What Leeds need to avoid relegation

Less than three weeks after ranking himself alongside the likes of Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp, Sam Allardyce struck a decisively different tone.

“It is a big ask,” Allardyce sighed when confronted with Leeds United’s prospects of escaping the relegation zone. “Fact.”

When Allardyce arrived in a swirl of bluster, Leeds were sat outside the relegation zone. Yet, the Yorkshire outfit head into the final day of the season submerged beneath the dreaded dotted line.

Leeds’ experienced fullback Luke Ayling tried to counter Allardyce’s grim outlook after his side’s 3-1 loss to West Ham last Sunday. “There is still a tiny bit of hope,” he offered. “We have to grab on to that.”

Here are the events that need to transpire for any crumb of optimism to be justified.




Goal Difference






















Beat Tottenham

The “slim chance” – as Ayling put it – of Premier League survival for Leeds begins with a victory over Tottenham at Elland Road on Sunday. Any other result would swiftly condemn the club to their first top-flight relegation since 2004.

Both Rodrigo and Patrick Bamford are expected to be sidelined through injury for the all-important clash, leaving Allardyce without a recognised, senior central striker. “I might have to play a completely different system,” the manager gasped after watching both forwards limp off in defeat to West Ham.

Leeds vs Tottenham H2H Results (Last Five Games)

Without the same dire consequences, Tottenham are ending the season in a slump. Ryan Mason has presided over one win since taking temporary charge but Antonio Conte was still at the helm the last time Spurs claimed a victory on the road – Tottenham have lost seven of their previous nine away matches (D2).

Although, Spurs have found comfort against Leeds in recent years, winning four of five meetings since their return to the Premier League in 2020.

Tottenham’s last trip to Elland Road was a 4-0 thrashing which prompted the sacking of Marcelo Bielsa. Jesse Marsch, Michael Skubala, Javi Gracia and now Allardyce have all taken charge of the club since Tottenham’s most recent visit.

Hope Everton fail to beat Bournemouth

Five years after hauling Everton to safety, the Toffees could send Allardyce out of the Premier League’s trap door with a victory against Bournemouth this Sunday.

Sean Dyche has steered Everton to 18 points from his 17 Premier League games in charge – more than Leicester or Leeds (or Chelsea) in this period – but needs three more to guarantee survival.

Everton could feasibly stay up by default if both Leeds and Leicester fail to win their final games but the transistor radios will have to be dusted off to keep track of events elsewhere in that scenario.

Everton vs Bournemouth H2H Results (Last Five Games)

Everton and Bournemouth met for the first time in 1937 but the Toffees didn’t gag on the sour taste of defeat in this fixture until a 1-0 loss at the Vitality Stadium in 2016. Bournemouth have won the last four meetings between the pair, culminating in a crushing crescendo of consecutive three-goal winning margins separated by four days last November.

However, Bournemouth have never beaten Everton at a Goodison Park with fans in attendance. The club’s only victory – in fact, the only visit they haven’t lost – in seven trips to Goodison Park was a 3-1 win behind closed doors during the hollow days of the Premier League restart in July 2020.

There will certainly be fans in attendance at a Goodison Park, equipped with loud voices and lit flares to cheer their club to yet another season of Premier League football.


Hope Leicester fail to beat West Ham

West Ham did Leeds no favours with a rousing performance to come from behind and earn a spirited 3-1 victory last Sunday. Yet, the same fans that trundled into the London Stadium replete with Allardyce masks will be praying that the Hammers bring the same verve into their trip to Leicester City this weekend.

Much like Leeds, Leicester have also collected 31 points but boast a significantly stronger goal difference (-18 compared to -27). Leeds could beat Tottenham 9-0 yet still get relegated if Leicester squeak a 1-0 win against West Ham.

Leicester vs West Ham H2H Results (Last Five Games)

West Ham are an infamously bad matchup for Leicester. While the Hammers have forged a reputation for set-piece supremacy under David Moyes, the Foxes – despite hiring a specific coach for this area in the autumn – still crumble under the scrutiny of dead ball deliveries.

Since the start of last season, no club has conceded more goals from set pieces than Leicester. Craig Dawson contributed one of those 32 in the dying embers of West Ham’s most recent trip to the King Power, earning the visitors a 2-2 draw. The Hammers have taken ten points from their last five games against the Foxes.

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