By support

29th Dec, 2016 | 4:01pm

Steve Bruce makes bold claim about Leeds ahead of Aston Villa clash

By Dominic Toner

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce believes that the current Leeds side are the best he has seen for a few years.

The Whites travel to Villa Park on Thursday night for a Championship clash and will move up to third in the league table with a victory.

Garry Monk’s have been in impressive form this season and have won five of their last six league games, with the only defeat coming away to table toppers Brighton.

The Yorkshire giants have already face Villa in the league during December and were comfortable 2-0 winners at Elland Road.

Bruce is expecting his team to face a huge test on Thursday and ranks Leeds as one of the best in years.

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“To beat Leeds, who are confident – and they are a very good side, the best I have seen for a few years – will be a big challenge,” Bruce said, as quoted by the club’s official Twitter account.

Leeds are currently vying for promotion and occupy a play-off spot in fifth, but have not played in the Premier League since their relegation in the 2003/04 season.

The Whites have been struggling in the mid table of the Championship for the past six seasons since they were promoted from League One and are desperate to return to the top flight.

Monk has become an instant success with the club’s supporters and has found some consistency in his starting XI.

In other Leeds news, a Sky Sports pundit has named the club’s 21-year-old as the player to watch against Villa.