Leeds United host West Ham United in the Premier League on Friday in a 8pm kick-off at Elland Road.
Both sides are looking to bounce back from defeats last weekend, with Leeds losing 3-1 at Chelsea and West Ham being defeated by the same scoreline at home to Manchester United.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are 23/20 favourites to win the match, with the draw 11/4 and a Hammers win 21/10.
Leeds are missing Robin Koch and Diego Llorente in central defence through injury, meaning Luke Ayling will tuck inside with Stuart Dallas moving from midfield to right-back.
West Ham, meanwhile, will almost certainly remain without Michail Antonio in attack, with Sebastian Haller given another chance to prove himself after a mixed time in London since joining last year.
Given Leeds have defensive issues and they have failed to win their last four home games, drawing two and losing two, I make them a bit short here against a West Ham side who have been decent enough on the road this season, picking up seven points from their five away games.
Indeed, the Hammers have scored in all five of their away games, including taking the lead at Anfield and the Emirates and scoring three times at Leicester and Tottenham.
I’d be surprised if they don’t score again, then, against a Leeds side whose only home clean sheet this season came against Arsenal, who were reduced to ten men early in the second half after Nicolas Pepe’s moment of madness.
Leeds have picked up a card in all of their last 10 matches, meanwhile, as well as having one against them in all five of their home games.
West Ham aren’t particularly prolific for cards, though, so while I’d expect them to pick up one, too, I’ll play safe by backing Over 0 Leeds cards and Over 1 Cards for both teams combined, especially with tonight’s referee Michael Oliver only averaging 2.78 yellow cards per game this season (although he has shown both teams two or more each in his last two matches).
Lastly, Leeds have had five or more corners in all of their home games this season, so I’m more than happy backing them to have over two to bring our Bet Builder above evens:
If you want a bigger price it’s worth having a little play around: BTTS, Over 0 Cards each and Over 4 Leeds corners, for example, pays 12/5, with that increasing to 11/2 if you back Leeds to have 2+ cards for a fifth successive match.
Elsewhere, I think Liam Cooper is far too big to be carded at 11/2 (bet365). He may struggle against Haller’s physicality and Jarrod Bowen’s movement, and has been carded in three of his eight starts this season. Stuart Dallas also looks a big price at 6/1 (Sky Bet) given he will be returning to full-back, where he will come up against the likes of Arthur Masuaku, Pablo Fornals, and potentially Said Benrahma from the substitutes’ bench.
I also like that pair in Sky Bet’s tackles market. Dallas usually racks up the tackles from full-back, averaging 3.57 per game and hitting 3+ in five of his seven starts. 5/6 on Dallas making 3+ with Sky Bet looks a good price given Masuaku averages more dribbles per game than any other West Ham player. 4/5 on Cooper making 2+ is also tempting given he has landed this in six of his eight starts this season, and may be drawn out to deal with Bowen’s direct runs in behind Leeds’ high line.
Speaking of which, I’m surprised to see Haller evens and Bowen 5/2 to be caught offside once or more each with Sky Bet given West Ham are likely to be playing on the counter-attack. Haller has been caught offside at least once in his last four games, while Bowen was caught offside twice against Man Utd and is generally expected to make more penetrating runs without Antonio in the side.
Providing all four players start, I will be requesting both to be caught offside once with Cooper and Dallas’ aforementioned tackle lines, which should be offered at around 22/1.
Lastly, sticking with Sky Bet once again, you can’t not have a maximum stake on Patrick Bamford having a shot on target at evens. Leeds’ top goalscorer has managed this in all 11 of his league games this season, making it a crazily good price to happen once again.