By Frank McAvennie

1st Oct, 2021 | 7:04pm

Leeds Christmas U-turn predicted by pundit after another crushing injury blow

Frank McAvennie has claimed Leeds United are not in a relegation battle – despite their mounting casualty list.

The former West Ham striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Whites would turn their form around by Christmas time.

Leeds have committed a league-high five defensive errors leading to a shot from an opponent this season (FBref).

The Yorkshire giants currently sit 18th in the table, ahead of Burnley and Norwich, after three draws and three defeats.

Leeds have struggled defensively, with Marcelo Bielsa’s having conceded the joint-second-most goals in the league (14).

Their expected goals (xG) against record, at 2.05 per game, is the third-worst figure among top-flight clubs (FBref).

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Despite their struggles, McAvennie suggested there would be a resurgence for the Yorkshire side.

He claimed they would be “right up the table” by Christmas.

“It’s too early to call it a relegation battle for Leeds,” he told Football Insider‘s Ben Wild.

“It was a smash and grab from West Ham at the weekend. That’s how you play when you’re away from home.

“Leeds did well, I thought they played well.

“Come the middle of the season, around Christmas time, they’ll be right up the table.”

Marcelo Bielsa’s team selection has been hampered by injuries and suspensions.

The Argentine has been missing Pascal Struijk, Raphinha, Diego Llorente, Patrick Bamford, Robin Koch, Luke Ayling and Adam Forshaw in recent weeks.

They are battling the second-worst injury list in the Premier League with seven stars sidelined after it was confirmed that Patrick Bamford’s injury is worse than originally thought and he has been ruled out of tomorrow’s West Ham clash.

Leeds have already suffered defeat against three of last season’s top six in Liverpool, Manchester United and West Ham.

They host Watford this Saturday before travelling to play fellow strugglers Southampton after the international break.

In other news, pundit suggests Leeds star could sign for Man United.