Lots of reasons to believe Leeds United can still survive and send Burnley down - David Prutton

Leeds United just have to do their job at Brentford on Sunday and then pray.

By David Prutton
Saturday, 21st May 2022, 4:45 am

Ashley Barnes showed nerves of steel to net Burnley’s penalty that led to their 1-1 draw at Aston Villa on Thursday, a result which has left United’s destiny out of their own hands due to their goal difference.

I think if you are a Leeds fan there was always that kind of massively optimistic view that potentially things could go their way in Thursday’s games so it was on their shoulders on the final day.

But I think realistically we all kind of knew that this would probably not be the case and now it’s going to take the combination of a win or a draw at Brentford and a Hail Mary really in the game between Burnley and Newcastle United at Turf Moor.

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NAIL-BITER: For Leeds United and boss Jesse Marsch, right, heading into the final day of the Premier League campaign. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.

But it is ultimately very possible for Leeds to survive because of how the maths work and it’s not like we are looking at an Everton situation where they are categorically safe after Thursday’s 3-2 win against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park.

Having seen Newcastle since Eddie Howe took over, they could quite comprehensively beat Burnley on Sunday.

It’s that final day of the season, you want them to be at their best and on their mettle.

Having looked at Eddie’s teams, he is not just going to let them go out there and enjoy themselves.

You can’t hide the importance of where you finish in the Premier League table when you are safe because finances dictate that the higher up that you finish, the more money that you earn at the end of the year.

There’s that to consider, even though Newcastle are obviously one of the richest clubs on the planet.

But there’s also personal pride that comes into the players that are involved in that.

Burnley know that scrapping out a win at Turf Moor will be enough for them because of that killer month or six weeks that Leeds had when they were just absolutely shipping goals in.

Leeds are also coming up against a Brentford side who have been absolutely phenomenal since March.

The Bees have shown how to assert themselves in the Premier League as a newly-promoted team, a lot like Leeds did in their first season in the Prem.

But it’s not idiotically optimistic to think that Leeds will still stay up and I can see it happening, I absolutely can see it happening.

I’ve been involved in a final day when I was at Southampton in 2005 and we were one of three teams possibly who could go down.

The permutations changed throughout the actual 90 minutes and we had to get a result against Manchester United.

Man United made changes but it was the proper incarnation of what Man United is. A proper team so it was always going to be tough and we fell short.

Leeds need that combination of not falling short from a results point of view and hoping that someone else, ie Burnley messes up.

It will obviously be very tough at Brentford, as Leeds have found across the board at a lot of places they have been to this season.

It’s been a struggle at times, it’s been a fight at times, it’s been attritional at times, but that was always going to be the case.

People kind of assume that getting into the Premier League is the hardest bit.

It was the hardest part of the first bit but then the next monumental task presents itself which is to keep yourself in it.

It’s akin to getting to the top of an Everest style mountain and coming over the hill and then seeing the next range of things that you have got to climb as well.

That’s exactly what it is and there’s no getting away from the fact that it will be a very tough task for Leeds at Brentford.

But all they can focus on is getting the win, regardless of how it happens and regardless of what it looks like.

Then you just have to keep your fingers crossed with regards to what goes on at Burnley.

That’s all you can do.