A top of the table clash awaits the two sides, this match will have stock in the final league positions at the end of the season.
Leeds United v Norwich City
Saturday 2nd February, 17:30
Leeds will be glad to put January behind them
With Leeds were flying during the ‘Spy-Gate’ scandal, Bielsa’s infamous press conference suggested that the Yorkshire club knew their other twenty-three Championship opponents inside out, but January form shows that has not been the case. After three losses and just two wins, Leeds have been lucky to still sit at the top of the table give their recent topsy turvy form. Leeds got back to winning ways against Yorkshire rivals Rotherham United last weekend with a late 2-1 victory. Leeds are three points clear of 2nd place Norwich going into this one.
Despite a poor showing during the Winter period between late December and January, Leeds United can boast good form whilst playing at Elland Road in recent weeks, having won six of their last ten home matches, drawing two and losing only two. Bielsa can thank his side’s defensive efforts this season, with 50% of Leeds’ games at home ending in a clean sheet for his side.
As well as this, Leeds rarely lack goals at home with only 14% of matches ending with the home side failing to score. Kemar Roofe has been a reason for this stat, with the English striker scoring fourteen goals this season. Although the frontman has failed to get on the score sheet since Leeds’ 2-0 win over Derby in January. Goals have been plentiful for Leeds this season without the club being heavily reliant on one man to get them. From midfield Mateusz Klich and Pablo Hernandez have both picked up seven goals in the league this season.
Norwich away draws need to stop for them to catch Leeds
Norwich City fans can’t complain with the amount of goals their team has scored this season. With the Canaries bagging fifty-four goals this season, they have put themselves second only to West Brom (fifty-seven) in the goal scoring charts. However the fans would have qualms with their side conceding thirty-eight goals which is higher than anyone else in the top half of the table.
Despite getting goals in their last five away matches (five in five) they have conceded four goals, a stat which has caused the Norfolk side have to draw four of their last five matches. Although they have only lost once away this season, Daniel Farke’s side have been riding their luck of late whilst on their travels, as his side have come from behind to equalise in all but two of their last five matches. With one draw away from home, Norwich could be sitting higher in the league if it wasn’t for the seven draws picked up on the road, that’s fourteen points dropped.
Contributing to their goals this year, is free signing Teemu Pukki, who sits at 3rd in the goal scoring charts for the division. The Finlander, who joined in the summer, has hit seventeen goals this season. The former Schalke man has been in scoring form of late scoring five goals in five league games. In terms of assists, the goals have been laid on by different sources, the winger Onel Hernandez has picked up six assists, Pukki has matched those statistics and full back Max Aarons has picked up four.
No fresh Injury concerns for either side
Going into this one, both teams are relatively fresh, Leeds don’t have any absentees through injury. Pontus Jannson returns from his suspension. Whereas Norwich, although they miss Alex Tettey and Carlton Morris, they have done for the last few games. The away side may see the return of the Germans; Timm Klose and Moritz Leitner who have been injured in recent weeks.
Leeds to go six points clear
Marcelo Bielsa’s men go into this as favourites, with bookies giving them odds of 10/11 to win compared to Norwich getting 3/1 to win at Elland Road. There is good reasoning behind the bookies backing the home side given their recent home form and the impetus to go six points clear of their opponents in the league.
Despite winning five of their last six home games, Leeds have been liable for conceding goals. In the last six home games Leeds have conceded five goals. Marry this to Norwich’s away scoring record of one goal per game (1.64) then there is sound reasoning that both sides will get on the scoresheet. The bookies price for both teams to score is 13/20. However for added value Leeds to win and both teams to score gets a price of 5/2.
Continuing on the line of goals, nine out of ten Leeds home matches have ended with over 1.5 goals been scored, supporting this outcome to occur in this match is that eight out Norwich’s last ten matches have ended this way. The bookies don’t give a lot of value for this to occur on its own, at odds of 2/9. However coupled up with a Leeds win, bookies offer odds of 6/5 for them to win and the match to get over 1.5 goals.
Another market to be mindful of is cards market. As well as both sides being low in the fair play charts in the division, in the last six games, Leeds have averaged 28 booking points per game, with Norwich gaining 25 booking point on average in their last six games. For each side to pick up 20+ booking points it’s 5/4.
Leeds to win and BTTS (5/2)
Leeds to win over 1.5 goals (6/5)
Each side 20+ booking points (5/4)