Leeds United are absolutely flying in the Championship at the moment.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side hammered Middlesbrough 4-0 at Elland Road on Saturday to give them their fifth consecutive league win and their third in seven days.
After West Bromwich Albion’s win last night, Leeds are second in the Championship and have a five-point cushion on the sides below them.
Key to Saturday’s impressive performance was midfielder Mateusz Klich, who scored a brace for the Whites–including curling a goal of the season contender into the top corner.
Speaking to LUTV after the game, the Poland international revealed the high level of confidence at the club and suggested they were confident of putting together a longer run of consecutive wins than the seven (he mistakenly said eight) that they managed last season.
It might seem like an ambitious statement for Klich to make but it is by no means an unachievable target.
With that in mind, here are three reasons why Leeds can do it…
Their defensive strength this season.
A large part of Bielsa’s side success this season has been their defensive strength.
They sold Pontus Jansson and brought in Brighton loanee Ben White in the summer and so far that has looked a masterstroke.
The Whites have conceded the fewest goals and kept the most clean sheets in the Championship, and, according to LUFCDATA, have the best defensive record of any side in Europe’s top five leagues and the top four divisions of English football.
HUGE STAT: Leeds have conceded just 0.53 goals per game this season (10 goals in 19 matches), no side in Europe's top 5 leagues or the top four tiers of English league football has a better defensive record in 2019/20. 👊 #LUFC pic.twitter.com/0OEnui71vU
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) December 1, 2019
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Their recent goalscoring form.
The Whites had a dry spell at the end of September and throughout October that saw them find the net just five times in seven games.
However, they appear to have found their collective shooting boots since the start of November–scoring 11 goals in their last five games.
The form of Patrick Bamford, who has scored three in four games, seems particularly important for Leeds, as does the return to fitness of Eddie Nketiah.
Their ability to get over the line in recent weeks.
It could certainly be argued that the Whites have been less fluent and impressive going forward this season but one thing they have done is shown the fight and determination to get over the line in close games.
By finding late goals again and again–in games against Brentford, Luton Town, and Reading, for example–they have shown that opposition sides are not safe until the final whistle.
They have won five in a row already and given the way they’ve kept their belief right until the last in games this season, I certainly wouldn’t bet against them making it eight.