Former Leeds United defender Stephen Warnock has highlighted a key reason Sheffield United are favourites to be promoted.
The Blades won both of their matches over the weekend, while Leeds lost both of theirs. The former now have a three point advantage over their Yorkshire rivals with two games remaining. They also have a plus 10 superior goal difference.
It means that if Chris Wilder’s men beat Ipswich Town this weekend, they will effectively be promoted to the Premier League. This is regardless of what the Whites do against Aston Villa.
Leeds have lost three of their last six Championship outings to fall away in the promotion race – and Warnock thinks he knows the problem.
“When we talk about Sheffield United and Norwich, they’ve both got strikers who are scoring goals,” he told EFL on Quest.
“Leeds don’t have that – they’ve got Kemar Roofe, but not enough goals in the team as well.”
The scoring stats
It is true that Leeds are behind the Blades in terms of goals scored – 70 in comparison to 74. They also significantly trail Norwich City’s tally of 89.
However, it is their lack of a consistent scorer that Warnock specifically refers to. Norwich have the division’s top scorer in Teemu Pukki, who netted his 28th goal of the campaign on Easter Monday.
Meanwhile, Blades captain Billy Sharp has 23 league strikes this term, while David McGoldrick’s brace at Hull City means he now has 15.
All are ahead of the Whites’ top scorer Roofe, who has 14 goals. Behind him Pablo Hernandez has scored 12 times.
While Pukki and Sharp have been consistent and reliable scorers for their teams, Warnock thinks Leeds don’t have the same. And that is the reason that they may have to go through the playoffs to be promoted to the Premier League.