Leeds United

Leeds United


Marsch outlines Leeds masterplan to send Burnley down instead, with Bamford potentially key

Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch

Jesse Marsch has backed Leeds United to score early against Brentford to pile Premier League relegation pressure on Burnley.

The Whites, Burnley and Everton have been fighting to avoid the drop for a number of weeks. However, Everton secured their top-flight status with Thursday’s dramatic comeback against Crystal Palace.

As a result, it will come down to a final-day battle between Leeds and Burnley to decide who will join Norwich and Watford in the Championship next season.

While Marsch’s side face Brentford away from home in Sunday’s final day, Burnley are at home to Newcastle.

Speaking on Friday, Marsch revealed that he also kept an eye on Burnley’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on Thursday. He is therefore looking forward to the final-day showdown.

“I watched the matches last night, there was lots of emotions watching it,” the manager told his pre-match press conference.

“We can learn a lot from how the other players can handle the pressure differently.

We want to be aggressive, we know we want to win. If we win we give ourselves the best chance.

“I’ve been in these situations before, if it’s the last day you need to know a bit of what’s going on in the other matches. I’ll have communication with the team at half-time.

“We have to start well, get an early lead. Put pressure on Burnley. We’ve got to focus on ourselves, but also know what’s going on.”

Bamford could boost Marsch hopes

Jesse Marsch on the Leeds United touchline

Leeds will hope striker Patrick Bamford can fire them to Premier League safety.

The 28-year-old has endured a torrid time with injury this term, suffering ankle and hamstring issues and the reoccurrence of a long-term foot issue which has recently kept him out.

Indeed, Bamford rushed himself back in a clash with Wolves in March and has not featured since. However, he could feature against Brentford in what could prove a massive boost.

“Bamford has looked really good this week,” Marsch said. “I’ve not made a decision on Sunday yet. He had a day off today, hopefully we can make a decision in the next couple of days about Sunday.

“He’s looked good all week, rupturing it was the best thing for long-term recovery. He feels better than he did. Let’s prepare him the best way we can for as many minutes as possible.

“Secondly, congratulations to Everton on staying up.

We’re excited for this challenge. We know we have to be at our best. I never came here to think it would be easy, I knew we’d have to fight for everything. I’ll make sure we’ll do this on Sunday.”

Leeds, Burnley battling relegation

Relegation for either side will prove tough to take for different reasons.

Leeds had to wait 16 years to get back into the Premier League in 2020 and so they will not want to go back down after only two seasons.

Burnley, meanwhile, have come through three relegation scares since they came back up in 2016. Last season, they finished 17th and will want the same finish this time around.

Burnley have proved their mettle when the going gets tough, but they will do well to beat a 12th-placed Newcastle team who have come a long way from the relegation trouble they were in earlier in the season.

Brentford, meanwhile, have come through their own poor form and want to finish their first season in the top flight in style with a home win.