By George Overhill

18th Apr, 2022 | 4:40pm

Leeds United may benefit from Chelsea fixture change after all after big Sunday development

The fixture disruption caused by Chelsea’s involvement in the latter stages of the FA Cup may be set to benefit Leeds United after all.

The Whites had been set to face their old rivals on Sunday (17 April) but the European champions’ progress into the semi-finals saw them face Crystal Palace at Wembley instead, leaving a 16-day gap between games.

Joe Gelhardt shared how the delay might negatively affect the squad’s momentum after the victory over Watford (9 April).

The striker told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It was an important three points as well but I think now we are thinking it’s a bit annoying that we have got a bit of a break.

“We just want the games to come thick and fast because we are in that run of form.”

But after Thomas Tuchel’s side reached the final with a 2-0 win yesterday, the disruption may be set to come full circle and give United a better chance of getting a result when they visit Elland Road.

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Marginal gains

The cup final will be held three days after the re-scheduled league game, meaning the chances of some of the strongest members of the opposition being rested.

As Leeds Live’s Beren Cross suggests: “That would, in theory, mean an XI of players with fewer recent minutes in their legs, interrupted rhythm, less cohesion on the field and perhaps one eye on avoiding injury for the chance to play in the final.”

Clearly the squad available to the west Londoners means it won’t be an easy task all the same.

But while there is still a chance of United being pulled back into the relegation battle, manager Jesse Marsch will take any advantage where it is available.

With Manchester City and Arsenal both to be played before the Chelsea game, the points may still be crucial.

So any weakening of the visiting side will benefit the Whites, and since the original effect of the FA Cup involvement robbed the Leeds side of a valuable chance to build momentum, it is at least a silver lining that it has ultimately made the Blues’ task more difficult.

In other Leeds United news, events over the previous week have highlighted why Marsch’s achievements are going under-appreciated.