Leeds United have stayed clear of the relegation places in the Premier League season this season but their performances lately have been drawing them closer to the drop zone.
Sports bookie Bovada and other bookmakers have Leeds as favourites to stay up this season, and the January signings should help steady the ship after a less-than-ideal first half of the season.
They are only one point ahead of 18th-placed Bournemouth at the moment and February could be a defining period for them with some key fixtures against teams in and around them.
Manager Jesse Marsch was backed by the club with three signings in Georginio Rutter, Maximilian Wober and Weston McKennie (loan) last month – the latter of those is definitely the most exciting recruit.
McKennie has a solid understanding with Tyler Adams from their time together in the United States set-up and it will be interesting to see how they fare as a midfield pairing in the coming months.
Here are our predictions for Leeds United’s February fixtures.
Nottingham Forest (away) – February 5
Forest are currently just three points above Leeds on the table but they have played an extra game. Hence, there is not much to choose between them and this is a fixture that could have a huge say in the survival race.
Steve Cooper’s side have got 15 out of their 21 points at home this campaign and Leeds won’t have an easy challenge, considering they possess one of the worst away records in the division. They have picked just six points on their travels.
Despite this, the Yorkshire outfit should fancy their chances of picking three points with Forest missing key players such as Dean Henderson and Taiwo Awoniyi with injuries. Leeds have a poor record against Forest with just two wins from the last 15 meetings but will be eyeing a victory to extend the gap to the bottom three.
Prediction: Nottingham Forest 1-2 Leeds United
Manchester United (away) – February 9
Leeds have not beaten United at Old Trafford in the league in the last four decades. In this period, their only win at the stadium came in the FA Cup third round in 2010 where Jermaine Beckford scored a famous early winner. Hence, it should be another difficult test. Since their top-flight promotion in 2020, they have suffered two heavy defeats at Old Trafford while conceding a staggering 11 goals.
With the way United have been playing at home over the past few months, we don’t see Leeds picking up a point from the game. Marsch could set up his team defensively to get a result but United are bound to score goals. We don’t see Leeds getting anything from the trip.
Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 Leeds United
Manchester United (home) – February 12
While Leeds may struggle to match United’s performance on the road, it could be a different outcome at home. The Whites played out a goalless draw against United back in the 2020/21 campaign. Last season, they pulled level from 2-0 down before United put the game to bed with two more goals.
A victory seems unlikely against their old rivals but a draw can’t be ruled out with the lively atmosphere at Elland Road. The Red Devils have had an exemplary defensive record at home but on the road, they have been vulnerable at the back, conceding 20 goals from just 11 games.
Prediction: Leeds United 1-1 Manchester United
Everton (away) – February 18
Everton are in a dreadful run of form at the moment and have picked up just two points from the last eight league games. The Merseyside outfit recently made the decision to replace Frank Lampard with Sean Dyche as their manager and there should be a response.
Dyche made Burnley difficult to beat when they were flying high and he will be hoping to replicate the same. This could also benefit Leeds as the Toffees may take some time to adapt to the manager’s methods. Leeds need to make a quick start off the blocks to unsettle the Toffees and beat them for the first time in five attempts.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Leeds United
Southampton (home) – February 25
This is probably the most winnable fixture for Leeds in February. The Saints are currently rock bottom of the league with 15 points, behind Everton on goal difference. Despite changing managers and making a run to the EFL Cup semifinal, they have picked up just three points from the last eight outings and seem to be in free fall.
Hence, Leeds should see out the challenge from the South Coast outfit with home advantage. It won’t be straightforward as the Saints also have plenty at stake with the relegation threat but Nathan Jones’ side have lacked the cutting edge in the final third this campaign.
Prediction: Leeds United 2-0 Southampton
Marsch has been able to keep Leeds outside of the drop zone with three draws in the last four games but the club need to return to winning ways such that they can move clear of the dreaded drop in the coming weeks.
February could make or break Leeds’ season. Victories over Forest, Everton and Southampton would offer them a healthy cushion above the relegation spots but negative results could see them drop into the bottom three.
Hence, Leeds have a crucial period ahead in the top-flight. They have the capacity to preserve their Premier League status and must pick up wins hereon. The club have a very difficult month of May where they face Manchester City, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur.
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