Paul Merson: This is where Leeds will finish in this season's Championship
By Alex Stevens
Paul Merson has insisted that Leeds will finish in the top six of this season’s Championship.
The Yorkshire giants are well placed to secure a play-off spot that would give them a chance to fight for the third promotion route to the 2017-18 Premier League.
Garry Monk’s side are fourth in the division with a tally of 65 points from 36 matches ahead of their clash against 14th placed QPR on Saturday.
Crucially, Leeds have built up an eight-point gap over the team directly outside of the play-off positions, Fulham, following Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage.
Sky Sports pundit and former England attacking midfielder Merson has little doubt that the revitalised west Yorkshire club can achieve the ambition they set out at the beginning of the season as he made his prediction for Saturday’s encounter to finish 2-2.
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“I think this is a hard game for Leeds,” said Merson on Sky Sports News HQ on Friday morning (11am). “I think QPR will come away with a draw.
“A draw is alright for Leeds now. For me, they are in the playoffs. I don’t see them going up automatically at the moment, but they will consolidate their playoff.”
Leeds’ chance of automatic promotion were dealt a blow on Friday night when Brighton demolished Derby 3-0 at the AMEX Stadium.
It allowed Chris Hughton’s team to secure a second win of the week and pull nine points clear of third-placed Huddersfield and 12 ahead of Leeds in fourth.