Leeds v Brighton: Another goal-fest on the cards

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa

After back-to-back 3-0 defeats, Leeds host Brighton on Saturday afternoon and our man fancies it will rain goals again at Elland Road...

"Since their opening game of the season, a 4-3 defeat at Liverpool, gung-ho goal-fests have been a bit of a theme for Leeds. They immediately followed that loss with a 4-3 win at home to Fulham and as many as seven of their 17 games (41%) have seen at least five goals scored."

Leeds v Brighton
Saturday January 16, 15:00
Live on Sky Sports

Leeds look to bounce back after embarrassing cup loss

After back-to-back 3-0 away defeats, against Spurs in the Premier League and to Division Two Crawley Town in the F.A Cup last weekend, Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds will look to get back on track on Saturday afternoon when they host relegation-threatened Brighton.

Prior to the Spurs defeat, Leeds had crushed West Brom 5-0 away, following a 1-0 home win against Burnley, but that was the first time they'd put together back-to-back wins in the Premier League since the second and third games of the season and they're form is extremely in-and-out...

Immediately after leaving Villa Park with all three points, following a convincing 3-0 win in October, they lost 4-1 at home to Leicester and 4-1 away to Crystal Palace and they again advertised their propensity for the stark turnaround just before Christmas when losing 6-2 to Manchester United in the game that immediately followed a 5-2 win at home to Newcastle.

Nothing highlights their inconsistency better than the fact that they've kept six clean sheets so far this season, but they've conceded 33 goals. Only West Brom have let in more.

Leeds may have lost their last two games 3-0 but having beaten Burnley and Newcastle at Elland Road either side of Christmas, the Whites are looking to win three matches in-a-row at home in the Premier League for the first time since a run of five between April-August 2001 under David O'Leary.

Plucky Brighton can't catch a break

The Seagulls are averaging 12.3 shots per game in the Premier League so far this season, their highest in a single Premier League campaign, but just 28% have been on target and that stat sums Brighton up well. They're huffing and puffing and working hard but they're not getting rewarded and having slipped to 17th in the Premier League, their position is starting to look rather precarious.

potter.jpg

Brighton have won just two of their 18 Premier League games so far this season and they haven't won since they beat Aston Villa away in November but having drawn eight in total and four of their last six, they're still proving tough nuts to crack. And that was certainly the case on Wednesday night when they were edged out 1-0 by Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola was quite rightly complimentary about the Seagulls after the game and the Brighton boss, Graham Potter, rued the timing of Phil Foden's late first half strike.

"It was disappointing at halftime to go down. If we'd have just got to zero-zero we could have regrouped again and gone again but it wasn't to be, but again, the second half was really, really good. Really spirited. We had personality, quality, and we pushed a very good team all the way."

It was impossible to argue with Potter. The Citizens' relief was tangible at the whistle and had Brighton pinched a point, nobody could have argued that their endeavour hadn't deserved it.

That fighting spirit has been evident of late and despite a long injury list, the group are clearly working hard for Potter. Prior to the City loss they'd survived a scare at Newport in the F.A Cup, before eventually winning on penalties at the weekend, and their only defeat in five in the Premier League was 1-0 away at an in-form Arsenal.

Too tight to call but goals look likely

Leeds are warm favourites in the outright market at around 2.26/5 but they're just a bit too inconsistent to back at that price and it's hard to argue a case for the visitors at around 5/2 given their injuries and the fact that they've won just twice all season - despite their gritty performance at the Etihad and their impressive recent league record against Leeds (won seven of the last nine).

Brighton have drawn eight of their 18 matches to date, suggesting the draw at 3.814/5 may offer the best value, but on the other hand, Leeds tend to win or lose and only two of their 17 Premier League matches played this season have ended in a stalemate. This looks like a tough game to call and I'm happy to concentrate on the side markets...

Bielsa's Leeds have already scored 30 goals this season and only four teams have managed more - Manchester United, Liverpool, Leicester and Chelsea - but, as already stated, they've also conceded 33 and Brighton are also fairly open at the back, letting in 29.

There have been at least three goals scored in six of Leeds' last seven in the Premier League and 67% of Brighton's away games this season have produced at least three goals so it's no surprise to see Yes trading at odds-on in the Over/Under 2.5 Goals market but I fancy we may see a lot more than three scored.

Since their opening game of the season, a 4-3 defeat at Liverpool, gung-ho goal-fests have been a bit of a theme for Leeds. They immediately followed that loss with a 4-3 win at home to Fulham and as many as seven of their 17 games (41%) have seen at least five goals scored.

The goals haven't flowed quite so freely when the Seagulls have featured but having fought back from 3-1 down, they drew their last home game 3-3 with Wolves and they drew 2-2 away at West Ham just after Christmas, and it's quite easy to envision there being plenty of goals at Elland Road on Saturday.

I'm happy to play Over in both the Over/Under 4.5 market, as well as the Over/Under 5.5 market and I'm also happy to get involved in the Half Time/Full Time Market...

Brighton have dropped more points from winning positions than any other side in the Premier League this season so Brighton/Draw and Brighton/Leeds at juicy prices makes some appeal.

2012/21 P/L

Staked: 34.5 pts
Returned: 21.66 pts
P/L: -12.84 pts

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