Leeds United will continue their quest for Premier League survival this Saturday when they welcome top-four hopefuls Newcastle United to Elland Road in the early kickoff fixture of the weekend.
The hosts’ desire to remain in the Premier League beyond this June remains intact despite a 2-1 loss to Manchester City in their last outing.
New manager Sam Allardyce declared after the game that he has hope, given how ‘dogged’ they performed at the Etihad.
However, the Yorkshire club welcome high-flying Newcastle to Elland Road, sitting inside the relegation zone, two points off safety with just three games to play.
But with their relegation rivals playing later, the hosts can provisionally move above Everton to a position of relative safety if they win here. They can take heart from a goalless draw in the reverse H2H, but they have to score their first goal against Newcastle since their Saudi takeover (D1, L1) to boost their fading hopes.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United will look to get back to winning ways here after suffering a rare win in their last outing against Arsenal, who beat them 2-0 at home.
That loss was just their second loss at home and greatly affected their chances of securing Champions League group-stage football for the first time since 2002/03.
Yet, their top-four destiny remains in their hand given that they remain in third spot, three points ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool, having played a game less. But they know they must win here to avoid getting caught by the high-flying Reds.
That said, playing away from home is unlikely to faze Eddie Howe’s men after they picked up 12 of the last 15 points available on the road (W4, L1). Providing a further boost to the Toons’ away form is that they’re unbeaten against every side placed ninth or worse at home (W7, D3), which includes scoring 3+ goals against four of the five lowest-ranked sides.
Meanwhile, Leeds have won just one home league game as pre-match home outsiders this season (W1, D2, L4). So, this game is likely to go Newcastlee’s way.
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