Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Prediction: Leeds vs Derby

Verdict: Leeds win

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to book a Play-off Final showdown against Aston Villa at Wembley later this month, Leeds will welcome Derby to Elland Road on Wednesday night.

Leeds

Starting with the hosts, while Leeds may have struggled with their consistency at the back end of the season, Marcelo Bielsa’s side will be boosted by their 1-0 victory at Pride Park on Saturday. Although the Whites would have been disappointed to have had to settle for a spot in the play-offs after ending their Championship campaign by picking up one-point out of a possible 12, the former Napoli boss will be calling for his side to continue their performances at Elland Road. Leeds have won 10 of their last 15 second-tier matches in West Yorkshire, with their only defeats coming against Norwich, Sheffield United, and a shock loss against Wigan last month. Putting in an eye-catching display and appearing to bounce back from their sluggish end to the year, Bielsa will be looking for the returning Patrick Bamford to spearhead Leeds’ Wembley charge. With leading goalscorer, Kemar Roofe sidelined for Wednesday’s second-leg, the former Middlesbrough striker has three goals in his last five appearances.

Team News

Leeds United forward Kemar Roofe will miss the Championship play-off semi-final second leg with Derby County.

Roofe, who scored the only goal as Leeds beat the Rams 1-0 on Saturday, has suffered a calf injury, while Adam Forshaw misses the game with a knock and Pontus Jansson is doubtful.

Derby

As for the visitors, while Derby may have managed to secure their spot in the play-offs on the final round of Championship fixtures, Frank Lampard would have been far from impressed by his sides’ performance on Saturday. With the former England midfielder watching his sides’ six-match unbeaten run come to an end in their 1-0 loss at Pride Park last weekend, a huge part the Rams’ issues this season has been their continued struggles on the road. Wednesday’s visitors have managed to record just a single away victory in their last 10 appearances, a run that stems all the way back to a 1-0 FA Cup victory over Accrington Stanley back on January 26th. Along with having to chase down a one-goal deficit when they make the trip to Elland Road in midweek, Lampard’s side have very publically struggled when coming up against Leeds this season. Derby have lost all three of their meetings against Marcelo Bielsa’s side this season, conceding seven goals and scoring just one in return.

Team News

Derby forward Martyn Waghorn is a doubt after missing the first leg with an Achilles tendon injury.

Duane Holmes is available after coming off with 20 minutes left at Pride Park.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Leeds have beaten Derby County three times this season – they’ve never beaten a side four times in a single season in their history.
  • 20% of Derby’s defeats in all competitions this season have been against Leeds United (three out of 15).
  • None of the previous 17 teams to lose the first leg of a second-tier play-off semi-final at home have progressed to the final.
  • Leeds have lost just two of their last 45 home matches in May in all competitions (W25 D18 L2), although one of those was in the League One play-offs in 2008 (2-1 v Carlisle United).
  • Derby have won just one of their last 10 away matches in all competitions (W1 D5 L4).

Conclusion

Picking up a 1-0 win away at Pride Park on Saturday, Leeds should be extremely confident of securing their spot at Wembley later this month. Winning all three of their matches against Derby this season, coupled with the Rams’ continued struggles on the road, we’re backing Leeds to come away with the victory on Wednesday.

Verdict: Leeds win

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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