By Mark Smith

11th Aug, 2022 | 11:00am

Paul Merson predicts Leeds United showdown v Southampton

Paul Merson has backed Southampton to hand Leeds United their first loss of the season in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon at St Mary’s.

The Sky Sports pundit insisted that the jury is still out on the Whites, and predicted it will finish 2-1 to the home side despite their contrasting fortunes.

Merson believes that the win over Wolves may still turn out to be a fluke at Elland Road on the opening weekend, and wins are needed early to avoid a relegation battle.

Writing in his latest predictions column for Sportskeeda, Merson did not hold out much hope for the Whites on their first away day of the season.

“The jury’s still out on Leeds,” he wrote.

“They managed a great result the other day, and we’ll have to see if that was a fluke. If they don’t want to be in another relegation battle, they’ll need to get a result against Southampton.

“Going by their first game, Southampton are in for a long, long season. They started well against Spurs, and they’ll look to make the most of their home advantage this weekend.”


So, Southampton get smashed by Spurs and look hopeless for 80 minutes but will be fine, yet Leeds look better than they did for the majority of last season and could be a fluke?

Jesse Marsch will certainly have something to say about that.

Looking at Leeds’ squad too, we saw that game out with only one real senior player on the bench in the shape of Mateusz Klich and had over five first-team injuries.

Merson isn’t known for his bright and in-depth analysis and maybe we are seeing the reason behind that already.

Leeds will be hopeful of welcoming back the likes of Liam Cooper and Dan James will be ready to go after finishing his suspension, handing the boss a much stronger squad.

Two wins from two would be the dream start ahead of Chelsea next week, but if we lose, relegation is on the cards according to Merson – time to silence a few heads.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has finally responded as transfer talk surrounding Ismaila Sarr goes into overdrive this week