The relegation dogfight is the focus of the attention on Tuesday night when it’s Leeds vs Leicester in a 7:45pm BST kick-off from Elland Road. Both of these teams are just about keeping their heads above the drop zone water line in the top flight but the result of this game could have a major impact on the fate of their season.
Gracia’s Whites in Freefall
If there was ever a time that you don’t want to hit a bad run of form when you’re in a battle to stay up it’s with half a dozen league games remaining. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what is happening for Javi Gracia’s men at Leeds. The Whites are in 16th place and 1 point above the bottom three. This has contributed to them remaining dark horses for relegation at 7/4 with SpreadEx but after 4 defeats in their last 5 league matches including losing their last 3 league games in a row there is a feeling of pessimism amongst the fan base.
The silver lining amongst these losses is that Leeds still manage to score. It’s now 7 league games in a row where the Yorkshire club have hit the back of the net and they’re priced at 17/20 to score first here with more than 1.5 home team goals scored available at 11/10 with Betfair.
Backing goals to be scored here does feel like the way to go. Over 2.5 goals have been scored in 6 of the last 7 matches that Leeds have been involved in. The odds on that outcome in this game is 8/11 with Betfair. If you wanted to be even braver then over 3.5 goals have been scored in 5 of the last 7 league games Leeds have played and you can find that option at 19/10 with BetVictor.
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Smith Looking to Make Foxes More Wily
The decision to part company with former manager Brendan Rodgers may need time to tell whether it was right, but there remains some scepticism around the club’s decision to appoint Dean Smith as his replacement. It’s been a mixed start to Smith’s tenure in charge with the defeatist 3-1 loss away to Manchester City followed up by an encouraging 2-1 win at home to fellow lower league table battlers Wolves. This has helped move them to 7/4 with Betway to be relegated.
One of the big changes Smith has made is to give influential centre back Caglar Soyuncu two starts when the Turkish international had previously been shunned by Rodgers. It might not have been a clean sheet in either game but this Leicester defence feels a lot more competent with Soyuncu back in the starting XI. Leicester are 11/2 with BetVictor to keep a clean sheet and win here which I feel is a bit of a stretch but it’s a tempting bet against this out-of-form Leeds side.
Another player benefiting from a regime change at the East Midlands club is Kelechi Iheanacho. The Nigerian striker has scored in both games since Smith took over and he’s listed at 5/2 to score anytime with William Hill and 15/2 with the same bookmaker to be first goalscorer. In a game where I expect goals, you’d have to fancy the former Manchester City frontman to bag at least one.
This is a fixture that Leicester have dominated over recent times. The Foxes have only lost 1 of the previous 9 meetings across all competitions. It’s also three encounters without a victory for Leeds and Leicester have won the last two matches played including their previous meeting earlier this season when Leicester won 2-0 at the King Power Stadium.
If you thought Leicester’s recent results over Leeds gave them a big enough psychological advantage heading into this match then the fact that Leeds haven’t tasted victory in this fixture at home in the league since 27th November, 2012… and that’s when both teams were in the Championship. The last Leeds home win over Leicester in the Premier League came way back on 5th April, 2004.
Leeds vs Leicester Betting Tips
At this stage of the season, the games between rivals closely positioned in the table are always tough to call. That’s particularly the case when there is so much at stake. I think both clubs might fancy their chances of a win here but they will set up with a “must not lose” attitude.
I fully expect us to see a number of goals in this game because, to put it bluntly, neither defence is exactly watertight this season. I’m not sure I can separate them. Leeds are looking fairly awful right now but their home advantage might see them scrape a draw. Leicester are showing signs they can get out of this mess but getting more than a draw away against a team fighting for their lives could perhaps be seen as fanciful.
Draw @ 13/5 with Betfred
Anytime Scorer: Kelechi Iheanacho @ 5/2 with William Hill
All odds are accurate at the time of writing.
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