Leeds United under Javi Gracia have turned into a Jekyll and Hyde side. You just don’t know which personality is going to turn up on match-day.

The performances have yo-yoed from the sublime of the 4-2 win at Wolves past month to the ridiculous of the 6-1 chastening defeat by Liverpool on Monday night.

Sandwiched between the three results above-mentioned was a moral-boosting 2-1 win against relegation rivals Nottingham Forest, bouncing back from the 4-1 loss to Arsenal a few days earlier. The highs of the Forest win were soon followed by the lows of the demoralising 5-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace.

And now, a disheartening 2-1 loss for Leeds United against Fulham, blamed no doubt on Meslier’s poor handling.

The biggest concern is that when we lose, we lose badly. We have shipped 17 goals in our last four defeats and that is unmistakable relegation form right there.

Equally disconcerting has been the performances in defeats. We have looked tactically inept, bereft of fight and ideas.

Fans have every reason to feel despondent after the back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace, Liverpool and now Fulham. If there was any doubt we were staring down the barrel there can’t be any now.

We are sitting out of the relegation zone, barely, not on the strength of our results, but thanks to the wretchedness of our relegation rivals’ form.

We can’t outsource our survival battle to other clubs, banking on them to beat our relegation rivals. We must stay up primarily through our own endeavors, not by praying for rivals to lose. Favours are welcome, but they must complement our own efforts.

Title and relegation bids dented

Neither Arsenal nor Southampton will be happy with a share of the spoils from their top-versus-bottom clash on Friday evening.

In the context of their respective causes, the Gunners will be the happier of the two as a point takes their lead at the top to five points, albeit having played two more games that title rivals Manchester City.

As for Southampton, they remain bottom of the pile, their survival prospects looking increasingly forlorn.

 Keep tabs on relegation rivals

With three straight wins since the return of Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace (12) have all but decoupled themselves from the relegation pack. If they beat Everton (17) on Saturday they will draw level with out-of-sorts Chelsea. The Eagles have form and home advantage on their side.

But while Palace fans are reveling in the new manager bounce effect, there has been no such luck for Leicester City (19) supporters. Dean Smith lost his first match in charge of the Foxes, a 3-1 defeat at Manchester City. Can Leicester avoid back-to-back defeats under their new manager and snap a four-match losing streak when they host fellow strugglers Wolves (13)?

Elsewhere, Nottingham Forest (18) will not be relishing their trip to rejuvenated Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s men looked like a side back to their old swashbuckling selves as they put Javi Gracia’s meek charges to the sword at Elland Road last time out. The Reds will be heavily favoured to continue on their upward trajectory at the expense of Forest.

Sunday treat

Sunday serves up a mouth-watering relegation six-pointer between Bournemouth (14) and West Ham (15). Gary O’Neil’s men have the bit between the teeth at the moment, but will face a stern test of their survival credentials from a Hammers side who booked their place in the UEFA Conference League semifinal on Thursday night.

The winner of this clash will give their survival bid a massive boost, even better if that winner is West Ham, who have a game in hand over their relegation rivals.

Redemption on 25 April

Can Javi Gracia coax a roaring response out of his charges to erase memories of the last three horror shows and avoid the ignominy of a third consecutive loss?

We can’t afford to dwell on the disappointment of the Liverpool and Fulham debacle. It’s time to dust ourselves down and play out of our skins for the biggest game of the season when Leicester City visit Elland Road.

Leeds United, how do I love thee!

9 April – Leeds United 1-5 Crystal Palace
17 April – Leeds United 1-6 Liverpool 21:00
22 April – Fulham 2-1 Leeds United
25 April – Leeds United v Leicester City
30 April – Bournemouth v Leeds United 15:00

6 May – Manchester City v Leeds United 15:00
13 May – Leeds United v Newcastle 15:00
20 May – West Ham v Leeds United 15:00
28 May – Leeds United v Tottenham 17:00


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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