We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United…
Paul Robinson has dubbed Leeds United’s clash against Fulham as a must-win even though it’s only the second match of the new Premier League season.
Leeds welcome Fulham to West Yorkshire in what will be the first Premier League match held at Elland Road since May 2004.
Matthew Kilgallon, Jermaine Pennant and Alan Smith were all on the scoresheet that day as the already-relegated Whites drew 3-3 with Charlton – a match that Robinson also played in.
Now it’s the era of Liam Cooper, Jack Harrison and Patrick Bamford, who will all be hoping to get some points on the board following their defeat at Liverpool last week.
Robinson, like everyone else, was impressed by Leeds’ performance as they lost 4-3 at Anfield and if they play the same against Fulham, the ex-Whites goalkeeper is expecting Marcelo Bielsa’s men to win.
“These are the games they have to get the points in,” Robinson told MOT Leeds News.
“After last Saturday’s performance, I’m not fearing for their Premier League survival. I’ve said they’ll finish mid-table but I’d quite happily take 17th.
“But these are the games they have to win – home games against teams where you would expect to be around them in the table.
“Leeds will finish higher than Fulham. I think Leeds are a lot better equipped than Fulham; they’ve got a stronger squad and better players and they’re a better all-round outfit.
“These are games they’ve got to win.
“It was a great performance last Saturday but it would mean nothing in they turn in a poor performance and lose to Fulham. Questions will be asked.”
Everyone is expecting Leeds to finish higher than Fulham this season with many fans and pundits tipping the Cottagers, as well as West Brom, to be instantly relegated back to the Championship.
But Scott Parker’s side are no pushovers and this game threatens to be even tougher than the one at Anfield due to the weight of expectation.
Leeds had nothing to lose against the Premier League champions but that isn’t the case against a team that finished 12 points behind them last season.
In other Leeds United news, Bielsa and Orta are at odds over two transfer targets.