A significant statistic among the many impressive figures Leeds United have racked up in 2015 is the number of promotion-chasing teams they have beaten. Leeds have raised their game to defeat Middlesbrough away and both Bournemouth and Ipswich at home.
But it is against the struggling clubs that Leeds could have the most impact in the closing weeks of the Sky Bet Championship season. Having already defeated Millwall, Wigan and Fulham in recent weeks, Leeds now travel to Blackpool with the possibility of all-but condemning the Seasiders to a very premature relegation to the third tier. Leeds also face Rotherham at home in their last game of the season.
A Leeds win this Saturday, coupled with victories for both Fulham and Rotherham, would mean that Blackpool would still be able to claw back the points required to save themselves mathematically - assuming they won every one of their seven remaining games and either of Fulham and Rotherham lost every game - but it would require also overhauling what is currently a 28-goal deficit in goal difference.
Given that Blackpool have won just seven out of 69 league games since December 2013, it is clear why manager Lee Clark is preparing for life in League One already. Furthermore, Leeds' away performances demonstrate a team clearly sensing blood and the form table suggests another three-point haul for the Whites on Saturday, as they look to add to their five wins from the last six away games.
The only leveller is cited as Blackpool's much-derided pitch at Bloomfield Road, which Leeds manager Neil Redfearn was moved to compare to Fulham's Craven Cottage, where Leeds staged a 3-0 win on Wednesday night. Redfearn told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Fulham’s like a carpet, it’s a great pitch and to be fair to Fulham, they try to get the ball down and play.
“I don’t think there’s any grass on Blackpool’s pitch so that’s going to be a different game altogether. I might need to consider that. We’ve got to prepare properly and if we have to change things around to get a result then we will.”
Redfearn's comments possibly allude to a return to the lone striker role for Steve Morison amid a need to play the ball more aerially. This is not a tactic that Leeds have excelled with in recent weeks, and many fans would prefer a starting spot for Italian top scorer Mirco Antenucci, who scored his first goal since December in the 3-0 victory in midweek.