Leeds United v Chelsea: Pictures
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Gabby Agbonlahor has made two bold predictions after Leeds United’s 3-0 defeat at home to Chelsea on Wednesday intensified their relegation fears. Leeds sit 18th in the Premier League with two matches left to play and rivals Burnley and Everton have a game in hand.
The west Yorkshire giants have endured a dismal second season in the top-flight, sacking Marcelo Bielsa, winning just eight of their 36 league fixtures and conceding 77 goals. And Agbonlahor believes Jesse Marsch’s side won’t pick up a single point against Brighton & Hove Albion or Brentford on their way back to the Championship.
He told talkSPORT: “I said at the start of the season that Leeds would have second-season syndrome and go down. I knew they would, remember. They’ve done well under [Marcelo] Bielsa, but it wasn’t working under Bielsa in the end, and Jesse Marsch has come in with no Premier League experience, and it hasn’t worked for me.
“They’ve lost now [Luke] Ayling, [Stuart] Dallas, Dan James, [and] [Patrick] Bamford probably won’t play again; that’s probably three out of five of their best players. The rest of the team is basically a Championship team, and I don’t think they’ll get another point this season. I think Burnley and Everton won’t have to get another point, and they’ll stay up.”
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And the ex-Aston Villa striker has suggested things could get even worse if Leeds succumb to the drop zone. He isn’t sure the Elland Road outfit will have the quality in their squad to achieve instant promotion back from the second-tier, especially if their leading stars are expectedly snapped up.
“The biggest problem for Leeds is that there are going to be teams queuing up for Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha, even Dallas,” Agbonlahor added. “They’re going to be left with a Championship squad that’s not even good enough to come straight back up.”
Leeds are battling with Everton and Burnley to avoid the final relegation position, with Watford and Norwich’s demotions already confirmed. Everton are 16th, just two points above the Whites, while Burnley are only ahead on goal difference.
Agbonlahor showed no mercy towards Marsch during his rant, slamming his reported decision to provide Leeds players with inspirational quotes before games. He has insisted that the American coach needs to provide his squad with ‘inspiration from his own words’ ahead of their must-win last two clashes.
He continued: “This new manager, Jesse Marsch. Let’s talk about him giving players quotes before games. It’s not working, is it? What’s next? Is he going to put Gladiator on in the changing room before the Brighton game? It’s not going to work.
“Players in this day and age want their manager to give them inspiration from his words, not quotes from Mother Theresa and J.F. Kennedy. It’s nonsense.”
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