Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Gary Neville makes Leeds Utd relegation statement as he admits: ‘I never thought this could happen’

Gary Neville laughing

Gary Neville believes Leeds United remain in “big trouble” and still expects the Whites to go down ahead of Burnley and Everton this season.

With Norwich and Watford long since gone, the third relegation place is still to be decided going into the final week of the season. It is just one of a fascinating number of issues still to be decided with the season due to end on Sunday.

Everton missed the opportunity to make themselves safe after their nine-men surrendered a 2-1 advantage to lose 3-2 to Brentford. Burnley, meanwhile, were also beaten, having narrowly lost 1-0 to top-four chasers Tottenham.

And Leeds were the only side in the mix to pick up a result; their 1-1 draw at home to Brighton enough to claw out of the bottom three. Indeed, United were massively indebted to some Joe Gelhardt brilliance in teeing up Pascal Struijk’s injury-time equaliser.

His quick-thinking and audacious skill teed up the towering defender to nod home at the back post.

However, Everton and Burnley still have two games to play. The Toffees can make themselves safe with a win at home to Crystal Palace on Thursday.

On the same evening, Burnley will move above Leeds if they can take a point at Aston Villa.

Neville fears for Leeds Utd

And whatever happens at Villa Park, that will set up a tension-filled final day to see who falls back to the Championship.

And despite clawing their way out the drop zone, Neville reckons it is Leeds who face the dreaded drop.

“To me, I think Leeds are going to go down, by the way,” said Neville. “I think they are going to get caught.

“I might be wrong. But I think they are going to be in big trouble. They are in big trouble, Leeds.

“Financially, they will be under huge stress if they go down. Most teams are when they go down from the Premier League. That’s the huge gap that exists between the money in the Premier League and in the Championship.

“But I think Leeds, I never thought this could happen to them, they have got a massive week, as have Burnley and Everton as well. I think them two will get out of it.”

Leeds United, Burnley in final day relegation wait

Come Sunday at 6pm, one of Leeds and Burnley will be celebrating another year in the Premier League. For the other, they will have to face up to the realities of Championship football once again.

If Neville is right and Leeds United are to drop out, it would complete a miserable season for the Whites.

They have won just eight of their 37 matches played, losing 18 times.

They travel to in-form Brentford on the final day with Thomas Frank’s side gunning for a top-half finish. Furthermore, Leeds’ side is threadbare following a string of injuries and suspensions.

That said, they remain unbeaten in six games against sides outside the top six.

The Clarets, meanwhile, have a home date with Newcastle on the final day.

Mike Jackson’s side have won three of their last four at Turf Moor and know a win will see them safe if they can pick up a point at Villa.

Leeds boss Jesse Marsch, meanwhile, has told his players what they must do to ensure they avoid the drop.