By Darren Bent

25th Aug, 2020 | 5:29pm

Exclusive: Darren Bent makes bold Leeds claim after big announcement

Darren Bent has tipped Leeds United to “surprise a few people” at the beginning of the Premier League season despite their tricky start.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former England striker delivered his verdict as Leeds’ first Premier League fixtures in 16 years were revealed.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side will begin the campaign with a trip to last season’s Premier League champions Liverpool.

Liverpool were last beaten at Anfield in the Premier League in April 2017 when former player Christian Benteke fired Crystal Palace to victory.

Leeds last won at Anfield all the way back in April 2001 when goals from Rio Ferdinand and Lee Bowyer helped the whites win 2-1.

Leeds’ first home game of the season sees them host fellow promoted side Fulham the following week.

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They then travel to last season’s surprise package, Sheffield United.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Wolves then visit Elland Road in consecutive weeks.

All games are expected to take place behind closed doors, like the end of last season, as covid-19 remains a huge health concern in the UK.

There has yet to be an announcement on whether any of the games will be broadcast on TV in the UK.

Asked by Football Insider how Leeds will fare in their opening fixtures, Bent said: “There not being eased in, it’s straight away bang, bang, bang but you’ve got to play them all at some stage.

“I think Leeds will do alright, they’ll be OK.

“People will look at that start and think ‘oh, no’.

“But I genuinely think, with Bielsa in charge and with some of the players they’ve got, they’re going to be alright.

“I think they’re going to surprise a few people.”

In other Leeds news, Noel Whelan has been left wowed as the club reportedly plot a move for a Champions League winner.