Leeds United are back in the Premier League after sixteen long seasons away. It's been the longest stay outside of England's top division in their history and the club will be looking to make an immediate impact on the top flight under their world-renowned manager, Marcelo Bielsa. Leeds were founder members of the Premier League back in 1992/93 and started the first-ever Premier League campaign as Champions of English football. United's best-ever Premier League finish was third in 1999/2000 when they qualified for the Champions League and went on to the semi-finals the following season.
- Stadium: Elland Road
- Stadium Capacity: 37,890
- Location: Leeds
- Founded: 1919
- Nickname: The Whites or United
- Manager: Marcelo Bielsa
- Kit: White shirt with white shorts and white socks
Leeds United was founded in 1919 and play their home games at Elland Road in Leeds, which is in Yorkshire in the north of England. The capacity of Elland Road is 37890, although its highest ever attendance was 57892, for an FA Cup match against Sunderland, in 1967. The current manager is the Argentinian, Marcelo Bielsa, who has returned Leeds United to the Premier League in only his second season as manager of the club. Leeds United are historically one of the biggest clubs in England and have won the league championship three times, the FA Cup and the League Cup twice. Leeds have also won the UEFA Cup twice, in 1968 and 1971.
Leeds United’s nickname is ‘The Whites’ or 'The Peacocks' although the latter is mainly used by older fans. The nickname comes from Leeds United's kit which in the 1960s was changed to pure white. The change was inspired by Real Madrid's kit and it was said that the change came about because the club aspired to be as successful as the Spanish club. Fans often prefer just to use 'United' as a nickname and as the only professional football club in the city are often simply called 'Leeds'.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is the Danish actor who plays Jaime Lannister in the fantasy drama Game of Thrones and is possibly Leeds United's most famous fan. He is a member of the Leeds United supporters trust. Another famous Leeds United fan is the Australian actor, Russell Crowe. The star of Gladiator was even rumoured to be interested in buying the club a few years ago. More recently, Crowe was the narrator for the documentary that covered Marcelo Bielsa's first season at Leeds United. The documentary is called 'Take us Home' and is available on Amazon.
Leeds is unusual in that it is a large city with only one professional football club. For that reason, Leeds have found their most intense rivalries over the years not necessarily to be the clubs that are closest geographically. Leeds United’s strongest rivalry is with Manchester United and, historically, Chelsea is another fierce rival. There are other local rivals. Yorkshire derbies against Bradford, Huddersfield and the two Sheffield clubs are also often intense encounters.
Before kick-off and at the beginning of the second half Leeds United fans stand to sing 'Marching on together' - the club anthem. The song was originally recorded by Leeds United players who had reached the 1972 FA Cup Final. More recently the acronym or hashtag MOT or #MOT is used by Leeds United fans on social media and football-related messages to show support for their team.
Marching On Together!
We're gonna see you win
na na na na na na
We are so proud,
We shout it out loud we love you Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!
Three to Watch
Marcelo Bielsa hasn't made many changes to the squad that won the Championship last season. Here are three players to watch out for in the Premier League this season:
One player Bielsa has brought in is the Spanish striker, Rodrigo. Leeds broke their transfer record to sign the Spanish international from Valencia for £27 million. Rodrigo scored 59 goals in 220 games for the Spanish team and has won 23 caps and scored 8 times for the national team. Rodrigo should bring the finishing skills to the team that Bielsa has been looking for as even in the Championship, Leeds created many chances and often failed to score. Interestingly, Rodrigo has played in the Premier League before. He played for Bolton in the 2010/11 season when he made 18 appearances and scored once. Leeds will be relying on Rodrigo scoring more in the Premier League this time around.
Kalvin Phillips is Leeds born and has come through the youth ranks at the club. The defensive midfielder and playmaker has become one of the most important players in the Leeds team in recent seasons and was named in the Championship Team of the Season and won his first England cap in September 2020. He became the first Leeds player to represent England for 16 years.
2020/21 will be Pablo Hernandez's fifth season with Leeds United and has made over 150 appearances for the club. The attacking midfielder has been one of the most creative midfielders in the Championship over this time and can create chances from open play and dead-ball situations. This season will not be Hernandez's first in the Premier League. He made 57 Premier League appearances for Swansea City between 2012 and 2014. At the age of 35, Hernandez is the creative heart of this Leeds team and fans will be looking to the Spaniard to create and score goals this season.
Leeds United won the Championship last season (2019/20), which secured automatic promotion back to the Premier League after a sixteen-year absence.
Leeds United should score goals next season. The manager sends out his players to play attacking football and with players like Rodrigo upfront and Pablo Henandez and Kalvin Phillips pulling the strings in midfield, they should create enough. But will they be able to keep the ball out of the net at the other end?
Do you want to know more about Leeds?
Leeds is a city in the north of England. It's the biggest city in Yorkshire - the largest county in the UK. The city became a major centre for the trading of wool in the 17th and 18th centuries and grew to be one of the biggest cities in the north of England during the industrial revolution. Today, Leeds is a modern city university city with a reputation as a city with great nightlife, a thriving music scene and one of the biggest cultural offers outside of London.
Talk about Leeds United
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Do you know any of their players? Have you seen any Leeds United matches?
Where do you think Leeds will finish in the Premier League this season? Do you agree with our prediction?