Leeds United are about to enter what looks to be a make or break series of matches that can put them in a great place or end their promotion hopes in the Sky Bet Championship.
An unbeaten run in their next seven games will get Whites fans excited, but at the same time it is conceivable that Thomas Christiansen’s men could fail to win any of them with a run of matches to come against rivals teams with promotion hopes of their own.
When the fixtures were planned it could never have been envisaged that Leeds would have such a run of tough games with so much riding on each.
The seven testers begin this Saturday with a home game against Cardiff City and a certain Neil Warnock, whose recent record against United is nothing but successful. The Welsh side sat in third place ahead of last night’s games with designs on an automatic promotion spot and high hopes of making it a double over Leeds, having beaten them 3-1 in September.
Leeds’ hopes of revenge have not been helped by their discipline problems, which have left them without skipper Liam Cooper, midfielders Kalvin Phillips and Eunan O’Kane and number 10 Samuel Saiz, who are all still suspended.
Defenders Luke Ayling and Conor Shaughnessy are also injured so Christiansen is hardly picking from strength when he finalises his team.
Phillips and O’Kane will be available again for the following match, but it does not get any easier for the Whites as they travel to play a Sheffield United side who also hold a victory over them this season.
Home games with Bristol City and Brentford plus an away game against Derby County follow before the end of February while March roars in with a trip to Middlesbrough and a match at home to leaders Wolves so it is clearly a great time to hit their best form for Leeds.
United have had their good patches already this season alongside periods when they did not know when their next win was coming in a bizarre topsy turvy campaign.
Having started with nine games unbeaten at the start of the season, they suffered seven defeats in nine league matches after that only to then pick up 16 points from 18 in late November and December.
January has brought a second big stumble with no wins in five winnable games and the club has dropped to tenth place, their lowest league position of the season. They are still in touch with the play-off places, however, ahead of their big period coming up so all hope is not yet lost.