Leeds United aim to build momentum for the first time this season on Sunday afternoon as they welcome Leicester City to Elland Road in the Premier League (2pm). The visitors will be looking for a first win in three matches, but can they get it? Read this LUFC vs LCFC preview with betting tips and get the lowdown.
The Leeds players come here with their tails up after beating Norwich City on the road last weekend. That win signalled the end of three-game winless streak and prevented the Whites from dropping further into trouble. It’s not been a great start to the season for Bielsa’s men, who are currently just three points above the drop-zone, but after key players such as Raphinha and Rodrigo came to life en route to victory last time out, the hosts should be feeling upbeat.
After spending lots of time in the top four over the last two seasons, only to narrowly miss out on a Champions League qualification place each time, the Foxes will have their sights set on featuring in Europe’s premier club competition sooner rather than later, though they’ve not exactly started the new campaign like a top-four contender. As things stand, after four wins, two draws and four losses, Brendan Rodgers’ men find themselves sat in a modest 11th position in the Premier League standings. They also arrive here off the back of a rather soft defeat at the hands of an Arsenal side that has hardly been in flying form over the last few months.
Leeds struggling at home
Last season, especially at Elland Road, Bielsa’s men made a name for themselves as a team that could run anybody ragged. They harried sides, created lots of chances and in swashbuckling style, often had the opposition on the ropes. However, this time around, they’ve flattered to deceive somewhat, even when surrounded by the comforts of home.
It took Sunday’s hosts four attempts to get off the mark in terms of picking up maximum points at home this season, which is far from impressive. That said, there have been elements of promise in each of their last two efforts at this venue. They made light work of beating Watford, keeping a clean sheet in the process, while although a 1-1 draw was all they could manage against Wolves when last in action at home, they played with purpose and were more creative than their opponents. Leeds United’s last two home fixtures have produced an xG total of 3.8 for and only 1.2 against, which is much more like it.
LCFC warming to the task on the road
To start with, much like Leeds at home, Leicester struggled away from home this season. Sunday’s visitors kicked their away-day campaign off with a 1-4 defeat at the hands of West Ham, and they were well beaten, while they weren’t exactly convincing when beating whipping Boys Norwich by a single goal next time out. Since then, they’ve lost one, drawn one and won one on the road, but their performances have been steady.
Rodgers’ men have started to create more and concede slightly less, posting expected goals for figures of 1.7, 1.7 and 1.5 in their last three, surrendering 1.4, 1.3 and 1.2. Such numbers are far from impressive, but they’re steady and seem to be getting better.
Where’s the bet in this LUFC vs LCFC EPL clash?
It’s hard to look at this fixture and not be drawn to the hosts at the prices on offer with the UK online bookies. Yes, Leeds haven’t started tremendously well this season, but they come here in better form than the visitors, who having played in Europe on Thursday night aren’t as rested as the hosts. Moreover, the last two efforts of Bielsa’s men at home have been encouraging.
Those wanting to side with the hosts for the win shouldn’t be put off as their recent home efforts have, at the very least, been no worse than Leicester’s recent travelling efforts, and thus the Whites probably deserve more respect in the betting. The better option is perhaps ‘Leeds United to Score Over 1.5 Goals’ at odds of 6/5.
If we look at Leeds’ last three at home, we can see that they’ve produced an expected goals for average of 1.7, posting individual figures of 1.3, 1.9 and 1.9. Add this to the fact that Leicester have shipped numbers of 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 in their last three on the road, conceding twice in two of those three.
More to come from forward
Just like it has taken Leeds a while to pick up the pace this season, it’s taken one of their foremost attacking threats to come to the boil. Rodrigo is a central piece in the attacking plan of Bielsa’s side, especially in the absence of Patrick Bamford, and the Spaniard has hit form in recent weeks, scoring two in his last three.
Now that he’s found his feet this season, with momentum behind him, it would be little surprise if an average of 1.87 shots per 90 minutes quickly increased, while thanks to an ever-blossoming rapport with Brazilian winger Raphinha, the 30-year-old is getting more and more chances. At odds of 23/10, he looks an excellent ‘Anytime Scorer’ bet.
Therefore, these are the couple of betting tips we promise for this Leeds vs Leicester preview:
- Leeds United to score over 1.5 goals @ 6/5 with William Hill, Betfair or BetVictor.
- Rodrigo to score at any time @ 23/10 with Paddy Power.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.