Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has claimed that Leeds United are the fittest team in the Premier League as his side make the trip to Elland Road on Wednesday night.
Leeds have been completely transformed as a club ever since Marcelo Bielsa was appointed back in the summer of 2018.
The Argentine has implemented such rigorous training regimes that Leeds were immediately cemented as one of the team’s to beat in the Championship, and now in the Premier League, they are causing similar issues to even the best sides.
The fitness levels of the squad are almost unmatched by their rivals and the data has backed it up:
In case you missed it, we looked at the average team and league level sprinting distance for the start of the 2020/21 season on more than 20 leagues. We can see the effect of Marcelo Bielsa's unique playing style as Leeds United have the highest sprint output in Europe. pic.twitter.com/7j6umFduEM
— SkillCorner (@SkillCorner) December 10, 2020
The Whites are averaging a distance of sprints per game far higher than any other side in the league comfortably the most in Europe too.
With the festive period underway in the English leagues, fitness levels are set to be tested with squads stretched to the limit already.
After succumbing to a 2-1 defeat to West Ham on Friday night, attention has swiftly turned to tonight’s clash against Newcastle United, who will be flagging somewhat after their less-than-ideal fortnight on Tyneside.
The club’s training facilities had been temporarily shut as a string of positive cases were discovered in the club, meaning a battle to regain fitness for their clash with West Brom this weekend was on.
The Magpies clinched an important three points, but the short recovery time before the game at Elland Road might be a detriment to the visitors.
During his pre-match press conference, Steve Bruce was keen to point out the advantage Leeds have over Newcastle thanks to their fitness levels.
“Physically as a team, they’re number one in the Premier League,” Bruce said to the Chronicle Live.
“They have the ability to run long distances very quickly and that’s something Bielsa has brought into them.
“He’s a top-class coach and manager. It’s no surprise to me because they did that in the Championship.
“They’ve blown teams away doing that and we have to be ready for that challenge.”