Leeds United v Burnley: YEP Jury give their big-match predictions

There’s a sense of unease among Leeds United fans going into Sunday’s Premier League fixture with Burnley.

By Steve Heptinstall
Friday, 31st December 2021, 5:47 am

The recent run of defeats was expected and has been accepted by our YEP fans’ jury, but the consensus is also that United need to start winning games.

And teams like Burnley – fighting against relegation – should be beaten by Leeds, whether they’re struggling with injuries or not.

Most are hoping to see the return of striker Patrick Bamford but it’s unlike head coach Marcelo Bielsa to throw a player straight into the deep end after an injury lay-off.

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Leeds United fans hope to see striker Patrick Bamford back in action against Burnley. Picture: George Wood/Getty Images.

But needs must, as the saying goes.

Check out what our jury has to say:

David Watkins

The home game with Burnley has, over the course of the last three weeks, taken on a huge significance.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Picture: Bruce Rollinson/JPIMedia.

We were all nervous that our three games against Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal might yield no points and leave us much closer to the bottom three than when we started that run. As we now know, we were indeed pointless from those games, but so have been Watford (fourth bottom) and Norwich from their last three, while Newcastle and Burnley have picked up just a single point.

Burnley have had three games postponed due to Covid but, after they lost at Old Trafford last night they will meet Leeds with two games in hand but will be five points behind.

Hence, if we can make that an eight-point gap then those recent three defeats will feel pretty much irrelevant!

It remains to be seen how many, if any, of our injured players have regained fitness during our Covid ‘break’ but, surely, if we are to survive this season, we have to be beating the likes of Burnley.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche. Picture: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Burnley 0.

Mike Gill

This is now going to be a huge game and it is unlikely that we will have many insights as to the availability or otherwise of key players until after the pre-match press conference.

In a way, it hardly matters as, ongoing, this is the type of game that the Whites need to take three points from, especially at Elland Road.

Sean Dyche’s charges have usually come to life at this stage of the season as they drag themselves away from the relegation trapdoor.

And I wouldn’t rule out their survival yet.

A win for Leeds on Sunday would certainly make the Clarets’ task much more difficult.

It also looks like it could turn into a feisty affair with so much at stake for both sides in terms of league position.

One of the ironies of the setbacks against Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal is that, even with a stronger side available, United could have lost these games anyway, albeit with a better goals difference!

We need lots of noise at LS11; there’s no better cure for a hangover!

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Burnley 1.

Keith Ingham

If you’re a Leeds fan, December hasn’t brought much cheer.

An injury-ravaged first team hasn’t picked up a point in the last four games. The fans have backed the manager to the hilt and brought the usually stone-faced Marcelo Bielsa into emotion by their incredible support against Arsenal but, alas, it’s points that will keep the team in the top tier not sentiment and, with Burnley on Sunday opening the new year, many might expect another tough afternoon, despite their lowly position.

But, if we can’t beat teams below us, we are in serious trouble.

If the game goes ahead, Bielsa will once again be without a major part of his first-team squad and nothing less than a win will be acceptable to the fans. They have, as I’ve said, backed the manager and team ‘110 per cent’ but defeat at the hands of a team with only one win this season might have a different response and it might not be pleasant.

Earlier in the season, the two played out a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor, Leeds saved from defeat thanks to a late Patrick Bamford goal in a gritty game that lacked anything in quality.

Burnley seemed to drag Leeds ‘down to their level’.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Burnley 0.

Andy Rhodes

After two weeks off, one would hope that Leeds United will be welcoming back a host of players and be prepared for a dogfight against a Burnley side that knows how to grind out results.

Although no-one has any desire to see Covid cases rise, United’s break came at as good a time as any.

For Burnley, their break has been even longer.

Before last night (Thursday), Sean Dyche’s side hadn’t played since December 12 and will be looking to get points on the board before a difficult run of games.

It has been suggested that Patrick Bamford could return any game now, although it remains to be seen which players will be available come Sunday afternoon.

Whoever plays will need to be up for an almighty challenge in what is already a real six-pointer of a game.

Not many people would have expected points against Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal, but Burnley at home is the type of game Leeds need to be winning right now.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Burnley 0.

Andrew Dalton

It’s very difficult to know where to start with the Burnley game following the postponements of both Liverpool away and Aston Villa at home.

The positive being it will give us the chance to get some bodies back after what has been the worst injury crisis I have known at Elland Road.

It is hoped that the likes of Dan James, Pascal Struijk and the main man Patrick Bamford could return for the visit of the Clarets.

The Premier League meeting back in August was a typically tight affair with both Chris Wood and Bamford getting on the scoresheet.

You know what you are getting when you face Sean Dyche’s side and I expect a similar game to last season’s encounter in which Leeds won thanks to an early penalty.

The Burnley game will end the first half of our league campaign before the start of the FA Cup and I am predicting a tight win for United in front of a full house at Elland Road with Raphinha scoring the winner for the Whites.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Burnley 0.