Championship front-runners Leeds will finally return to action with Sunday’s clash at Cardiff City after what will have been a 15-week lay-off due to the country’s battle against coronavirus.
All remaining fixtures will be played behind closed doors with Leeds taking in their final nine games in the space of 32 days.
But former Whites custodian Robinson says United have been dealt a favourable hand by having a week between their first two games back which present, on paper, two of their toughest tests left.
ALL POINTING UP: Says former Leeds United goalkeeper Paul Robinson, above. Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images.
Leeds will face third-placed Fulham at Elland Road next Saturday – six days after their long away day at play-offs hopefuls Cardiff – but thereafter the games will come thick and fast with every weekend fixture followed by a mid-week test.
With United also accustomed to making excellent starts following breaks in play, Robinson believes everything is pointing towards United going up.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are one point ahead of second-placed West Brom but hold a seven-point cushion in the division’s automatic promotion places back to third-placed Fulham.
“This is a massive opportunity for them to kick clear of Fulham in third place,” said Robinson, speaking to Sky Sports.
“They won’t be looking at winning the title just yet, they will just be looking at securing automatic promotion.
“You look at the Cardiff game away first which is a completely different proposition with an empty stadium but the big factor is you look at the gap between the games and they have got a week between the games.
“If that Fulham game was midweek there would be a lot of travelling there and the two games very close together.
“But the fact that they have got a big gap between the first two games when they have got Luton at home, if they pick up seven points out of the first three games I think they are almost there.
“If they beat Cardiff and then take the points off Fulham which potentially then will open up a bigger gap between themselves and Fulham.
“I can’t see Leeds slipping up in all honesty, I know that’s speaking from a very biased point of view but under Marcelo Biela in the last two seasons they have started like a train.
“They always come out the blocks quickly, they dominate the league and the early games they always win.
“They are the fittest team, they are the strongest team in the league by a long way and the break will have only got them fitter and stronger because they know the demands that Bielsa puts on them and everything at the moment is pointing towards Leeds going up for me.”
Assessing the prospect of playing games in empty stadiums – and the impact that could have in the nine games at Elland Road – Robinson reasoned: “We talk about teams losing home advantage but sometimes there is a huge pressure on playing at home, especially when things aren’t going well.
“There’s a nervousness that could creep in and there’s an uncertainty that can creep in.
“There’s certainly an expectancy when you play at Elland Road.
“It’s one of the best supported clubs in the land they will sell out home and away and they will take 5,000 away to Doncaster on a Tuesday night for a cup game.
“The support that the club have got is phenomenal and to hopefully celebrate promotion in front of an empty stadium would be disappointing, as it would be at Anfield for the Liverpool fans
“But the way that Leeds are they will take promotion in any way shape or form and I am sure the celebrations if necessary will take place when they can.
“The home advantage that they have when things are going right with the support behind them is absolutely huge but with the expectancy, the uncertainty, the nervousness that could creep in, I think everything is just in their favour at the moment.
“Unless they get a couple of tricky results in the first two games – the difficult fixtures – Cardiff and Fulham – two very difficult games,
“Should that not go their way then nerves may creep in.
“But if they get a couple of positive results in the first two games then I can see Leeds securing promotion very early.”