Leeds United are not putting all their eggs in one basket ahead of facing Leicester City on Tuesday, even if this is “a crucial game”.
The two teams directly above the Premier League relegation zone meet at Elland Road following contrasting weekend results.
As Leicester came from behind to beat Wolves, Leeds lost again against Fulham, leaving them only a point outside the bottom three.
Leicester are still below Javi Gracia’s side, though, meaning their next match presents a rare opportunity to get three points – even if Gracia is not prioritising one game over another.
“It’s a very important game, a crucial game,” Gracia said. “We give the value of the game, and we are really focused on it.
“There are six games left and all the remaining games are important. You never know where you can get points.
“Playing at home is the next game, and we have to be focused. Leicester come from a win, and it will be demanding for us.”
The important matches keep coming #LEELEI pic.twitter.com/JdyUkgH4B7
— Leicester City (@LCFC) April 24, 2023
Although Leicester are 17th, ahead of the drop zone only on goal difference, they have a little momentum while remaining wary of a Leeds response.
“They’ve had a bit of a struggle,” Dean Smith said of Leeds.
“They’ve been on the back of heavy defeats at home, but they will see this one as a big one to try to pull away from where they are, just like us.
“We can’t give them any reason to get lifted. We can’t give cheap free-kicks away and cheap goals. We have to keep them quiet for as long as we can.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Leeds United – Brenden Aaronson
Aaronson finding some form would go a long way to helping Leeds’ cause. He has endured a miserable barren run, going 35 shots without scoring since his first and only Premier League goal to date. Thirteen Leeds players have scored in the competition since then.
Leicester City – Harvey Barnes
Leicester are set to welcome Barnes back from injury, and that spells bad news for Leeds. The winger has scored in all five of his Premier League appearances against Leeds, with only two players in the competition’s history ever netting in their first six matches against a side – Raheem Sterling and Mohamed Salah, both against Bournemouth.
MATCH PREDICTION – LEICESTER WIN
Leeds have won just one of their past eight league games against Leicester, and even that was away from home in January 2021.
Leicester have won four of those matches, although this presents a big opportunity to do a league double over Leeds for the first time since 1997-98.
There should be goals regardless, with Leeds conceding 2.6 goals per game under Gracia in the Premier League – a club high – while Leicester are the only side in Europe’s top five leagues without a clean sheet since the World Cup.
OPTA WIN PROBABILITY
Leeds United – 29.1 per cent
Leicester City – 43.9 per cent
Draw – 27.0 per cent
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