But our Yorkshire Evening Post fans’ jury remains, on the whole, hopeful of turning the relegation tide in the Whites’ remaining two fixtures, starting with Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon.
It’s hard to know where to start with this one; we know that only a win will do for Leeds and it is probably our biggest game since Bristol Rovers back in May 2010.
By the time we kick off, Burnley will have finished their game away at Tottenham which starts at 12, so we will have a better idea of what is needed against the Seagulls on Sunday afternoon. Team selection is intriguing with Dan James added to the absentees and there will be question marks over the fitness of Jack Harrison and possibly Raphinha after both went off against Chelsea. The biggest quandary facing Jesse Marsch is the availability of Patrick Bamford who hasn’t played since Wolves away in March.
The visitors arrive in West Yorkshire in fine fettle having demolished Manchester United 4-0 last time out. Amazingly 40 years to the day on Sunday, Leeds beat Brighton 2-1 at a sun-drenched Elland Road, but failed to beat the drop.
I’m hoping for the same outcome but different end result next weekend.
Prediction: Leeds United 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 1.
I’m not usually one to be pessimistic in the Jury but, at the moment, it feels like we’re watching Leeds in hope of a miracle rather than in expectation of the possible.
The performance against Chelsea on Wednesday lacked bravery and spirit, and the team looked like one already resigned to relegation rather than one with survival to fight for.
However, this is no time for the players to feel sorry for themselves.
Brighton could be capable of getting any result at Elland Road; it’s impossible to predict which way this will go. United have lost key players for the run-in, while the Seagulls have found some form.
The visitors will play without the burden of pressure, while Leeds look like a side struggling to cope.
Of course, it can all change and a result on Sunday will make the picture look better, but it’s difficult to see how that may happen right now.
Football has an incredible ability to surprise you. Let’s hope that, come Sunday night, we have one.
Prediction: Leeds United 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 1.
When you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, there is not a lot you can do apart from showing the same character that got you to the place [the Premier League] you are in.
The Leeds players, all of them on duty, owe the fans for their support and, on Sunday, they need to show it whether they are about to be relegated or, if not, do enough to make sure they give themselves a chance of staying up.
Brighton are the team that Leeds face to pull the curtains down on a forgettable season at Elland Road.
The south-coast side has done superbly recently, taking three points on their travels at Spurs and Arsenal and, last weekend, demolishing Man U 4-0, but most teams beat them anyway these days. They have surpassed their normal win total for the season, usually nine and have a chance to finish in the top 10 this season. That, for them, is a successful season.
Four years hard graft is on the line and, just for once, I’ll be positive; I reckon we will beat Brighton to give us a little hope going into the last game of the season at Brentford.
Prediction: Leeds United 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 1.
Not even the faintest glimmer of hope shone through from United’s sad and sorry performance against Chelsea.
Their performance bore all the hallmarks of a side resigned to relegation. The early concession of the game’s first goal, the first-half dismissal of Dan James and injuries to Jack Harrison and Raphinha were all events that had a depressingly familiar ring to them. Everton’s 0-0 draw against the awful Watford gave them a point that effectively means that Burnley remain the only one of our fellow strugglers who can replace United in the 18th spot.
Burnley COULD lose all of their remaining three matches but, for United to profit from this, the Whites would have to pick up at least one point themselves. This is the problem. Unless Leeds can summon up hidden reserves of strength and fortitude then their Premier League adventure really will come to an end.
Brighton have had a solid season and possess a thoughtful and competent coach. I can’t see a home win but, in football, you never know.
Prediction: Leeds United 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 2.
Well, that Chelsea result means it is a full house of defeats against the so-called big-six! Played 12, lost 12, goals for eight, goals against 47! If we do go down, then we really don’t need to look farther than that!
The Brighton game now looks like the last chance saloon, although we won’t know for sure until the season has ended and we know all the other results.
Many folks are saying that Burnley will not get another point and hence we will only need one more ourselves.
But we can’t go into these final two games thinking that and it has to be a case of all or nothing.
Somehow, we have to shake ourselves up, find some form and hope to goodness that we are not as bad, or as naïve, as these last two games suggest.
Already without Luke Ayling, we now go into the final two games without Dan James as well – although at least that will force us to go away from playing the three wingers.
Maybe with just the two we will have them playing where they are best suited … on the wings!
Prediction: Leeds United 4 Brighton & Hove Albion 0.