By the end of this game, Leeds United could be top of the league, but they will have to beat a West Brom side who have promotion aspirations of their own.
Leeds United v West Brom
Friday 1st March, 19:45
Leeds looking to go top…
The home side will be looking to go top of the league despite scuppering their chance to do this in midweek with a shock loss to QPR. Last time out Leeds lost 1-0 at Loftus Road.Their game with West Brom on Friday could potentially put pressure on Norwich City and Sheffield United who are above them in first and second respectively.
Leeds will look to utilise their home advantage over West Brom as they perform far better in front of their home fans as they have only picked up three losses in seventeen matches at home this season. In those seventeen matches, Leeds have won eleven matches. They have a home win ratio of 65% as they have shown they are capable of not only out-scoring their opposition but able to stop them from scoring as well. On average Leeds concede 0.88 goals per game at Elland Road but score on average 1.65 goals per game. In the last seven matches, each match has ended with over 1.5 goals being scored.
Leeds United’s promotion aspirations have been rocked by several poor performances in recent times. In the last five matches, Leeds have lost twice and drew once. The two games that they have won have been two closely contested 2-1 victories. Bielsa will be keen to build momentum to push for an automatic promotion as his side’s inconsistencies would not bode well in a play-off situation.
West Brom look comfortable away…
The last side Leeds would want to face in order to get back to winning ways would be West Brom at home. The Baggies have been impressive away from home this season as they have won ten matches and only lost four times on the road in seventeen matches. West Brom have only lost once in their last five away league matches.
Away from home West Brom have only failed to score in three matches in seventeen away games. Scoring goals has not been an issue for West Brom as they have averaged 1.76 goals per away game. An issue that Darren Moore that will be concerned about would be the amount of goals his side has conceded away from home this season. On average his side concedes 1.12 goals per game. Despite West Brom’s good away form, Moore will want to stamp out conceding needless goals as his side need to pick up wins if they wish to catch Leeds and Sheffield United and claim an automatic promotion position.
Although West Brom have been able to pick up four clean sheets in their seventeen away games, conceding goals has been an issue as over 59% of their games have ended with both teams getting on the score sheet. In fact in West Brom’s last five matches, the side has conceded five goals, which has cost the side four points which are vital for the promotion campaign.
Leeds fresh for this game…
Leeds will be fresh going into this game apart from the loss of midfielder Eunan O’Kane who will be ruled out by a broken leg. Marcelo Bielsa has been without the Irishman for quite some time so he’ll be used to being without him.
West Brom’s attacking midfielder, James Morrison, will miss out due to an ankle injury. The Scottish midfielder has been absent from the West Brom squad since early January.
West Brom to pile on pressure…
Despite being booked as the underdogs in this game, I feel that West Brom will come away from Elland Road with a win. Their away form has gave West Brom’s promotion aspiration more purchase and I think they would fancy themselves to get a win against an inconsistent Leeds side. West Brom have odds of 2/1 to win the match, whereas Leeds United are priced as 6/5 favourites to win the game. In order to give your bet more insurance, I would explore the double chance and draw no bet markets. For West Brom to win or draw you can get odds of 4/7. For West Brom to win draw no bet bookies will offer odds of 5/4.
Both Leeds and West Brom have had more than half of their home and away games, respectively, end with both teams scoring. I feel that this will be a game where goals will be scored from both sides, therefore I would consider the both teams to score market. For both teams to score you can get odds of 6/10. If you add West Brom to win to that bet, you can get odds of 9/2.
West Brom to win draw no bet (5/4)
West Brom to win and BTTS (9/2)