By David Woods

31st Dec, 2019 | 12:15pm

'Huge, huge game' – Ray Parlour makes prediction for Leeds clash v West Brom

Ray Parlour has said that he can see both Leeds United and West Brom looking to avoid defeat in their huge Championship clash on New Year’s Day.

It’s top against second at The Hawthorns, and Leeds and West Brom have put clear daylight between themselves and Fulham back in third.

Talking on the Jim White Show (talkSPORT, Tuesday, 11am), Parlour said neither side would want to lose and that both clubs would be content with a draw.

“They’re pulling clear, they’re nine points clear of Fulham in third,” Parlour said.

“I’ve been in the top two and you don’t focus on winning, but on how far clear you are from third. So when you play each other it’s an awkward one.

“A draw wouldn’t be bad for either of them. You don’t want to lose games and you want to stay clear of the chasing pack.

“It’s a huge, huge game and the winner could move 12 points clear of third.

“I said Leed would get promoted last season and I got that wrong. This season, with Bielsa’s experience last season, he will have learned a lot… He’s a fantastic manager and coach and he’ll be better prepared for the run-in this season.”

Leeds beat West Brom 1-0 at Elland Road earlier in the season but that was a tough game for Leeds and this one is likely to be the sternest test we’ll have in the Championship.

It pits the Championship’s most potent attack (Baggies) against the best defence (Leeds), although Bielsa’s side have let in 10 goals in the last four games – as many as they conceded in the other 21 games in the league.

Most Leeds fans would take a draw and we’re sure both sides would be happy with that outcome.

It would mean Leeds staying on top of the table, which maintains another buffer between the club and third place.

A win for Leeds would be massive, though, and would be a huge step towards promotion. Like Parlour said, though, avoiding defeat is the most important thing tomorrow.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Will command a high salary’ – Phil Hay names Leeds number one striker target for January