Another game week for angst-ridden Premier League supporters in the relegation scrap, another skirmish for Leeds United in the quest for survival.

Leeds United travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday in search of much-needed points to haul themselves out of the relegation zone… if results elsewhere go their way.

Nail biting is for those who still have nails. Some of us have no nails left to chew. By now parts of our nail beds are exposed and raw.

The relegation survival field

It’s shaping up to be quite an intriguing race for survival early on – early on because with 12 games to go there is still plenty of football to play.

And with only five points separating Southampton at the bottom and manager-less Crystal Palace in 12th place, it’s actually quite a large relegation field. We can expect plenty of twists and turns ahead before the three top-flight dropouts are confirmed.

Assessing rivals’ chances

Football is notoriously unpredictable with a knack for throwing up unexpected results from time to time. That said, more often than not the big-name favourites prevail, and every Leeds United fan will be hoping that’s the case this game week.

All of Leeds’ relegation rivals this weekend have tough looking assignments, with perhaps only Bournemouth, buoyed by their win over Liverpool last time out, backing themselves to go to Aston Villa and getting a result.

Otherwise there can’t be many out there playing prediction games and picking Chelsea to lose at home to Everton, despite the latter’s newfound confidence under Sean Dyche and the momentum of the hard-fought win over Brentford last weekend.

After their struggles as a whole raft of new players took time to bed in, Chelsea are starting to show signs of a team worth their hefty price tag.

Graham Potter will be hoping his charges can mount a late challenge for a European place. The top-4 horse left the barn a long time ago, but a Europa League place is still within reach.

Elsewhere, Southampton will have the odds heavily stacked against them when they host Tottenham Hotspur. To underline their struggles, despite playing against a Manchester United side reduced to 10 men on the half hour mark after Casemiro’s sending-off, Southampton failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage and could only come away with a point. That will have to go down as a big opportunity missed.

With Spurs looking to consolidate their place in the top 4 – a win would see them leapfrog inactive Manchester United into third place, albeit having played two games more than Erik ten Hag’s side – and playing on the back of a routine 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest, the omens are not looking good for the Saints.

Stealing a march on the Hammers

Relegation rivals have an opportunity to strike a psychological blow against West Ham. David Moyes’ men could be dragged into the relegation zone, or worse still even find themselves bottom of the table, without kicking a ball this game week.

With the Hammers inactive and out-of-sorts Leicester City facing the ignominious prospect of a fifth successive league defeat when they travel to high flyers Brentford, it’s not inconceivable that Leeds could find themselves out of the relegation zone come the end of the game week.

But all this is theoretical of course, best case scenario for Leeds United.

The worst case scenario is that we could be bottom of the pile at the final whistle on Saturday with a bit of ground to make up if we lose and our rivals pick up points. It’s a prospect too ghastly to contemplate.

Same again, please

Molineux will hold no fears for Leeds United. We won 3-2 on our last league visit to the Black Country last season, exactly a year ago to this fixture. Our league position back then was just as precarious as it is now.  

Fast forward to March 18, 2023. What every Leeds fan wouldn’t give for a repeat of the March 18, 2022 result on Saturday.

Wolves, three points above the relegation zone, and four above Leeds, are themselves very much in danger of being sucked into the relegation quagmire. That makes them dangerous opponents. This match is therefore a contest between relegation rivals who will be wary of each other.

Leeds won the reverse fixture in August 2-1 at Elland Road, one of their only five league wins this season. Can they complete the double over Wolves?

Leeds United, how do I love thee!


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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