By George Overhill

7th Oct, 2022 | 7:10am

Chris Sutton has returned to his early-season habit of predicting Leeds United defeats for the visit to Crystal Palace this weekend.

The BT Sport pundit repeatedly expected the Whites to lose at the start of the campaign, to back up his preseason relegation prediction, but was proven wrong by an excellent start.

Things have turned around somewhat of late, without a win since comfortably dispatching Chelsea on 21 August, but United held out for a 0-0 against Aston Villa last week (2 October) despite playing with 10 men for half of the game, although Sutton has gone for a 1-0 loss at Selhurst Park on Sunday (9 October) anyway.

On his BBC Sport predictions column he said: “I covered this fixture at the end of last season – it finished 0-0 and it wasn’t a great game.

“This one might not be a classic either but I am going to go with a Crystal Palace home win – they need it.”

For his part, Scotland international Ryan Porteous, who is up against Sutton this week, believes it will be even, as he said: “I’m going for another draw here, but an exciting one – both teams have got goals in them.”

Although perhaps that should be “both teams have goal in them” as he thinks it will be 1-1.

Tough one

This fixture was indeed quite poor towards the end of last season but that was a very different United team to the one that is developing under Jesse Marsch at the moment.

Where the American was trying to adapt his players on the fly and desperately try to pull together enough points to avoid relegation at the time, he has had a whole summer of training and transfers since.

Not much of that was on display in the 5-2 defeat at Brentford on 3 October, but the subsequent 29-day lay-off allowed a number of players to get fit again.

The goalless draw with Villa was frustrating for a number of reasons, but a point is a point, and the team showed a decent amount of resilience to hold out when a man down for so long, even if Steven Gerrard’s side are far from the most potent in the league currently.

Patrick Vieira’s Palace side haven’t won for the last four matches either, and suffered the heartbreaking sight of Conor Gallagher curling a long-range winner into their net late in the defeat to Chelsea last time out.

The midfielder was a standout player on loan with the Eagles last season, so that will have been particularly hard to take.

Marsch will need his players to pounce on any gaps left at the back, with Joachim Andersen and Nathaniel Clyne likely to both be missing, and with plenty of attacking options despite Luis Sinisterra’s suspension he should have a lot of firepower to take advantage with.

Whites fans will have to hope that with Sutton predicting a defeat the team will do what it did to start the season by proving him wrong.

In other Leeds United news, Rio Ferdinand showed he has little interest in his former club with an embarrassing error live on BT Sport.