Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards has said that Leeds United will trouble the top seven this season – their first back in the top flight for over 16 years.
He also said that going to Elland Road would be a “horrible” experience for other Premier League sides.
Leeds get their top-flight campaign underway on Saturday when they travel to Anfield for a very stern test of their Premier League credentials.
The bookies don’t give Leeds much of a chance of coming away with the three points, pricing them at 9/1 for the shock result.
Writing in the Daily Mail, regular Sky pundit Richards was enthused when asked who this season’s surprise package would be.
“Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!” Richards said. “I know there is a feeling that my local club will either finish in the top seven or get relegated but I am saying they will be nearer the first part of that prediction.
“They might not have a lot of household names but there is one thing you know about going to Elland Road and that is it’s a horrible experience for the away team.
“It’s ingrained into Leeds players that they have to work hard and with Marcelo Bielsa, the genius they have as manager, I’m sure they will be fine.”
Liverpool a free hit
Leeds fans will obviously want to get something from the game at Anfield but in essence, it’s a bit of a free hit.
Losing by the odd goal wouldn’t be a terrible result for Leeds at all. Liverpool cantered to the Premier League title last season and will be challenging again come the end of the season.
Saying that, there isn’t much of a better time to play them than the first game back when they perhaps haven’t hit their stride.
Jurgen Klopp has already started the mind games, saying that Leeds have an advantage because less of their players were away on international duty.
However, that just reinforces how strong the team is that Leeds are going to come up against.
They will certainly be a lot better than the Arsenal side that Leeds dominated for the first 45 minutes in the FA Cup tie back in January.
It will be a proud day for Leeds fans, though, and we hope Bielsa’s players give a proper account of themselves.
In other Leeds United news, ‘He is keen, there is no doubt’ – Phil Hay delivers big Leeds transfer update on £36.9m-rated ace
Be sure to follow MOT Leeds News on Facebook for 24/7 updates on the Whites and more exclusive content with Paul Robinson