Leeds United are tantalisingly close to scratching a 16-year itch.
With the Championship set to resume this weekend, Marcelo Bielsa’s troops are top of the pile and favourites to achieve automatic promotion.
However, the Yorkshire club have squandered advantageous positions before, most recently in the form of a spectacular implosion against Derby in last season’s play-off semi-final second leg.
talkSPORT have taken a look at the Whites’ remaining fixtures in search of potential stumbling blocks in order to answer the great question lingering over Elland Road: can Leeds finally do it?
You can hear Cardiff City vs Leeds United live and exclusive on talkSPORT 2 on Sunday at 12pm
Cardiff (away) — Leeds resume with a trip to one of their bogey teams. The Welsh side have proved to be stubborn spoilers down the years and they cemented their status as unfavourable opposition earlier this season.
The hosts were 3-0 up and cruising only to draw 3-3 after Cardiff completed an unlikely comeback. That result briefly derailed the promotion bid as they won just one of their next seven games.
The unusual circumstances of the current campaign may benefit Leeds on this occasion. How much of a factor will the Cardiff hoodoo be in an empty stadium?
Neil Harris admits his side showed ‘signs of fatigue’ during their behind-closed-doors friendlies against Swansea while reports out of Thorp Arch suggest Leeds have returned in excellent physical condition.
Fulham (home) — Many have earmarked this as the most important fixture of the promotion run-in. The Cottagers are the only top-six side remaining for the league leaders this season. The reverse fixture finished 1-1, although Scott Parker’s team did benefit from a soft penalty decision on home soil.
In Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham have a dangerous weapon with the attributes to hurt Leeds. The Serbian is dominant in the air and while United have the best defensive record in the Championship, they are vulnerable at set pieces.
Ahead of the restart, Leeds have a seven-point lead over third-placed Fulham. The climax of the season is often punctuated by relegation six-pointers but this fixture is undoubtedly a promotion six-pointer. Incidentally,
Parker’s side host the threatening Brentford in their opening game and also face testing trips to Nottingham Forest and West Brom before the season’s end. Both sides may be happy with a point from this one.
Luton (home) — Fans will be hoping this one is a formality. The Hatters are currently languishing in the relegation zone and while they will be motivated by a desire to preserve their Championship status, the difference in quality should be too great.
Blackburn (away) — Prior to the league’s postponement, Leeds had sold…