Last updated September 17th, 2021
Sunday’s only Premier League fixture sees Leeds United take on Liverpool at what will undoubtedly be a packed and roaring Elland Road (4.30pm; TV: Live on Sky Sports). After recovering from their opening day defeat, the hosts will be looking to kick on, while the visitors go in search of a third win in four matches.
Read on for our full preview of this EPL match, with betting tips at the conclusion.
Things went awry for Marcelo Bielsa and his men during the opening weekend, as their cavalier approach allowed Manchester United to run riot. Conceding five en route to defeat certainly isn’t the perfect way to start the campaign. They have since steadied themselves, securing a pleasing draw against Everton, while the Whites showed that they can grind out a result coming from behind to draw 1-1 away at Burnley last time out.
We’ve not yet seen their swashbuckling style bear fruit, but if last season is anything to go by, it shouldn’t be long before Leeds run teams into submission.
As for the visitors, well, it’s been a reasonably straightforward start. Klopp’s men kicked the campaign off with a simple and altogether routine win against Norwich, while they didn’t exactly need to hit top gear to brush aside Burnley on match-day two, scoring twice and not really encountering any defensive problems along the way.
The fact that Liverpool were unable to get the job done against a Chelsea side that played the entirety of the second half with ten men last time out was perhaps a little worrying. Then again, if any team is set up to frustrate the best this season, it’s probably the well-oiled machine that is Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.
Giving too much away
We all saw what this Leeds side is capable of last season; they get on the front foot, pass the ball as well as any team in the division, and can threaten any defence on their day. However, at times, their attacking strength came at a price, and that price was defensive instability, which doesn’t seem to have disappeared this season.
Bielsa’s men are yet to keep a clean sheet and have conceded eight goals in three matches. In terms of chances surrendered, they have probably not given away enough to warrant eight goals against, but they’ve certainly not kept it tight, conceding expected goals figures of 1.5, 2.1 and 1.4. Such figures don’t exactly bode well ahead of a match against a side that can be as creative as just about any team in the Premier League.
Visitors on the right track
There has been plenty to like about the way Liverpool have started the campaign. They have kept things tight, have dominated games and have shown that they retain the same killer instinct that saw them conquer the division two seasons ago. Not only have they scored six goals, but they have created 7.6 expected goals, posting figures of 2.0, 2.9 and 2.7, so they’ve more than done enough to warrant their goals scored total.
They probably should have conceded more than just once in three matches, given that they have surrendered a total of 2.9 xG, but the fact that their creativity has far outweighed what they have allowed their opponents to create is a huge positive.
LUFC vs LFC: Where’s the bet?
Whenever this Leeds side is involved, a high-scoring game isn’t far away, and the goal route seems a viable one to take in the pre-match betting. Specifically, ‘Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score’ appeals.
We know that Leeds give plenty away, so a Liverpool side that has created plenty and scored reasonably freely during the early weeks of the season ought to get no shortage of attacking joy in this fixture, though we certainly should not discount the hosts from an attacking point of view. They have scored in three out of three this term, scoring twice against a useful Everton side, so they should have a say offensively.
The fact that there has been an average of 2.86 expected goals produced in Leeds’ matches this season, alongside an average of 3.5 xG in Liverpool’s fixtures, further adds to the appeal of the selected bet.
Back-to-back goals for Bamford?
Patrick Bamford opened his account for the season when Leeds were last in action, notching in timely fashion away at Burnley, and it would be no surprise if the forward, who rarely goes without chances, notched against a Liverpool defence that without being poor, hasn’t been quite as secure as results may suggest.
The Englishman capped by his country for the first time last week showed no fear when scoring several goals against the big teams last season, including Liverpool, while he has made a typically strong start in terms of taking up goal-getting positions this time around. With an average of 0.60 expected goals per 90, Bielsa’s hitman is supported to add to his tally.
So these are the two advised betting tips for this EPL match preview:
- Over 2.5 goals & both teams to score @ 4/5.
- Patrick Bamford to score at any time @ 21/10 with BetVictor.
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.