’re safe,” the pundit told talkSPORT after the 4-0 loss to City.

“If they go into the dressing room after the game and look at the table it shows that Leeds are on 34 points, behind Burnley and with the worst goal difference out of the three teams fighting to stay in the Premier League.

“Their four fixtures, I’m looking at them. Arsenal, they’re fighting for the Champions League. Chelsea at home, they’ll want to finish on a high.

“Brighton have just beaten Wolves, so that’s not going to be easy and then Brentford in the last game of the season.

Leeds are in big trouble and could be the team that I’m looking at going down.

“Forget Burnley and Everton, I think that Leeds are in big trouble.”

Leeds fixtures compared to Everton, Burnley

Jesse Marsch, Leeds United manager, celebrates their win over Wolves at Molineux

As for Everton and Burnley’s final games, the Toffees play Leicester away, Watford away and Brentford and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park before travelling to Arsenal on the final day.

Burnley, meanwhile, face Aston Villa, Tottenham, Villa again and Newcastle in their final game.

Everton have come through the toughest run of fixtures to still be in the mix.

They have beaten both Manchester United and Chelsea at Goodison Park, which is proving their lifeline.

Leeds competed well in the first half and early in the second half against City, but the champions eventually ground out the win to put Marsch and his side under more pressure.