Leeds United are earnestly striving for Premier League promotion after more than a decade in the lower tiers, and they now appear closer to making the long-awaited return after spending a large chunk of this season’s Championship campaign in the playoff zone.
Garry Monk has led the Peacocks to 18 wins, 4 draws and 11 losses in 33 league games, and with 13 games to go, the most important part and business end of the campaign has gotten underway.
The results from the remaining games will determine their fate at the end of 2016-17, and some key fixtures would likely prove decisive for The Peacocks. Here are 3 of such games that could define United’s bid for promotion this season:
Leeds vs Brighton – March 18
On matchday 38, Leeds host Brighton and Hove, and this is a clash that would have a lot to say on the campaign of both the teams, hence it is importance to the Whites.
Brighton are currently a point behind Newcastle on the log and would give their all until the end in order to win the Championship.
Having narrowly missed out on promotion thrice in the last 4 seasons, they are set to give a great fight at Elland Road, and that they won the first leg convincingly by a 2-0 scoreline back in December is a great source of inspiration.
Leeds also have to win this clash as they can’t afford further losses that, which will without doubt have adverse affect on their standing in the playoff zone.
Reading vs Leeds – April 1
Right after the Brighton clash, the Peacocks will be facing another team hoping to get promoted- Jaap Stam’s Reading. This encounter is one that surely has the potential of defining Leeds United’s bid for promotion.
Reading are 4th on the log – 2 points ahead of The Whites, and won’t be relinquishing that position anytime soon as they continue to hold on to a safe spot in the playoff zone.
The Royals lost at Elland Road back in mid-December and with 11 of their 18 victories having come from home, April’s game against Leeds presents them an opportunity to get revenge and 3 crucial points.
For Monk, the game is one that can help further establish their feet in the playoff zone, and a win must be secured, else there could be consequences.
Wigan vs Leeds – May 7
A visit to the DW Stadium on the last matchday of the league could be Leeds’ most important game of the season for many reasons.
Leeds might need all 3 points to be guaranteed of a playoff spot considering how the likes of Norwich, Fulham, Derby County, Barnsley and Preston North End, who are just few points away from the zone perform in their games.
Wigan, who are currently battling relegation, would most likely need all 3 points to retain their Championship status, or at least give a good account of themselves before dropping to the League One by not allowing Leeds use them pick up points.
History could be made on this day, and this could just be the sole game that decides Leeds United’s fate after 13 years without Premier League football.