By Mark Smith

23rd Aug, 2020 | 6:10pm

'They're fantastic' - Chris Wood makes Premier League prediction for Leeds United

Chris Wood has backed Leeds United to stay in the Premier League for a “long time” after ending their 16-year absence in the top-flight.

The former Whites forward, now at Burnley, claimed that many sides will be looking to just survive next season after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leeds cruised to the Championship title last season, eventually finishing top by 10 points and will tackle the Premier League hopefully with Marcelo Bielsa in charge.

Wood backed Leeds to thrive in the Premier League, mainly down to having Bielsa in charge at Elland Road.

“It was nice seeing them both come up, I had great times at both of them,” he told TVNZ.

“West Brom have been up and down and have been in the Prem for a long time so it was much nicer seeing Leeds get up there.

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“It’s been way too long, I enjoyed my two years there and I’m hoping to see them stay up for a long period of time. I think with the manager they’ve got they will be.

“But they’re fantastic now, they’ve got a great manager behind them, they’ve got a team playing absolutely incredible. They’re going to be a real force in the Prem, they’re looking to stay up and if not go better.”

There has been a lot of praise for both Leeds and Bielsa ever since they earned promotion, but we still need to go out and prove it on the pitch.

It won’t be easy either, with the Whites facing Premier League champions Liverpool on the opening day in less than three weeks time.

We won’t mind where we finish above the relegation zone, as long as we consolidate ourselves as a Premier League side in the years to come.

Below 15th may seem disappointing, but we are confident that we can launch an attack on the top half, if not next season, the years following that.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay shares what he has been told about Rodrigo amid links with the Valencia forward