Pep Clotet predicts where Leeds will finish in the Championship

Oxford United manager Josep Clotet Ruiz during The Emirates FA Cup First Round match between Port Vale and Oxford United at Vale Park on November 3, 2017 in Burslem, England.

Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United have won one and drawn one Championship game so far this season.

Oxford United manager Pep Clotet looks on prior to the Sky Bet League One match between Milton Keynes Dons and Oxford United at StadiumMK on September 2, 2017 in Milton Keynes, England.

Birmingham City coach Pep Clotet has backed his former club Leeds United to finish in the Championship top six once again this season, while speaking to the Birmingham Mail.

Leeds ended 2018/19 a disappointing third despite spending most of the season in the automatic promotion positions and eventually missed out on promotion altogether thanks to a dramatic defeat to Derby County in the play-off semi-finals.

Understandably, Marcelo Bielsa’s side are hoping to go one better this time around and they’ve started well enough with four points from two games heading into Saturday’s trip to Wigan Athletic.

 

And Clotet, who worked as Leeds’ assistant coach in 2016/17 under Garry Monk before replacing the same man in the Birmingham hot seat, has backed the West Yorkshire giants to replicate last season’s finish in the upper reaches of an unpredictable Championship.

“That’s one thing that the Championship always is, competitive," said Clotet, while also backing Midland rivals West Bromwich Albion for a positive campaign.

Oxford United manager Josep Clotet Ruiz during The Emirates FA Cup First Round match between Port Vale and Oxford United at Vale Park on November 3, 2017 in Burslem, England.

"We never know, I do think West Brom will finish in the play-offs and I do think Leeds will finish around there as well.”

Leeds will certainly need to improve if they are to avoid the mistakes that cost them a long-awaited return to the Premier League in the spring.

Despite dominating possession as expected against Nottingham Forest, Leeds look worryingly over reliant on the mercurial genius of 34-year-old Pablo Hernandez at the heart of their midfield.

The likes of Jack Harrison, Gianni Alioski and Mateusz Klich in particular are under pressure to start creating more chances from open play.

Jack Harrison of Leeds United runs during the match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Leeds United at Bankwest Stadium on July 20, 2019 in Sydney, Australia.

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