By Craig Scott

19th Dec, 2019 | 12:00pm

Kyle Bartley makes admission about Leeds, delivers verdict on Bielsa's team

Kyle Bartley has admitted that he and his West Brom team-mates are already thinking about New Years Day’s clash against Leeds United at The Hawthorns.

West Brom overtook Leeds on Saturday to return to the top of the Championship table with the two clubs running away from the chasing back in the automatic promotion spots.

Although there are three fixtures to play between now and the two title favourites’ showdown, Bartley has revealed that one game is already on their minds at West Brom.

“They’re a great team,” Bartley said, as quoted by the Birmingham Mail. “They’re obviously the only team to have beaten us this season. That’s a bit of a bitter pill to take, but we play them again on the first (of January) so that’ll be a good game.

“I’m sure the lads are looking forward to it. As I say, we’re taking it one game at a time but I’m sure the lads will have that game in the back of their minds.

“I think if you look at the table, there are still seven or eight teams – one of them could come out of the pack and chase us down.”

It is only mid-December but the gap that West Brom and Leeds have created between themselves and the rest of the Championship is something that isn’t going to be closed down easily.

The Baggies are 12 points clear of third-placed Preston while the Whites have a 10-point gap between themselves and their nearest rival.

It would take a monumental collapse by one of the two title challengers for them to lose out on automatic promotion now.

However we have seen similar things happen in the past with teams coming out of nowhere in the second half of the season.

Bartley will no doubt want his West Brom side to win promotion first and foremost but he might still have his eye on former club Leeds and secretly hope they go up with the Baggies.

In other Leeds United news, fans have reacted to the FA’s decision on what happened in the 3-3 with Cardiff.