Leeds United will look to strengthen their grip on the second automatic promotion spot when they travel to Birmingham in the EFL Championship on Saturday.
The historic club has not played in the Premier League since they got relegated back in 2004. After languishing in the lower divisions for the last 14 years, Leeds are now looking to make a much-awaited return to the top division next season, thanks to Marcelo Biesla.
The famous Argentine instantly lifted the place on his arrival in the summer and improved the team’s results. The Whites are currently second in the table with 76 points from 39 games. They now trail the leaders Norwich by five points.
With seven games to go, Leeds will look to secure an automatic promotion spot by finishing in the top two. Sheffield United are hot on their heels with 74 points while West Brom is further four points behind. Thus, Leeds will need to win as many games as possible between now and the end of the season to shake off competition.
The story is opposite of Birmingham City this season. After appointing three managers in the 2016/17 season as well as in the 2017/18 one, current manager Garry Monk was brought in to stabilize the situation.
The Blues had a much better year until they have docked nine points back in March for failing to comply with the Profit & Sustainability (P&S) regulations at the start of the season. This brought down their points total to 41, and they are currently at 18th place in the table.
EFL Championship Birmingham vs Leeds Preview and Prediction:
Birmingham is still safe from relegation with five points separating them from Rotherham in 22nd place. Thus, it is all about trying to finish as high as possible and set a base for launching an assault to end in the top spots next season.
Coming to team news, Leeds defender Barry Douglas is set to miss the rest of the season after rupturing the medial ligament in his knee during the weekend win over Millwall. Goalkeeper Kiko Casilla will once again be available after serving his suspension while Kemar Roofe is set to make his return to the squad as well.
Garry Monk has no significant injury concerns in his squad as he plots to take on his former team. However, the Blues are in the worst form possible, with five losses in their last five games.
Meanwhile, Leeds have won four of their last five games and hold a good record against their opponents. The Whites have won three out of the previous four meetings between the sides at the venue.
Thus, Leeds possess a superior squad and a higher momentum heading into the tie. Birmingham, on the other hand, will be desperate to shake off their poor form and start collecting points to stay away from a relegation battle.
It could prove difficult for the Blues to get anything out of the game and Leeds should comfortably pick up a win on Saturday.
Leeds To Win @ 2.04 at Pinnacle Sports