Friday, May 24, 2019

Prediction: Leeds vs West Brom

Verdict: West Brom win

Best Odds: 12/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Two teams still in the race to secure automatic promotion this season, Leeds will welcome West Brom to Elland Road on Friday night.

Leeds

Starting with the hosts, coming off the back of a lackluster display in their 1-0 loss away at a struggling QPR on Tuesday, Marcelo Bielsa will still be concerned by the consistency of his side this season. Managing to just scrape past leading relegation contenders Bolton with a hard-fought 2-1 win in their last appearance at Elland Road, only their goal difference currently sees them sat outside of the automatic positions. Despite the Whites still firmly believing that they can book a return to the Premier League, the former Napoli boss has seen his side record just four wins in their last 11 matches against Championship opposition. Looking to end their 15-year exile from the top flight, fans in West Yorkshire will know that Leeds must improve on their recent defensive issues. Friday’s hosts have recorded just a single clean sheet across any competition in their last 13 outings, a run that stems back to the middle of December.

Team News

Leeds will be unchanged for their Sky Bet Championship match with West Brom at Elland Road on Friday night.

Boss Marcelo Bielsa confirmed he would name the same starting XI as their defeat at QPR on Tuesday, despite them losing 1-0 at Loftus Road.

West Brom

As for the visitors, while West Brom might be coming off the back of a 1-0 defeat to title contenders Sheffield United last week, the mood in Darren Moore’s camp should be on a high. With the chance to move within a single point of the automatic positions, the Baggies will be looking to carry on their impressive run of form away from the Hawthorns. Moore’s side are enjoying a four-match winning run on their travels and have remarkably won eight of their last nine fixtures on the road. Putting four past Leeds when the two sides met back in November, West Brom have now scored 68 goals this season, the second best-attacking record in the division. One man to watch for Friday’s visitors will be leading goalscorer, Jay Rodriguez. The former Southampton striker has already bagged 17 goals this season, including seven in his last 10 Championship appearances.

Team News

Hal Robson-Kanu and Jacob Murphy will be assessed by West Brom boss Darren Moore after the pair missed their defeat by Sheffield United last Saturday.

Key Factors to Consider

  • This will be the first league meeting between Leeds and West Brom at Elland Road since January 2007, when the Baggies won 3-2 in a second-tier fixture.
  • West Brom have won each of their last three games against Leeds in the Championship, scoring at least three goals on each occasion.
  • Leeds have registered more than 50% possession in each of their past 20 Championship matches at Elland Road – the last team to have a greater share than the Whites were Bolton Wanderers in March 2018.
  • West Brom have won eight of their past nine away Championship games (L1), including the last four in a row; they haven’t won five away league games in a row since April 2002.
  • Leeds have lost five of their past 10 Championship games (W4 D1), having lost just three of their first 24 under Marcelo Bielsa this season.

Conclusion

While Leeds might hold a four-point buffer over the Baggies and have home advantage on Friday, Marcelo Bielsa’s side have continued to show signs of a struggle. Shipping four against West Brom when the two sides met back in November, coupled with their four-match losing streak against Friday’s visitors, we’re backing Darren Moore’s side to bounce back and leave Elland Road with all three points.

Verdict: West Brom win

Best Odds: 12/5

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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