Wolves are probably the best recent example of a promoted team successfully backing up an impressive first season in the top flight, and that is something Leeds are eager to emulate this term.
The style and flair with which Leeds played last season meant that not many tipped them to struggle this year, but the early signs in 2021-22 have been ominous for Marcelo Bielsa’s men.
Leeds have only won one of their opening eight games of the campaign, scoring seven goals and picking up just six points in that time – a tally which leaves them hovering one place above the relegation zone heading into gameweek nine.
That six-point haul constitutes the club’s worst start to a league campaign in 33 years, while seven goals in eight games is a sharp decline from the 12 they plundered in the final four games of last season.
Indeed, Bielsa’s side have only managed to score more than once in a game on two occasions from their 10 matches across all competitions so far in 2021-22, and both of those games came in August.
Last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Southampton saw Leeds fail to register a single shot on target, while their average of 3.9 per game is noticeably down from the 5.2 they recorded last season.
However, it is not just at the attacking end where Leeds have struggled so far; only the bottom two – Newcastle United and Norwich City – have conceded more than the 15 the Whites have shipped, while they have faced more shots on target than any other Premier League side in 2021-22.
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That will be good news for a Wolves side that are beginning to find their feet in front of goal, scoring six times in their last three league games having managed only two in their opening five – one of which was an own goal.
Such an improvement can be traced to their shot conversion, which stood at a measly 2.4% after their first 85 attempts this season, but has since shot up with Wolves scoring from six of their last 18 efforts.
Three of those came after the 80th minute at Villa Park last weekend as Wolves pulled off one of the most unlikely comebacks in Premier League history to take all three points from the Midlands derby