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The damning statistic that shows why Leeds could miss out on Championship promotion once more

Marcelo Bielsa

Last season was an agonising one for supporters of Leeds. The appointment of Marcelo Bielsa in summer 2018 represented a major coup. The Argentinian arrived with a glowing reputation for high-octane football, and he did not disappoint.

Bielsa arguably overachieved in reaching the play-offs with a team that had finished the previous campaign in 13th. However, Leeds fans still felt deflated after their side failed to win automatic promotion having occupied a top-two spot for so long.

The Yorkshire outfit were then favourites to win the play-offs, but they fell at the first hurdle against Frank Lampard's Derby. The fear for Leeds now is that history could be repeating itself.

A 2-0 defeat by Nottingham Forest at the weekend means Bielsa's side have won just two of their last 10 Championship encounters. It is a miserable run of form which has seen them blow an 11-point lead over third place. They are now in second spot on goal difference alone.

Bielsa has been accused of burning his players out. His favoured style of play is high on intensity, and it is common for his teams to struggle to maintain their ferocious early pace as the season wears on.

However, data analysis from bettingexpert suggests that Leeds' struggles in the second half of a campaign pre-dates Bielsa. In fact, in nine of the last 10 seasons the Whites have collected more points from their first 23 encounters than their last 23.

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In both 2011/12 and 2012/13, for instance, Leeds racked up 35 points in the first half of the campaign and just 26 after. In 2017/18, the season before Bielsa took charge, the respective figures were 39 and 21.

With that in mind, last term's 'collapse' - Leeds grabbed 48 points in their first 23 outings and 35 thereafter - does not look so severe.

It is a different story this season, though. If they maintain their current points-per-game rate, Leeds are on course to pick up just eight from their last 23 matches. That would result in them missing out on promotion once more, and would surely lead to Bielsa's exit. Leeds United: you've been warned.

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