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Free betting tips: Leeds United v Stoke City in the Sky Bet Championship

Leeds take on Stoke at Elland Road
Leeds take on Stoke at Elland Road

Stoke City begin life back in the second tier when they meet Leeds and Tom Carnduff believes the Potters can start with three points.


Recommended Stoke v Leeds bets

2pts Stoke to win and over 2.5 goals in the match at 7/2

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


Leeds v Stoke (Elland Road, Sunday 5th August, 1630 BST)

The roller coaster ride that is Leeds United has a new man at the control panel, although Marcelo Bielsa may have to wait for his first competitive victory in charge of the Whites.

They welcome a Stoke side who have joined the division following relegation from the Premier League, and they have all the tools to wrap up three points at Elland Road on Sunday.

Even more so, both sides are capable of finding the net, which should create an entertaining encounter to round off the weekend.

It's the familiar feeling of optimism surrounding Leeds heading into a new campaign, and they have every right to fancy their chances with the astonishing appointment of Bielsa in the summer.

The 63-year-old has a wealth of experience on his CV, leading the likes of Argentina, Bilbao and Chile in a career that has brought success at various levels.

They are 11/1 with Sky Bet to lift the Championship trophy in May. You'd fancy them to be in the mix given the calibre of signing they've made over the past two to three weeks, but they should be slow starters.

Barry Douglas, Jack Harrison and Patrick Bamford - all brought in to improve the options available to Bielsa - will have had roughly a week of training with their new manager before their curtain raiser.

Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani (left) with new head coach Marcelo Bielsa
Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani (left) with new head coach Marcelo Bielsa

The biggest concern for Leeds here though is their defence. Pontus Jansson, the man relied on as Leeds' main man in central defence, is unlikely to play following his participation in the World Cup with Sweden whilst Kalvin Phillips is still adapting to his new defensive role.

Adam Forshaw, a midfielder who could have been relied upon to play a more deep-lying role, is out for up to eight weeks with a foot injury and Mateusz Klich comes in despite being deemed surplus-to-requirements under previous boss Thomas Christiansen.

A likely back three of Gaetano Berardi, Liam Cooper and Phillips can only be described as makeshift, and one that is unlikely to be able to keep out the attack that Stoke possess.

The Potters may have lost star man Xherdan Shaqiri to Liverpool, but the additions of James McClean and Tom Ince should be applauded for the impact they can make at this level.

Ince scored 14 and assisted a further eight with Derby back in 2016/17 whilst McClean was a regular feature for West Brom in the Premier League.

Gary Rowett joined Stoke in the summer
Gary Rowett joined Stoke in the summer

An attack possessing both McClean and Ince alongside another new addition in Benik Afobe will cause Leeds a world of problems at the back, and given their current defensive situation, should provide Stoke with plenty of opportunities for goal.

Afobe, the 8/1 favourite to finish as the league's top goalscorer this season, will see this defence as an opportunity to start off that tally as put himself on the front foot, and his six goals in half a season for Wolves last time out show that he can strike.

Gary Rowett has admitted that Afobe may be a doubt, but even then they still have Saido Berahino and Mame Diouf to call upon, with the former eager to get back to scoring ways.

That said, Leeds themselves are capable of striking given the calibre of attacking players they possess. Bamford could go onto establish himself as the division's top goalscorer in a team where he is the main man whilst Harrison comes with high praise from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Pablo Hernandez was a key playmaker last season whilst Barry Douglas notched 14 assists during his spell a title-winning Wolves side. Everything points towards goals when these two meet.

Score prediction: Leeds 2-3 Stoke (Sky Bet odds: 33/1)

Best bet: Stoke to win and over 2.5 goals in the match at 7/2

Alternative bet: Over 2.5 second-half goals at 23/5


Odds correct at 1655 BST (03/08/18)

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Most Read Football

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package
1

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.

Get all the football gossip from the National Papers2

Paper Talk: Chil out?

Ben Chilwell could be set to follow Riyad Mahrez to Manchester according to reports in Friday's papers.

Listen to our latest Weekend Best Bets Podcast for the Sporting Life team's tips and insight3

OUT NOW: Weekend Best Bets Podcast

Check out our latest Podcast, as the Sporting Life team explain their best bets for the weekend, December 15-16.

4

Sporting Life Accumulator

With the Sporting Life Acca landing again last weekend, we've got four selections this week all to win enhanced to 40/1 with Sky Bet.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool take on Jose Mourinho's Manchester United at Anfield
5

In focus: Klopp v Mourinho

Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho are at opposite ends of the popularity spectrum heading into Sunday’s Anfield showdown, but how do they really compare in their respective roles?

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