Leeds United polarise BBC pundits Jonathan Woodgate and Don Hutchison
Leeds United welcome Chelsea to Elland Road on Wednesday (11 May) in desperate need of a victory after dropping into the bottom three.
The Whites suffered a 2-1 defeat away at Arsenal on Sunday (8 May) while fellow strugglers Everton turned up at the King Power Stadium to beat Leicester City by the same scoreline and drag themselves above the dreaded dotted line.
Jesse Marsch will be without Luke Ayling for the final three games after his straight red card at The Emirates but despite that, Jonathan Woodgate thinks the Whites have enough to beat Thomas Tuchel’s misfiring Blues.
“I’m worried,” Woodgate said on the BBC’s Football Daily Podcast. “It’s that tight down there for the relegation places and both managers haven’t done much wrong.
“(Frank) Lampard has started to pick up some wins and now Jesse Marsch is in that same scenario.
“But with the form of Chelsea, five points from five games, they haven’t been great and they’ve got a final on Sunday.
“I think Leeds will beat Chelsea.”
Don Hutchison disagreed with the former Middlesbrough defender though, adding: “I don’t think Leeds pick up any more wins, I think they’re going down.”
With just three games left to play in this Premier League season, Leeds simply must start getting wins to keep up with the suddenly resurgent Burnley and Everton.
But with Chelsea stumbling towards the finishing line, Marsch and his players have to use this opportunity to compound their misery and send them back to London with nothing to show for their efforts.
How the 48-year-old goes about replacing Ayling at right-back will be an interesting thing to see with Stuart Dallas, the most natural replacement, also out injured for some time.
It will still be a very tough assignment for Leeds with Chelsea up in third but the FA Cup final this weekend might just see Tuchel rotate his side and rest his star players for the big day at Wembley.
If such a thing does occur, then there are no excuses for anything except victory for Leeds and Marsch needs to get that instilled into his players.