After going through the most difficult month of their season without tasting defeat, the more optimistic Leeds United fans are starting to question the prospects of qualifying for European football.
Manchester City’s Carabao Cup victory this weekend opened up another European place for the Premier League, meaning this season’s sevenths will advance to next season’s new Europa Conference League.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are currently in ninth place in the Premier League table, so what are the odds of scoring two more places in the last five matches of the season?
Six points currently separate Leeds and Tottenham, who currently sit in sixth place and also enjoy a much better goal difference than the Whites.
The two teams meet at Elland Road on May 8, while Leeds’ other four remaining fixtures see them face sides currently in the bottom third of the table.
So it’s easy to see why the whispers are starting to sound, but the data spewed out by FiveThirtyEight’s supercomputer offers a more earthly approach.
The US website, which uses complex modeling systems to predict anything from US elections to league play-offs, has updated its Premier League predictions after this weekend’s action and is not seeing Leeds make a late start for Europe.
Their planned end of season table sees Leeds finish in tenth place with 54 points, one place and one point behind Arsenal, who currently lag Bielsa’s men in the current table.
They predict a level goal difference for Leeds, while Tottenham take seventh, behind West Ham in sixth and Liverpool in fifth.
Another mark of Leeds’ progress in recent times can be seen in their world club football ranking, which aims to rank 636 world teams.
At the top of that pile are Manchester City – the victims of Leeds a fortnight ago – with Liverpool and Man United also in the top five and also unable to beat the Whites this month.
The big and the good of European football dominate the list, with Leeds being the 44th best team in the world. This represents an increase of four places compared to last week and puts them above Europa League semi-finalists Roma, who come in 47th place.
Have your say
Will Leeds claim an unlikely European place? Use our prediction widget below to map the rest of the season and where Bielsa’s men will end the season.
The widget begins with this weekend’s fixtures when Leeds visits Brighton and continues until the end of the campaign.