FOOTBALL LEAGUE expert Ross Casey (@RossCasey24) runs the rule over the latest live Football League fixture as Swansea host Leeds on Tuesday night in the Championship.
Swansea v Leeds | Tuesday 21st August 2018, 19:45 | Sky Sports
It’s safe to say that both of these clubs will be happy with the way they have performed so far under new management. Both sides are unbeaten in the Championship, but Leeds are in a slightly better position after picking up three wins from three, whereas Swansea drew last Friday night leaving them on seven points.
Swansea were criticised for their summer transfer dealings, but so far they have impressed enough despite losing their first choice goalkeeper to injury and their best centre half to Fulham, they have kept two clean sheets in three games – although Birmingham had 17 shots on goal and could count themselves fortunate for the Blues poor finishing.
Graham Potter is doing a good job with his current resources, but up against a Leeds side that have an aggregate score of 9-2 from their three Championship games so far, if they defend as shabbily as they did last week, you would expect Leeds to take the chances to score.
Much was made of Leeds in pre-season thanks to the arrival of tactical genius that is Marco Bielsa and with a few shrewd additions to the club, he has transformed the previously inconsistent club into a side that look more than capable of playing his distinct style of play and the only worry at the moment is if they can continue their high energy football over the course of a 46 game season.
Reading’s home form last season was nothing short of woeful, they lost more games than any other Premier League on their home patch, losing 10 of their 19 at the Liberty Stadium. On a positive note, they managed to defeat Preston in their first and only home game so far this season, where they ground out a victory despite having less possession and shots in that match.
Conceding just one goal in three games is a sign that their defence is capable of dealing with the direct play of the Championship from Sheffield United, Birmingham and Preston, but this Leeds side will offer a different test with their incisive attacking play and movement.
This is a very young defence besides Van Der Hoorn and he in particular may suffer from the speed of Leeds’ play the most here. The Swans have kept direct sides out so far, but can they do the same against a rampant Leeds side – especially as they have hardly been on the front foot of late.
Another difficult statistic for Swansea fans is the no shots on target last week – without Montero on the pitch, The Swans have only scored once and without his pace and quality this side look short of goals too.
Leeds have been excellent so far this season and a joy to watch for fans and neutrals alike. Against a Swansea side that have lost their previous identity of dominating the ball and have been digging out results, this could be an interesting match up. Can they play through this currently resilient defence?
Going by the Expected Goals stats in the Championship so far you would have to say so. Only two sides have a better Expected Goals average in the league than Leeds and with the confidence brewing through their side at them moment, you would feel they are capable of winning here and the bookies agree making them the 6/4 favourites.
The betting angle
Despite the fact that Swansea have kept two clean sheets from three games, they have been somewhat fortunate to do so in both of those matches and against a Leeds side that have scored nine times in three games with an average of three per match, I believe that Leeds are a good price here.
As mentioned above, Swansea are firing blanks of late too and an away win wouldn’t be a surprise to many.
Swansea v Leeds – Leeds to win (6/4 betway)