Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds | Friday 28th September 2018, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Elland Road and the Sky Sports cameras play host to an exciting Championship encounter on Saturday lunchtime when Brentford travel to Leeds.
The pair have enjoyed a fine start to the regular season, although Brentford head into this winless in their previous five in all competitions. Leeds, on the other hand, resumed winning ways with a hard-earned 1-0 success versus Hull in midweek, which should restore confidence.
‘The best Championship team for many years’
Marcelo Bielsa’s side continued to play a free-flowing brand of football which has led to them earning many plaudits in the game. Hull boss Nigel Adkins is the latest fan, in which he described the Whites as ‘one of the best teams that I have seen in the Championship for many years’.
Leeds missed a few early chances to make it more of a comfortable night, but a long range Tyler Roberts effort in the second half saw Leeds emerge victorious, after winning only once in their six prior to that.
A big worry is that left wing back Barry Douglas suffered a muscle injury and is a huge doubt for this weekend. The wing backs are key to how Bielsa’s teams like to play. Tom Pearce or Stuart Dallas are on standby.
Brentford, on the flip side, were minus Ollie Watkins as they drew with draw specialists Birmingham on Tuesday. Dean Smith will be hoping to call upon the former Exeter forward, but Said Benrahma makes a timely return from suspension to offer more flair in attack.
Bees fail to sting on the road
Brentford have one of the strongest home records in the Championship, despite drawing to Reading and Birmingham in their last two at Griffin Park.
A bigger concern is their record on the road, where they are winless so far. This includes a trip to another winless side, Ipswich, as well as a draw at Aston Villa. Defeats at Blackburn and Derby suggest that Smith is yet to find that winning formula on the road.
The Bees were quite inconsistent on the road last season, with one good result and performance often followed by the complete opposite. A strong display is needed to get anything from Leeds, even if Leeds are again expected to be without Kemar Roofe.
A case is made for goals
There has been at least two goals witnessed in 82% of Leeds’ matches, and 91% of Brentford’s. A case therefore can be made for goals.
However, something will have to give this weekend, as Leeds have only conceded three goals at Elland Road. Both are averaging just shy of three goals (scored and conceded) in their league matches too, but Leeds have only let in eight all season and Bielsa has them well-drilled.
As we all know, Brentford will still approach this looking to win. It is the only way they know how to play.
Going into the midweek fixtures, both Leeds and Brentford had the highest shots on goal ratio out of all the Championship sides. Both are still in the top three when specifically focusing towards shots on-target, and efforts within the penalty area.
Both remain in the top three in the league for Expected Goals, as well as xG from open play. Both simple love to attack. Of course, when two attacking teams collide, there is always the fear that both may cancel each other out.
It could become a tactical contest, but neither will necessarily want to change their approach and beliefs just for one game, despite the quality in opposition.
It is tough to ignore Brentford’s struggles on their travels, both teams have scored in 80% of their away games. They will come under pressure from Leeds though, who could have the edge here.
Pole to find route to goal
The goalscorer angle is an interesting one focusing on this match. 62% of the goals Brentford have conceded away have occurred in the first half. A case therefore is made for Leeds to net in this period, especially on the high of a win in midweek and Brentford winless in five.
Leeds have managed to score six goals, and in every game, since joint-top scorer Roofe was ruled out through injury. One player who has stepped up to the plate is that of Polish international Mateusz Klich, something of a forgotten man in West Yorkshire last season.
Klich has played a starring role under Bielsa this season, successfully keeping his place in the side despite the return of Adam Forshaw from injury. He has four goals to his name, including a long-range stunner in another Yorkshire derby; the away draw at Sheffield Wednesday.
Brentford are likely to keep a close eye on striker Roberts, whilst Samuel Saiz often sees a lot of the ball. This could free up Klich to make one of his several dangerous runs into the box, plus he clearly has an eye from distance too.
Klich scoring anytime pays 63/20 (Marathon).
Leeds v Brentford – Leeds to score Over 1.5 Goals (11/10 Paddy Power)
Leeds v Brentford – Leeds to win and Both Teams To Score (63/20 Marathon)
Leeds v Brentford – Mateusz Klich to score at anytime (31/10 888)