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Free betting tips: Sky Bet Championship - Blackburn Rovers v Leeds United

Our best bets for Blackburn v Leeds
Our best bets for Blackburn v Leeds

Leeds will be looking to move back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship table when they take on Blackburn. We look at the betting.


Recommended bets

1pt Gaetano Berardi to score anytime at 28/1

1pt Mateusz Klich to score anytime at 22/5

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Blackburn v Leeds (Ewood Park, 1200 BST, Sky Sports Red Button)

Among the expected highlights as the Sky Bet Championship returns this weekend is an intriguing clash between Blackburn and Leeds at Ewood Park.

Rovers started the season well, moving into the top-six on more than one occasion, but results in recent weeks have seen them drop down to tenth.

Leeds, on the other hand, have continued to stay in and around first place in the division, that's despite the absence of a number of key players.

Marcelo Bielsa has been without Kemar Roofe, Pablo Hernandez, Patrick Bamford, Gaetano Berardi and Barry Douglas in recent weeks but his side have continued to pick up points.

A huge boost is the fact that Roofe, Hernandez, Douglas and Berardi should all return for this fixture and I'm looking at the latter to get himself on the scoresheet at a huge price.

He may have only scored one goal during his time at the club, but there is a real possibility that he can add to his tally as he lines up in his natural right-back position.

Luke Ayling's suspension and Berardi's return to fitness means that he should be in the starting XI on Saturday with options limited for the Whites.

Marcelo Bielsa's style of football relies on full-backs driving forward and being a key part of the attack. That's why we have seen Douglas and Ayling playing as effective wingers when Leeds are on the hunt for goals.

Luke Ayling is sent off by referee Jeremy Simpson
Luke Ayling is sent off by referee Jeremy Simpson

Berardi is a player who likes the ball at his feet, and it was no surprise to see that the Leeds boss favoured him as a ball-playing centre-back at the start of the season.

When you factor in his ability on the ball, and the fact that he is expected to get forward as a right-back, the 28/1 available on him scoring anytime does look a tad overpriced and is worth taking.

Not only will he be granted more freedom from open play, but he'll be expected to line up as a 'third centre-back' on corners. If you watch Ayling this season, he is looking to win headers from attacking corners, which has seen efforts cleared off the line alongside a goal against Rotherham.

Gaetano Berardi (left) in action against Norwich
Gaetano Berardi (left) in action against Norwich

Under previous Leeds managers, we have seen the full-backs on halfway as they aim to stop any potential counter attack. Bielsa, though, likes to see his right-back looking to try and score whenever possible.

Berardi will relish the opportunity to go for goal in these situations, and he is capable of winning the ball in the air. His header for the under-23s in their draw against Burnley last time out highlights this, and the Swiss defender can count himself unlucky that it was ruled as an own-goal rather than his.

Another worth keeping an eye out for is Mateusz Klich, with the midfielder enjoying life under his new manager. The Poland international was shipped out on-loan under Thomas Christiansen last season, but he is now a key part of Bielsa's Leeds.

The 28-year-old has four goals and three assists already, thanks largely to the attacking role he occupies in midfield. With Kalvin Phillips sitting back, Klich is allowed to drive forward and play in an advanced position, one from which he has been incredibly successful so far.

Long-distance strikes against Derby and Sheffield Wednesday catch the eye and at 22/5 he looks worth backing to score again.

Score prediction: Blackburn 1-3 Leeds (Sky Bet odds: 18/1)

Best bet: Gaetano Berardi to score anytime at 28/1

Best bet: Mateusz Klich to score anytime at 22/5

Mateusz Klich scores against Sheffield Wednesday
Mateusz Klich scores against Sheffield Wednesday

Opta facts

  • Between November 2013 and October 2015, Blackburn won five consecutive matches against Leeds (all Championship games) – since then, they’ve lost four in a row in all competitions.
  • Leeds have won their last two league visits to Blackburn by the same score (2-1) – in fact, their last four league wins at Ewood Park have all been 2-1 victories.
  • This is the fourth consecutive league fixture between Blackburn and Leeds at Ewood Park in which both teams have a different manager in charge – November 2014 (Bowyer and Redfearn), March 2016 (Lambert and Evans), February 2017 (Coyle and Monk) and this game (Mowbray and Bielsa).
  • Leeds United are the only Championship side still unbeaten away from home this season (P6 W3 D3 L0) – they last remained unbeaten in their first seven away league games in a season in 1998-99 in the Premier League.
  • Bradley Dack has had a hand in 16 goals in his last 12 matches for Blackburn in all competitions (10 goals, 6 assists).
  • Since the start of last season, Leeds have a 51% win percentage when Luke Ayling features, compared to just 16% when he doesn’t – the Whites have lost 10 of the 39 games he’s played, compared to 11 of the 19 when he hasn’t.

Odds correct at 1800 BST (17/10/18)

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