Date: 15th April 2019 at 12:13pm
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EXCLUSIVE

Noel Whelan has revealed to Football Insider he’s “scared” at how well Aston Villa are playing ahead of the end-of-season play-offs.

The former Leeds United striker and lifelong fan of the club explained how it is vital on many levels that Marcelo Bielsa’s side secure a top-two finish and automatic promotion.

Leeds took a major step towards the Premier League at the weekend as they defeated Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 while rivals Sheffield United and Norwich City both drew.

Villa continued their remarkable winning run with an eighth consecutive victory to cement their fifth place in the Championship table.

“I’m quite scared of them,” Whelan told Football Insider. “They are scoring goals for fun and have become defensively so much more solid. You can imagine their training ground is a brilliant place to be at the moment.

“Villa have got the momentum, Jack Grealish is back making a difference and Tammy Abraham has just been excellent for them all season – goal scorer, got everything that you’d want from a striker.

“You would have to fancy them in the play-offs. They’ve hit form at the right time, just like Fulham did last year. It’s so vital Leeds get automatic promotion and don’t have to face Villa in the play-offs.”

Leeds are second in the Championship with 82 points from 42 games, which makes the top two spots out of reach for Villa, who have 69 points from the same number of matches.

Dean Smith’s side have a five-point cushion to Middlesbrough in seventh.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED the Yorkshire giants are preparing a £7million bid for a midfielder.