Leeds United vs Southampton
Leeds United and Southampton will both be looking to make it back toward the top half of the Premier League table when the two sides collide at Elland Road this midweek.
Neither side has been doing much winning of late. Leeds are in 12th place after suffering three defeats in their last four, while Southampton – just one place and two points behind – haven’t won in the league since early January.
Saints successfully ended their extended losing skid this past weekend with a draw against Chelsea. But can they finally get back to winning ways against Leeds, who have had their issues at home this season?
Leeds shaking things up
Leeds United are not loving the month of February. They have now lost three of their first four matches this month after going down 1-0 to Wolves due to an unlucky Illan Meslier own goal.
Once again, Leeds created their fair share of chances (18) and had seven shots on target. Mateusz Klich also came close when he hit the woodwork. But the Whites were unsuccessful in breaking past the Wolves backline as they were held without a goal for the first time in their last six matches.
Leeds’ depth in midfield has been tested of late with injuries to Kalvin Phillips and Rodrigo. Tyler Roberts was handed a rare start against Wolves as manager Marcelo Bielsa looked for an attacking spark, but the 22-year-old still has yet to score a single goal this season.
Pablo Hernandez also came on as a substitute, which was just his second appearance over the last month. It remains to be seen whether Bielsa will make further changes to his starting line-up against Southampton given his limited options.
Leeds continue to rely heavily on the likes of Patrick Bamford (12 goals) and Raphinha for their goals. The Brazilian was the team’s best player against Wolves with four shots. Both of them should fancy creating more chances against a Southampton side that will not be quite as defensive as Wolves were.
Southampton still searching for win
Southampton defied the Premier League 2021 odds by holding Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea to a 1-1 draw, which finally ended their disastrous run of six straight league defeats.
It was a spirited defensive performance from the Saints, who limited Chelsea to only seven shots even though the Blues controlled 70 per cent of possession.
But despite having so little of the ball, Southampton still took the lead through Takumi Minamino. The Japanese international has made an immediate impact since his arrival on loan from Liverpool and has two goals in three matches.
Southampton are still dealing with a number of injury concerns, including Kyle Walker-Peters, Theo Walcott, Michael Obafemi and Stuart Armstrong.
Meanwhile, Ralph Hasenhuttl has replaced Che Adams with Nathan Redmond as Danny Ings’ strike partner over the last few games. Hasenhuttl may be forced to make a few more changes to his side due to the relatively quick turnaround in matches.
Ings was limited to only one shot on goal amid Chelsea’s dominance of possession. But the Saints striker should get more opportunities against Leeds given their open style of play.
After a prolonged dry spell, Ings got back to making Premier League 2021 highlights by scoring in back-to-back games against Wolves, first in the FA Cup then in the league.
This will be Southampton and Leeds’ first meeting of the season after their clash originally scheduled for January 20th was postponed in order for Saints to play their FA Cup tie against Shrewsbury Town.
The two sides last met in the Premier League back in 2004. Southampton beat the Whites 2-1 at St. Mary’s and drew the reverse fixture 0-0 at Elland Road.
The two clubs have also met a few times in the lower leagues over the years. Southampton have the slight upper hand in terms of wins (5-4) but Leeds did win their most recent matchup in the League Cup back in 2012.
|Leeds United vs Southampton||1X2 Leeds United @ 2.21|
|February 24, 02:00 (GMT+8)|
The SBOTOP odds for this battle between two midtable clubs are quite close. Leeds are slight favourites at 2.21 while Saints are priced at 3.25. A draw is 3.25.
Leeds’ form at home this season as been quite patchy. They have only won four of 11 at Elland Road, with five defeats.
But to their credit, they don’t seem to go on extended rough patches. They have yet to lose three matches on the bounce this season, and I don’t expect them to start against Saints.
Despite Southampton’s fine result against Chelsea, they still have some issues that Leeds can exploit with their aggressive attacking style.
|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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