Mark Lawrenson predicts result of Leeds United clash vs Brighton
Mark Lawrenson says Leeds need to start playing with their brains to try and secure their Premier League status, and has predicted Sunday’s clash with Brighton.
The Whites have fallen into the bottom three after three consecutive defeats and now sit level on points with Burnley having played a game more than both them and Everton.
But after two straight red cards in two games, Lawro wrote in his BBC Sport predictions column that even Mother Theresa can’t help them if they continue to be ill disciplined but thinks the fans at Elland Road could push them to a positive result and is backing a 1-1 draw.
“It is Leeds who I am most worried about from the three teams who could still go down with Watford and Norwich,” he said.
“Jesse Marsch’s side are playing angrily, rather than using their brains, and you cannot win games like that. It is one thing being committed but they have had players sent off in their past two games and that has cost them dearly at the worst possible time, not just in those matches but because they are suspended now too.
“Marsch has been reading out quotes from Gandhi, JFK and Mother Teresa before games, but I’m not convinced by that. When a player steps out on the pitch, he is not going to be thinking about that kind of stuff.
“The Leeds team have probably heard quotes from Kipling, but think it’s Mr Kipling. Either way, I don’t think it is going to help them much now.
“By the time they play this game, Leeds will know how Burnley got on at Tottenham. It could be that a point will be enough to get them out of the bottom three and, if so, that has to be their absolute goal.
“It won’t be easy, though. Brighton are going really well and are a much better footballing team than Leeds. The Seagulls keep possession really well. The only way Leeds can get anything out of this is by being ultra-competitive, but they need to keep 11 men on the pitch for starters.
“They also need to stay in the game. Channelling Mother Teresa won’t help there – Marsch needs to tell his players that they start this game with a point and in their present predicament they have got to make sure they finish the game with one, at the very least.
“It might mean setting up defensively, and getting people behind the ball rather than flying around at 100mph but that really doesn’t matter now.
“What they do have on their side is their fans at Elland Road. They were fabulous and stuck with them all the way through Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat by Chelsea, and I’m sure they will do the same here.”
Speaking of Mother Theresa, Leeds need their prayers to come true and they need to hope that results go their way before their kick-off on Sunday afternoon.
If Burnley are beaten in their 12pm kick-off at Tottenham, then by the time Leeds kick-off at 2pm they will know what result is a good one, but they should be looking for victory regardless because it’s always the best option.
After Brighton battered Manchester United last week, they will be high on confidence and Leeds must be careful not to get carried away by the passion in the stands by costing themselves once again.
With that said though, they will need to be aggressive and sharp. With so many injuries in the side, as well as suspensions to key players, they need whoever is given the nod to start to be at their absolute best.
Safety isn’t in their hands, but they will have the opportunity take it to the final day with a win and that is the most they can do at this point to give themselves the best chance of survival.