Promotion rivals West Brom and Leeds meet in what could be an entertaining clash at the Hawthorns on Saturday evening, and Mark O'Haire beleives the current Championship leaders will avoid defeat...
"The visitors boast an unrivalled 72% Expected Goals from open play ratio and have been beaten just twice this term"
West Brom v Leeds
Saturday November 10, 17:30
Live on Sky Sports
West Brom drop below expected standards
West Brom's winless streak extended to four games as the Baggies were beaten 1-0 at struggling Hull seven days ago. Below-par Albion were fortunate not to be behind before conceding the only goal of the game seven minutes before the interval, with goalkeeper Sam Johnstone making a string of fine saves.
Darren Moore's men struggled to break down the resolute Tigers, who spurned chances to make the game safe in the second half. West Brom's best attempt saw Ahmed Hegazi's effort cleared off the line as the Championship's most prolific attack mustered just two attempts on-target across the whole contest.
Moore admitted "we've dropped below the standards we've set of ourselves in recent weeks. It's not acceptable" and so changes could be made for Saturday. Dwight Gayle is expected to return from injury, along with Gareth Barry and Kieran Gibbs. Kyle Bartley is also back from a ban, although Chris Brunt will miss out.
Leeds back on top of the Championship
Leeds recovered from going a goal behind after six minutes to return to the top of the Championship with a 2-1 triumph at Wigan on Sunday. The Whites were level within three minutes with the influential Pablo Hernandez levelling, before Marcelo Bielsa's men completed the turnaround through Kemar Roofe.
Wigan never seriously threatened to level the contest and Leeds, impressing with their possession-based style, bossed the ball to see the game out with relative ease. It was the Whites' fourth away win of the season and takes Bielsa's boys back to the summit of the second-tier on goal difference ahead of Norwich.
United will be without long-term injury victims Luke Ayling, Gaetano Berardi, Patrick Bamford and Izzy Brown again this weekend. Bielsa is expected to persist with Leeds' 4-2-3-1 system with Stuart Dallas filling in as the advanced right-back and Kalvin Phillips operating in front of the centre-halves.
Baggies outsiders at The Hawthorns
West Brom are [2.72] outsiders to triumph on Saturday tea-time and the Baggies make little appeal considering they've returned only W1-D3-L2 when taking on top-10 teams since returning to this level. The hosts do feature prominently in the performance data tables although their porous defence is a concern.
Albion are allowing 8.06 attempts from inside their penalty area per-game - only teams give up more - and Darren Moore's men are conceding 0.75 Expected Goals from open play on average, which is far from ideal for a club chasing immediate promotion back to the Premier League.
Leeds [2.68] have surprised and delighted with their seamless transition to Marcelo Bielsa's traditional all-action style and the Whites are deserving Championship front-runners. The visitors boast an unrivalled 72% Expected Goals from open play ratio and have been beaten just twice this term.
Entertainment expected in the Black Country
West Brom averaged 2.60 goals per-game in a seven-match unbeaten streak before October's international break, although the Baggies have struck just twice in their four league fixtures following the renewal of the Championship campaign. Nevertheless, goals have been a regular feature of Albion encounters.
The hosts have delivered 9/16 (56%) successful Over 2.5 Goals [1.76] selections, with 12 (75%) paying out in the Both Teams To Score market. Seven (44%) showdowns even produced four or more goals with the Black Country boys keeping their sheets clean only once.
Leeds haven't been quite as prolific since August. However, all bar two of the Whites' 16 matches have seen at least two goals and so we can support the Yorkshire giants in the Double Chance market alongside Over 1.5 Goals at an attractive 1.85 when playing Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi market.
Mark's 2018/19 Profit/Loss
Staked: 63.00 pts
Returned: 78.64 pts
P/L: +15.64 pts