Ex-Leeds United man explains Aston Villa and Newcastle United predictions for Burnley games

Aston Villa and Newcastle United will do their utmost to ensure Leeds United's season ends on a high, says Tony Dorigo.

By Graham Smyth
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 6:25 am

The former Whites defender has faith that Burnley's next two opponents will set out to beat the Clarets instead of coasting through the final minutes of the Premier League campaign.

Leeds sit a point above 18th-placed Burnley, whose game in hand comes tonight at Villa. The Whites then travel to Brentford on Sunday, while Burnley welcome Newcastle to Turf Moor in what will be a shoot-out for survival.

Everton are still in the mix too having been held by already-relegated Watford and beaten by Brentford. The Toffees are a point clear of Leeds and their game in hand also takes place tonight, at home to Crystal Palace, before Sunday's trip to Arsenal.

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It has been a tough season for all three relegation-threatened clubs, with managerial changes, injury problems and a struggle for consistency in performances in results.

For Leeds, Dorigo believes survival was the ultimate aim at the start of the season, so they can still finish with relative positivity, by achieving that.

"Staying in the Premier League will be a high note to finish on," he told the YEP.

"I think right at the start of the season I always looked at it and thought we'd have been just above the bottom five or six. We're not actually not too many points off that, but enough to be in plenty of trouble. It is just about survival, simple as that and come Sunday it will be either commiserations or celebrations, there is nothing in between. If we can survive that'd be brilliant and we can then crack on next season and learn from these lessons and move forward.

BIG FAVOURS - Leeds United need favours from Aston Villa and Newcastle United and Tony Dorigo believes both sides will be out to beat Burnley. Pic: Getty

"If not, it'll be hugely, hugely disappointing, but at the moment, I think I'm still extremely positive."

One of the reasons for Dorigo's optimism is what he's seen and heard from the teams facing Burnley in their final two outings.

Newcastle United beat Champions League chasing Arsenal 2-0 on Monday night, while Dorigo's old Elland Road team-mate Gary McAllister, assistant manager to Villa boss Steven Gerrard, has insisted they have plenty of motivation, with a top-half finish still mathematically obtainable.

"I looked at the way Newcastle played their role against Arsenal," said Dorigo, who cautions that Leeds must still also help themselves as much as possible with a final day victory over the Bees.

"I talked to Gary Mac, about Aston Villa, and he told me they are really keen to push hard in the league. There's quite a few reasons why the players need to do that, with bonuses and things soit all points to two good teams trying solidly to go for that win against Burnley.

"But we still have to think we're going to go into Brentford and win as well."