Bielsa on the brink - bookies slash odds on Leeds boss being the next to go

Brighton clash looks make or break for Leeds who could end the weekend in the Premier League’s bottom three.

Leeds United go into Saturday's away clash with Brighton just two points clear of the relegation zone and with the pressure mounting on manager Marcelo Bielsa.

And now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's name has been scrubbed from the Next Premier League Manager to Leave market, that is being reflected in the bookies' odds.

Bielsa is now 7/1 with Planet Sport Bet to be the next top-flight manager to leave, having been widely available at 20/1 at the beginning of the month.

His supporters would point to a crippling injury list at Elland Road, which has left the not so Mighty Whites without striker Patrick Bamford and first-choice right-back Luke Ayling for large chunks of the season. The duo were joined on the sidelines by Rodrigo, Raphinha and Robin Koch for the weekend defeat to Spurs and a lack of depth has contributed to the downturn in fortunes.

However, it is a well-worn policy of Bielsa's to operate with reduced numbers, with the Argentine previously saying he doesn't want his squad to be "too top heavy in terms of numbers and the numbers in the squad so everyone is getting regular game time".

And while that close-knit feel bore fruit in 2019/20 with promotion from the Championship and again in 2020/21 with a top-half Premier League finish, the physical demands placed upon the players looks to be catching up with them.

Patrick Bamford Leeds Sep21

Relief looks a long way off, too, both in terms of wins and resources.

And, with Bielsa notoriously reluctant to buy in the winter transfer window - adjudging the added January premium to literally be too much of a price to pay - the chances of strengthening look slim to none.

Leeds have failed to win any of their last seven visits to Brighton and indeed haven't scored in their last five there. With trips to Premier League pacesetters Chelsea and Manchester City to come next month, they can ill-afford another blank.

That's if Bielsa makes it through to January, of course.

And it's not just a sacking that come into play here. Bielsa could walk. The former Argentina manager rarely hangs around in club soccer for long. In fact, his three-and-a-half year stint at Elland Road is his longest domestic appointment. Plus, he's 66 now, he might decide he simply doesn't need the stress. All that crouching is going to take its toll on his knees eventually.

READ MORE: The Analyst: Newcastle should pick up points under Howe but for bookings rather than wins

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