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Our best bets for Leeds v West Brom
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There's a huge game in the Sky Bet Championship on Friday night. Tom Carnduff has two best bets for Leeds v West Brom.


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Leeds v West Brom (Elland Road, 1945 GMT, Sky Sports Football)

We're hitting a key point in the season and a key game takes place at Elland Road on Friday night as Leeds look to move back to the top of the table when they welcome West Brom.

Marcelo Bielsa's side missed the opportunity to return to the summit of the Championship after defeat to QPR in midweek - although they can put the pressure on Norwich and Sheffield United as they play earlier than their two closest rivals.

Despite Leeds seeming to be in a bit of a run of bad results, their form is identical to the opposition in recent weeks though. They both lost last time out, and had two wins and a draw in the three games prior.

The Whites' main problem this season has been scoring goals. Bielsa's style sees plenty of chances created but his side seem wasteful when they get the opportunity to strike.

Speaking about it in his pre-match press conference, the Leeds boss said "you can't train the efficiency. But you can train the capacity to create chances to score. For me, the fact that the team always deserves to score has huge value. I am happy when we score because we deserve it."

It's clear that he is happy as long as they keep creating those chances. Logic dictates that an offensive style of play such as Leeds' should see them strike five goals in a game eventually, although it won't be this week.

Luke Freeman celebrates his goal against Leeds
Luke Freeman celebrates his goal against Leeds

Another concern is that they don't concede many goals in games either. A team of Leeds' quality should really be winning most weeks, as they have been on the whole, as they only often concede the single goal.

That's a test against a high-scoring West Brom side though. The Baggies battered Leeds at the Hawthorns and there's nothing to say it won't happen again. Leeds were physically bullied in that game and they could have learnt their lessons since then.

What Leeds do have though is an Elland Road atmosphere that is loud and hostile. The fans have clearly brought into the bid for the Premier League and tickets to home games are the most sought after item in the LS postcode.

Albion have received a triple injury boost for the game with Darren Moore revealing that Ahmed Hegazi, Hal Robson-Kanu and Jacob Murphy have been training having previously been doubts.

"Hegazi trained yesterday and we hope to have him back," Moore said, "Hal is back in training as well, we’re pleased to have Hal available for selection

"Jacob Murphy is back in training. But we'll assess everyone today before the final training session."

Hegazi would be a big boost to the defence if he is fit, although it's unclear if he will be risked having only trained quite close to the game. With or without Hegazi, Patrick Bamford will be looking to continue his run of shots on goal.

Since gaining the starting striker spot against Middlesbrough, Bamford has registered a total of 18 shots in four games. He saw two of those on target against QPR, while there were five in their last home win over Bolton.

Patrick Bamford celebrates after scoring against Norwich
Patrick Bamford celebrates after scoring against Norwich

We've not seen much from Bamford due to lengthy spells out through injury. However, what he has demonstrated is good movement and the ability to get into the right place to get a shot on goal.

Leeds' possession-based football suits that as he will get to see plenty of the ball. Not only does that mean shots, but he can also link up the play well. An example being the 100% passing accuracy he posted against Bolton.

The first goal is key for Leeds as they are yet to drop a point from winning positions. That places an emphasis on the likes of Bamford to strike early and put Leeds on the front foot.

The games against the likes of Derby and Stoke in recent weeks have shown the importance of a positive start in front of their own fans. The striker scored the first goal last weekend, and the value is there in backing him to do the same at a price of 9/2 here.

Ultimately though, records are often there to be broken. Leeds are capable of grabbing that first goal, but West Brom can find a way to get something out of this game.

With questions surrounding the team, this game is another ideal opportunity for Leeds to demonstrate their promotion credentials. Unfortunately for them, a team of West Brom's quality will make it incredibly difficult.

A point won't do a great deal for either team, but it seems the most likely outcome based on track record. If you're looking for an outright market to back, the draw looks appealing at a general price of 5/2.

Score prediction: Leeds 1-1 West Brom (Sky Bet odds: 11/2)

Best bets:

Matt Phillips scores for West Brom against Leeds
Matt Phillips scores for West Brom against Leeds

Opta facts

  • This will be the first league meeting between Leeds and West Brom at Elland Road since January 2007, when the Baggies won 3-2 in a second-tier clash.
  • West Brom have won each of their last three games against Leeds in the Championship, scoring at least three goals on each occasion.
  • Leeds have registered more than 50% possession in each of their last 20 Championship matches at Elland Road – the last team to have a greater share than the Whites were Bolton Wanderers in March 2018.
  • West Bromwich Albion have won eight of their last nine away Championship games (L1), including the last four in a row; they haven’t won five away league games in a row since April 2002.
  • Leeds have lost five of their last 10 Championship games (W4 D1), having lost just three of their first 24 under Marcelo Bielsa this season.
  • West Brom striker Dwight Gayle has scored in all three of his league appearances against Leeds, netting four goals, including three at Elland Road.

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Most Read Football

Top 50 managers of all-time (clockwise from top left): Sir Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola, Marcelo Bielsa and Rafa Benitez all included by France Football1

Top 50 football managers ever?

Ferguson second? Well-respected France Football has published a list of the top 50 managers ever. See if you agree with them here.

Northern Ireland's Windsor Park2

Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifying tips

Paul Higham has a four-team accumulator for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifiers and says Austria could be the bet of the night to start their campaign with a win.

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Northern Ireland's Windsor Park

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