Not make or break but Leeds United don't need two weeks looking below dotted line

They are all big games at this level.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 12:09 pm
Updated Friday, 1st October 2021, 12:10 pm

Manchester United, the club's arch rivals, followed by the visit of Everton upon the full return of fans to Elland Road.

Then there was what looked like the perfect opportunity to bag a first win of the new season at Burnley (it didn't turn out that way) followed by three more biggies in Liverpool, Newcastle and then West Ham.

The list goes on.

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STILL SEARCHING: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, above, after his side's wait for a first Premier League win of the new season went on after last weekend's defeat at home to West Ham. Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.

But Saturday afternoon's contest against Watford at Elland Road really does feel especially important given Leeds United' s winless start, the opposition and also the timing.

Watford are no mugs, absolutely not, and winger Ismaila Sarr is likely to be a particular threat, fresh from his nomination for the September Premier League player of the month award.

Despite being a newly-promoted side, the Hornets are six places higher than Leeds in the early table and already have two wins under their belt, an opening day 3-2 triumph against Aston Villa and a 3-1 success at Norwich City.

But Saturday's visitors are ultimately still third favourites to go down behind Norwich City and Newcastle United and whilst nobody would dream of belittling the opposition, the fixture is about as good as it is going to get for Leeds right now in their bid to finally bag a first win of the new campaign.

If they don't, the Whites are highly likely to be spending the October international break in the drop zone and nobody wants two weeks of looking at that.

Leeds are better than that.

It's why Marcelo Bielsa's Whites are still as big as 7-1 to be relegated with Norwich, Newcastle, Watford, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Southampton and even Brentford all rated stronger candidates for the dreaded drop.

That, to a degree, is reassuring to know.

But the only thing that matters is the Premier League table and even Marcelo Bielsa has already highlighted the importance of winning when you are in the bottom three, even at this stage.

Nobody expected the second season back in the Premier League to be easy, but nobody envisaged starting with six games without a win, an opening that has Leeds below that dreaded dotted line ahead of tomorrow's clash against the Hornets.

Time to get the hell out of there and three points against Watford feel very important indeed.

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Thank you Laura Collins