West Bromwich Albion vs Leeds United
Marcelo Bielsa takes his Leeds United team down to the West Midlands on Tuesday, hoping to continue their climb up the table.
Premier League WBA vs Leeds is one of those famous top-flight fixtures, and there’s plenty at stake when the two sides meet at the Hawthorns this week.
The two newly promoted teams have had contrasting fortunes since their return to the top flight. The Baggies are in deep trouble in the relegation zone, while Leeds arrive in the West Midlands on the back of a hard fought victory in a Yorkshire-Lancashire hotpot against Burnley at Elland Road, a result which took the Whites up to 11th place in the table, on 20 points from 15 games, halfway to the magic 40 point total.
The last time they were in the Midlands, Marcelo Bielsa’s team put in a wonderful performance to beat Aston Villa 3-0, with Patrick Bamford scoring a spectacular second half hat-trick. And that’s exactly what they’re looking for against the Albion.
Sam needs experienced players to step up
A big problem takes a big character to sort it out and the Baggies, having sacked Slaven Bilic, appointed Sam Allardyce to do just that. But a 3-0 reversal in his first game in charge, against Aston Villa, was not the start he was hoping for.
The WBA vs Leeds United betting odds back the Yorkshire side for a win in this game and Allardyce will be demanding that his experienced players step up to the mark. The cunning old coach will be targeting this game as one he can earn points from, he’s a pragmatic soul and will know that the attacking Leeds team will give him a chance. Midfielder Matt Phillips and full back Branislav Ivanovic have stacks of Premier League experience and that is the only edge the Albion has over Leeds.
Midfield general Jake Livermore sits out the game in the midst of a three-match ban following his red card against Villa, while Matheus Pereira is available again after completing his suspension. When the Baggies started to chase the game against Aston Villa their opponents picked them off with ease and I expect them to be better organised once Allardyce has settled in.
On-loan winger Conor Gallagher has provided a creative outlet for the Baggies and the Chelsea youngster gives the hosts the best chance of a goal.
Phillips so vital for Leeds
Bielsa’s Leeds United have won many admirers this season for their attacking flair and ability to break down the most stubborn defence. Patrick Bamford won and converted the penalty which set Leeds United on their way to the 1-0 win over Burnley. He’s scored ten for the season already, and that’s a tally most strikers in the league would be happy with at the end of the campaign.
While three points was the major consideration for Leeds, head coach Marcelo Bielsa will have been a little concerned by how Burnley dominated for much of the second half, while his own side had ample opportunity to hit the Clarets on the break. Defensive midfielder Kalvin Phillips put in a man-of-the-match performance, making numerous interventions and defensive headers while always ready to launch a counter-attack for the Whites.
We expect the WBA vs Leeds United highlights to feature plenty of attacking play from the visitors with Jack Harrison, top assist maker with four, looking to get at the Baggies defence. But if Phillips continues to put in strong performances in midfield then the more attacking players can operate with freedom.
Three wins and three defeats from the past six games have lifted Leeds away from the relegation mix and they’ll see this as a perfect opportunity to put more distance between themselves and the strugglers.
The Baggies have won four of the nine games played between these two teams, since 2002, with Leeds winning three and there have been two draws.
West Brom haven’t lost at home to Leeds in four games at the Hawthorns, while their opponents’ away record this season reads three wins and four defeats, but that doesn’t give enough reason to back a West Brom victory surely!
Last season the two teams played out a 1-1 draw, Albion defender Semi Ajayi netting at both ends of the pitch as the two teams stayed nine points above third place in the Championship.
|West Bromwich Albion vs Leeds United||Under 3.00 @ 1.86|
|December 30, 2:00 (GMT+8)|
The Baggies are at 3.16 to win here at SBOTOP, with the draw at 3.54, and Leeds favourites to take all three points at odds of 2.01. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a repeat of last season’s 1-1 as I expect the hosts’ defence to be compact.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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