Leeds United receive Premier League pardon as 15-game streak warning issued
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Leeds still find themselves outside the drop-zone despite losing three times and drawing once in their four matches. This is largely due to Everton, Nottingham Forest and Southampton failing to win in each of their last five matches – but it would be unreasonable to assume that trend will continue.
Despite recent heavy defeats by Crystal Palace and Liverpool, a limp display at Fulham and an inability to hold on to three points at home to Leicester City, Leeds remain two points clear of Everton in 18th place. With five games remaining, three of which against sides currently in the top half, there is a pressing need for points at Elland Road.
The Whites’ recent run under head coach Javi Gracia could have seen the team plunged into the bottom three if results had gone against them, ut by some stroke of good fortune, they didn’t. Southampton squandered a 3-1 lead at Arsenal while Nottingham Forest narrowly lost out to Liverpool last weekend, matches which could have acted as a catalyst to those situated at the foot of the table.
If Leeds are to stay up at the end of the season, it is unlikely they will have themselves to thank, but instead the ineptitude of their positional rivals. However, another winless streak of 15 games, spread across three teams, is not only highly improbable but unthinkable heading into the final five rounds of the Premier League season.
Forest and Southampton face each other on May 8, while Everton take on Leicester City and Bournemouth on May 1 and 28, respectively. It would be reasonable to assume at least one of the sides currently in the drop-zone will pick up maximum points from one of those fixtures.
Additionally, the fight shown by Forest and Southampton in their recent run-ins with Liverpool and Arsenal suggests that less predictable scorelines could also be on the horizon; teams do tend to pick up more surprising results at this time of the season.
If Leeds’ relegation rivals pick up three points, then so must they, but as shown this season, that is easier said than done. Gracia’s side have 15 points to play for. If they fail to win any of their five remaining games, there can be few complaints if those currently below them take matters into their own hands.