Leeds v Sheffield United: Raphina to rattle blunt Blades

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa
Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds should beat Sheffield United

Paul Higham expects Sheffield United's woes to continue at Elland Road, where Raphina is backed to bag another goal for the Whites...

"There have been more goals in Leeds games than any other team's this season, and with the Blades on the way down, either the shackles come off or the heads go down - either way it adds up to goals."

Back Leeds to beat Sheff Utd & over 2.5 total goals @ 2.47/5

Leeds v Sheffield United
Saturday 3 April, 15:00 BST kick-off
Live on Amazon Prime

Welcome win for Leeds before international break

It's already been a great season for Leeds, and after the international break this looks like a nice fixture to get another three points on the board ahead of a tough run of facing Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool and Spurs in four of their next five.

Marcelo Bielsa's men ended a run of three games without a win before the break, and also ended a worrying trend of three straight games without a goal.

Patrick Bamford, who has scored more opening goals (six) than anyone else in the league this season, should be fit to try and continue his fine campaign, while at the back the Whites are looking to build on a run of three clean sheets in four at Elland Road.

Defence has been their big issue throughout the season, ranking fifth-worst in the division by conceding 47, and of course their Achilles heel is defending set pieces - conceding 11 from corners this season is three more than any other team.

Elland Road return for Blades boss Heckingbottom

Paul Heckingbottom took charge of 16 games as Leeds boss, and Bielsa had nothing but praise for him in the build-up, but he finds himself in a tough spot leading a team destined for relegation after such a fantastic season last year.

They showed a lot more spirit in the FA CUp defeat at Chelsea than the hammering at Leicester, and maybe now a combination of effectively having a free hit until the end of the season and players feeling they're in the shop window looking to stay in the Premier League can improve performances.

The Blades have lost six in seven, scoring just once, with just one win and one draw away from home all season and the lowest goal tally by a distance (16 goals scored this season) - it all makes for highly unpleasant reading.

That corner weakness for Leeds gives them some hope of bagging a goal, but that may just be the limit of their ambition.

Goals to come, but can blunt Blades bag one?

Sheff Utd have actually won on their last two visits to Elland Road, but are a lofty 6.511/2 to complete the hat-trick with Leeds warm order favourites at 1.51/2. The draw is 4.47/2 but these two don't really do draws - having just five between them all season.

Leeds games still lead the way for goals with 92 so far this season (F45 A47) but at home they've had just six of 14 matches go over 2.5 goals, with all the carnage saved for away games. The Blades operate at 50% for away games and the over 2.5 goal mark here is just 1.855/6.

Five away games without a goal suggest a Leeds win to nil at 2.56/4 could be on the shortlist, with the only real doubt being that Leeds weakness at corners and United's aerial strength.

It's that niggle at the back of your mind that would see a switch to Leeds and both teams to score at 3.412/5 if you're looking for something away from the under/over line.

Seven of United's 12 away defeats have come from just a one-goal margin, and there's a chance the international break will make for a patchy display from Leeds. However, if Bielsa has them anywhere right they're the type of team that could stick a few goals away if the Blades' heads drop in any way.

Raphina to rattle one in from range

Player-wise, Bamford's run mentioned above makes him unsurprisingly favourite at 4.57/2 to open the scoring, with the excellent Raphina 3.412/5 anytime but intriguingly 7.513/2 to score last, as he has done with his last three goals.

Raphina also comes into play given Sheff Utd have conceded 11 goals from outside the box while Leeds have bagged nine, the second-most in the league.

Leeds' recent form
hasn't been all that good, but they've played some decent teams with Chelsea, West Ham and Aston Villa all above them in the table - even Fulham are giving themselves a chance of survival.

Sheffield United, though, are not a good team. The problem here is that whether they try and sit and frustrate Leeds, or throw caution to the wind and try and take them on, the result looks like being the same - and that's a defeat with a few goals involved.

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