Last time Leeds were in the Premier League: a look at the opposition 
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Leeds United are gearing up for their first season in the Premier League in 16 years and with the new season just around the corner, VAVEL looks back at the 19 teams that made up the Whites' competition from that 2003-04 campaign. 

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Champions: Arsenal

One of the greatest season in top flight history occurred as the Gunners became the first Premier League side to go unbeaten through a full 38-game season, winning 26 and drawing 12, they won the league by 11 points and earned the title of "The Invincibles". 

Thierry Henry led the Premier League with 30 goals as he bagged the Player of the Year award from both the league and, for the second successive season, the PFA. 

Jens Lehmann was joint top, with Fulham goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar, in keeping 14 clean sheets. While manager Arsene Wenger picked up both Premier League and LMA Manager of the Year honours.

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Runners-up: Chelsea

A solid season under Claudio Ranieri saw the Blues finish second to Arsenal, as well as reaching the Champions League semi-finals, the fifth round of the FA Cup, and the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup. 

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink led Chelsea with 13 goals as Ranieri's men scored five goals three times, and four goals on three other occasions. 

The Italian was sacked at the end of the season in favour of Jose Mourinho and long-time chairman Ken Bates sold the club to Russian businessman, Roman Abramovich, with the duo bringing the next two Premier League titles to Stamford Bridge.

Bates went on to acquire a 50% stake in Leeds in the January of 2005; a match that wasn't exactly made in heaven.

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3rd: Manchester United

The defending league champions were eight points worse than their 2002-03 title-winning team even though they still featured the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane and Gary Neville.

Ruud van Nistelrooy was the club's leading scorer with 30 goals. The Dutchman was key in helping Sir Alex Ferguson's side win both the FA Cup and Community Shield. 

In the top three all season, United led the league for five weeks, but dropped from the top spot after a shock 1-0 loss to bottom club Wolverhampton Wanderers and were either second or third for the rest of the season.

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4th: Liverpool

Gerard Houllier began his final season in charge at Anfield winless in three and although the Reds rebounded, they finished a staggering 30 points behind Arsenal.

Also disturbing was losing twice to Charlton Athletic and Southampton. Michael Owen was the club's top scorer with 19 goals in all competitions, earning his place on Pelé's all time top 100 players.

Owen was joined by the likes of Steven Gerrard, Harry Kewell, Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia and Emile Heskey. 

Houllier was replaced by Rafael Benitez, who brought a UEFA Champions League title to Merseyside in 2005 as well as the FA Cup in 2006.

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5th: Newcastle United

Sir Bobby Robson's Magpies were led by the legendary Alan Shearer, who tallied 28 goals in all competitions. 

The Tynesiders also reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals with a solid squad that also boasted the likes of Gary Speed, Shola Ameobi, Jonathan Woodgate, Craig Bellamy, Kieron Dyer and Jermaine Jenas. 

Failure to win a league game until October and ending the season with one victory in seven matches likely cost Newcastle a Champions League spot.

Their most notable league win was on April 25th when they defeated Chelsea 2-1, Ameobi and Shearer scoring four minutes apart.

6th: Aston Villa

A far cry from the current squad that is struggling to stay in the Premier League, the Villains overcame a slow start, winning just two of their first 13 matches. 

Villa were in the bottom three in mid-December before rallying with a sterling second-half of the season under the guidance of David O'Leary, who was hired away from Leeds in the summer. 

Juan Pablo Angel paced the Villa attack with 16 league goals while Darius Vassell bagged nine. Gareth Barry, Lee Hendrie, Peter Crouch and Jlloyd Samuel were key contributors to a team that reached the Carling Cup semi-finals and only lost out on a UEFA Cup spot to Newcastle on goal difference.

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7th: Charlton Athletic 

Alan Curbishley led the Addicks to their best-ever finish in the Premier League while goalkeeper Dean Kiely was named the club's Player of the Year.

Jason Euell led Charlton with ten goals, but it was captain Matt Holland, Chris Powell, Chelsea loanee Carlton Cole and Paolo Di Canio who were other key figures in the squad.

Impressively, Charlton managed the double over Liverpool and reached the third round in both the FA Cup and Carling Cup.

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8th: Bolton Wanderers

The Wanderers are now mired in EFL League Two amid financial mismanagement, but back in 2003-04, Sam Allardyce had Bolton flying high in their third consecutive season in the Premier League.

Jay Jay Okocha, Kevin Davies, Kevin Nolan, Youri Djorkaeff, Henrik Pedersen and Jussi Jasskelainen were among those who led Bolton to the Carling Cup Final, knocking out Liverpool in the fourth round before being beaten by Middlesbrough in the final.

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9th: Fulham

Chris Coleman began his first full season in charge of the Cottagers after taking over for Jean Tigana in April of the previous season.

