By George Overhill

7th Aug, 2022 | 9:10am

BT Sport pundits all make harsh Leeds United predictions during Wolves clash that ended in win

All of Chris Sutton, Steve Sidwell and Robbie Savage believe Leeds United will be relegated this season, after narrowly escaping last year.

Amid a campaign of turmoil that saw a huge load of injuries and the sacking of beloved manager Marcelo Bielsa, Jesse Marsch eventually kept the Whites up on the final day of 2021/22.

But after an eventful transfer window that has seen six incoming transfers and two stars leave, the trio all think the club will be in the Championship again come the end of the year, due to a lack of confidence in the manager and the defence.

Speaking live on BT Sport Score on Saturday afternoon (6 August, 4.16pm), during the Whites’ clash with Wolves that ended in a 2-1 win, host Jules Breach said: “Steve, Robbie and Chris have all picked Leeds to go down. Steve, explain why.”

Sidwell answered: “I just think they’re going to miss Kalvin Phillips, they’re going to miss Raphinha, and I didn’t see a lot of it last year that convinced me with Marsch in charge that they can stay up this year.”

Sutton then added: “Because Leeds fell away last season. I’m a bit sort of worried about Leeds and their identity. Conceded too many goals, I’m not so sure that they have really addressed that this season defensively.

“I think Leeds are bang in trouble.”

Harsh

Too much focus is put on the big name departures and doesn’t really account for the fact that neither Raphinha or Phillips were stars when they arrived at Elland Road.

There is no reason to think that some of the arrivals cannot emulate their predecessors, and judging by Brenden Aaronson’s first Premier League performance he is certainly in line to do so.

When Luis Sinisterra gets back from injury it will be very interesting to see how he takes to the English top flight as well, although Sutton’s point about the defence does ring true.

Rasmus Kristensen has looked good in preseason but, one admittedly crucial goal-saving tackle aside, he looked shaky defensively in the Wolves win.

Lacking Liam Cooper to organise things it was a surprise that they didn’t concede more goals, and Pascal Struijk didn’t cover himself in glory for the one that they did let in, or indeed suggest the left-back spot is in particularly good hands if he and the injured Junior Firpo, who struggled last year, are manning it.

Marc Roca also had a debut to forget, although Tyler Adams was better, so a mixed bag in terms of the new arrivals, but the fact that they came out of an uneven game with a key three points was a big difference from so many last year.

Illan Meslier was excellent, and Patrick Bamford laid on a key assist, so there is enough in this squad to improve on the previous campaign, if injuries don’t bite to the same extent, and they can tighten up at the back.

In other Leeds United news, the club are looking to wrap a major late signing before they play their next Premier League game.