The Sky Bet EFL weekend kicks off in West Yorkshire on Friday night as Leeds welcome Middlesbrough. Tom Carnduff has a 22/1 best bet.
Recommended Leeds v Middlesbrough bets
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Leeds v Middlesbrough (Elland Road, Friday, 1945 BST, Sky Sports Football)
It's a meeting of the Sky Bet Championship's top two sides at Elland Road on Friday night as Leeds welcome Middlesbrough.
It's an intriguing clash for a variety of reasons, the biggest being how will Leeds respond to their first defeat of the season against Preston.
Granted that was in the Carabao Cup and they had made a significant number of changes, but Marcelo Bielsa is someone who wants to win every game he is involved in.
This Leeds team has been a joy to watch, especially in front of their own fans, and the 14 goals scored highlights how they are a side intent on attack.
Every outfield player who has started in the league this season, with the exception of Gaetano Berardi, has provided a goal or assist, showing how everyone is expected to contribute.
That's why you can get some good value in backing individual goalscorers, and the one that caught my eye was Luke Ayling.
He may be playing in the right-back position, but Bielsa's system relies upon full-backs getting forward to help out and create attack.
That has seen Ayling continue to flourish, to a point where he managed to net his first goal for the club in the win over Rotherham.
The stats hide the fact that he has had more opportunities for goal this season, which is why the 22/1 best price available on him seems far too high.
The 27-year-old has been priced up as a full-back, as opposed to the attacking right-back/winger that he finds himself being throughout the game.
For the value on offer, it is well worth backing an Ayling goal in a game where Leeds will fancy victory.
Score prediction: Leeds 2-1 Middlesbrough (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
Best bet: Luke Ayling to score anytime at 22/1
- Leeds have won four of their last five home league matches against Middlesbrough, drawing the other – they won 2-1 last season.
- Middlesbrough won 3-0 against Leeds in their last league meeting but haven’t won back to back games against them since December 1979.
- Marcelo Bielsa is the eighth manager in as many league matches to manage Leeds against Middlesbrough, a run stretching back to February 2014 (McDermott, Hockaday, Redfearn, Rosler, Evans, Christiansen and Heckingbottom are the previous seven).
- Middlesbrough’s last away league visit to Elland Road against Leeds on a Friday was on Christmas Day in 1936 – they lost 5-0.
- Leeds have made their best ever start to a second-tier season, winning 13 points from a possible 15, while Middlesbrough have equalled their best points return in this division set back in 1994-95 (13 pts).
- Leeds United’s Pablo Hernández has been directly involved in more Championship goals in 2018 than any other player at the club (6 goals, 7 assists).
Preview posted and odds correct at 1615 BST on 30/08/18