Led by the 15 goals of Louis Saha - who left for Manchester United during the season - Fulham reached the FA Cup quarter-finals behind captain Lee Clark, US internationals Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra, Zat Knight and the excellence of Van Der Sar in goal.

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10th: Birmingham City

After a season of struggle in 2002-03 in which the Blues avoided relegation with seven wins from their last 11 games, Steve Bruce's men were in the top four into November.

Although they couldn't keep up that pace, they were never lower than their finishing position of tenth with Chelsea loanee Mikael Forssell leading the way with 19 goals in all competitions, 17 of which were in league matches.

Their best win was a 2-0 triumph over Newcastle on August 30 with both Forssell and David Dunn finding the back of the net.

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11th: Middlesbrough

Steve McClaren's side brought the club's first major trophy to the Riverside Stadium in their 128-year history.  A 2-1 triumph over Bolton was enough to seal a Carling Cup title - Joseph Desire-Job and Bolo Zenden scored their goals that afternoon.

Their league campaign was not as fruitful, losing four of their first five matches, going unbeaten in eight from October through December and finishing with four defeats in five games. 

Juninho and Sziland Nemeth were joint top scorers in the league with eight goals apiece.

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12th: Southampton

The Saints had reached the FA Cup final the previous year and finished eighth in the league, but were nowhere near that form either domestically or in the cup competitions.

Manager Gordon Strachan resigned in March with Paul Sturrock taking over. 

James Beattie was the club's leading scorer with 14 league goals. Undoubtedly, the double over Liverpool and a 1-0 victory over Manchester United were the best results of their season.

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13th: Portsmouth

Competing in the top flight for the first time since the 1987-88 season, Pompey were top of the league after three games, but their form dipped soon after.

Only one loss in their final ten games saw them comfortably survive as well as being one of two sides not to lose to Arsenal. 

Yakubu paced Harry Redknapp's side with 16 goals.

These were high times for Portsmouth as they are now battling for promotion back to the second tier and will be preparing for yet another season in League One.

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14th: Tottenham Hotspur 

One of the founding members of the Premier League, Spurs never really mounted any sort of challenge in the league or cup competitions and they recorded their lowest league finish since 1998.

Manager Glenn Hoddle was relieved of his duties after two and a half years in the job. Director of Football, David Pleat, taking over in the White Hart Lane dugout. 

Robbie Keane topped the club's scoring charts with 14 goals.

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15th: Blackburn Rovers

A sixth place finish in 2002/03 gave Rovers a second straight UEFA Cup spot, but they spent much of this season battling against the drop.

The Lancashire side put five past Wolves on the opening day of the season, but that was as good as it got for the Ewood Park outfit. 

Rovers cobbled together four wins on the trot in late April and early May, the last a 1-0 victory over Manchester  United, to ease relegation fears. 

Andy Cole led Graeme Souness' side with 11 goals. 

16th: Manchester City

Nowhere near the power they are now, the blue half of Manchester opened up the new City of Manchester Stadium after spending 80 years at venerable Maine Road. 

City were in the top half of the table after 11 games, but a 3-0 loss to Leicester City started a severe downturn in form.

Undoubtedly their most memorable match was the fourth round FA Cup replay against Tottenham. City fell 3-0 behind and Joey Barton uncharacteristically got himself sent off for verbal abuse.

They came all the way back with Jon Macken scoring the winner to complete the stunning fightback. 

Nicolas Anelka led the Citizens with 16 goals.

17th: Everton

After guiding the Toffees to seventh in his first full season in charge, David Moyes saw the Merseysiders slump to just one place above the relegation zone. 

Wayne Rooney would eventually leave Goodison Park for Manchester United and Everton lost their last four games of the season. 

Rooney and Duncan Ferguson each netted nine times to lead the club's goalscoring charts.

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18th: Leicester City

Finishing one place ahead of Leeds following their promotion back to the Premier League. The Foxes thumped the Whites 4-0 in September, but they endured five straight defeats after that. 

Micky Adams' side won just two of their final 22 matches to go straight back down.

The season would ultimately be remembered for Keith Gillespie, Frank Sinclair and Paul Dickov being accused of sexual assault at a hotel in Spain. All charges were later dropped. 

Les Ferdinand was Leicester's 'fox in the box', scoring 13 goals in the campaign.


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20th: Wolverhampton Wanderers 

The only team to finish below Leeds, Wolves were both unlucky with Joleon Lescott and Matt Murray missing virtually the entire season with injuries, while Mark Kennedy and Kenny Miller were also out for long spells.

Wolves became the third team in top flight history to go a full season without winning a match on the road. Dave Jones' side didn't pick up their first win until their eighth game of the season and they scored the fewest goals (38) while having the joint worst goal difference with Leeds (-39). 

Henri Camara was the club's leading scorer with a paltry seven goals. The 1-0 victory over Manchester United with Miller finding the back of the net in the 67th minute was their brightest spot in an otherwise dismal season.

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