Five Teams Leeds Could Replace in the Premier League Next Season
19 Feb 2019 12:51 pm, by YorkshireSquare
Unless you've been living under a rock, then you'll know Leeds United are bang in content to end a 15-year exodus from the Premier League. With the run-in still to come, they are 7/4 joint-favourites to win the EFL Championship and odds-on to seal that top flight return.
If the Whites can finally get promoted back into the Premier League, that means they will be replacing one of three teams going in the opposite direction. Who could Leeds potentially pass on their way up? Here, we take a look at the teams most in trouble...
Local rivals Huddersfield Town have had an absolutely dismal second season in the Premier League, in stark contrast to the promotion push across West Yorkshire at Elland Road. The Terriers are by far the lowest scorers in the division and have been well and truly out of their depth. They parted company with David Wagner, the manager who got them up into the top flight.
Huddersfield look absolutely nailed on for the drop as they were rock bottom at Christmas and the gloom has only deepened since.
Last season's Championship play-off winners Fulham have floundered in the Premier League despite many pundits tipping them to comfortably avoid relegation. As at Huddersfield, this has led to a change of coach with Claudio Ranieri of Leicester City fame replacing Slavisa Jokanovic. The Tinkerman isn't faring much better than his predecessor at Craven Cottage though.
Fulham have the worst defensive record in the division and have it all to do if they're to defy the odds and survive.
South coast club Southampton are victims of their own previous relative success. The Saints were a top half team under Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman, but sold many of the best and brightest youngsters for profit. That has resulted in a steady decline in subsequent seasons and they only just avoided the drop under Mark Hughes last term. He's no longer in the St Mary's dugout, however, as results haven't improved.
Hughes' replacement is Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhuttl who is previously known for sterling work in the German Bundesliga. He has a tough relegation battle on his hands with Southampton though. With Southampton currently sitting 18th in the table the latest Premier League betting on the drop has them at 9/2.
Former Leeds boss Neil Warnock was given little chance of keeping current club Cardiff City in the Premier League after their surprise promotion. The Bluebirds have made a better fist of fighting in the top flight than some expected. Tragedy has struck Cardiff, however, as January transfer window signing Emiliano Sala died in a plane crash in the English Channel.
Out of such adversity can come strength, however, and the Welsh capital club could well be galvanised. Cardiff are odds-on to go down, but evens to stay up.
Like Southampton above, there's an element of Burnley boss Sean Dyche being a victim of his own success. He steered the East Lancashire club to the dizzying heights of seventh in the Premier League last season. Given their comparatively modest budget, that was some achievement for the Clarets. It brought European football with it to Turf Moor, although that experience ended before it began.
Burnley, who part-exchanged Wales striker Sam Vokes for veteran target man Peter Crouch from Stoke City in January, are 100/30 chances to end their three-year stay in the Premier League.