Leeds United's new predicted Championship finish after Millwall cruise, Whites firsts and big blow for key rivals
A brace from summer signing Joel Piroe followed by a thumping strike from Georginio Rutter sealed a 3-0 triumph at The Den and moved Daniel Farke’s side into the top ten of the division for the first time this season. There were also Whites firsts for Jaidon Anthony and Ilia Gruev who were both handed their Leeds debuts from the bench at Millwall.
Piroe, meanwhile, who also netted in the 4-3 triumph at Ipswich Town, became the first Leeds player to score in each of his first two away appearances since Frank McKenna in November 1956. Last month’s 4-3 win at Ipswich was followed by a disappointing goalless draw at home to Sheffield Wednesday, after which the bookmakers were predicting a fourth-placed finish for Leeds based on the division’s title odds.
But that has now changed and here is where Leeds are now predicted to end up following a weekend which featured a particularly heavy blow for promotion contenders Southampton who were blitzed 4-1 by Friday night’s visitors Leicester City. The latest odds for relegation are used to determine the predicted finishing positions of the sides expected to end up in the bottom half.
Former Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski said on Wednesday he hopes Harry Kane breaks his goal record with the German champions. Lewandowski chalked up the mark in 2020-21, breaking the 49-year-old record of 40 goals in a season scored by German striker Gerd Mueller, also for Bayern.
Steve Borthwick is poised to reprise the George Ford and Owen Farrell midfield partnership for the final Pool D match, against Samoa on Saturday, while Joe Marchant is in line for a surprise start on the wing.
As the straw man argument persists about the validity of a replay between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool (Liverpool have never asked for one) and why there is no refereeing conspiracy (no-one beyond social media has suggested there is), the Premier League must consider an inconvenient question following the release of the audio surrounding Luis Diaz’s ‘goal’.
Jurgen Klopp believes the statement that Liverpool released against the backdrop of the VAR controversy they were on the end of in their loss to Tottenham Hotspur was ‘completely normal’. Luis Diaz’s goal in the first half was ruled offside despite clearly being in a legal position and VAR referee Darren England failed to overturn the decision. England thought that Diaz had been onside with a quick check completed before realising his mistake.
Stick or twist. That’s effectively the decision Bob MacIntyre is facing after being urged to make the biggest call of his life to give himself the best possible chance to fulfil “more dreams” on the back of elevating his status as a Ryder Cup winner.