LEEDS host Arsenal on Sunday afternoon. Jack Wright (@JackWright_BSB ) is on-hand to preview the match-up .
Leeds vs Arsenal | Sunday 22nd November 2020, 16:30 | Sky Sports
Both sides have had the international break to stew over heavy defeats with Crystal Palace inflicting a second successive 4-1 defeat on Leeds and Arsenal suffering a 3-0 home reverse at the hands of Aston Villa.
This game pitches two highly regarded coaches up against each other, albeit with vastly different experience levels – however both have problems to sort out.
From their eight league games this season Leeds have conceded 17 goals, shipping three or more in half those fixtures – as well as Crystal Palace, Leicester and Liverpool hitting four with Fulham managing three.
Bet365 offer 3/1 for the Gunners to add their name to that list however despite having the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in their ranks they have only scored nine goals in the league this season and more worryingly only one in their last four games with that one being a penalty – a home side clean sheet is 4/1 with SkyBet.
With both sides urgently needing to arrest a slump in form which has seen them drop in to the bottom half of the table predicting a result is no easy talk and as for goals – the Elland Road outfit have one of the league’s top scorers in Patrick Bamford but interestingly six of his seven goals have come on the road.
For the opposition, Aubameyang has only scored two league goals and with four in all competitions all coming away from the Emirates maybe the Gabonese international can follow up his Old Trafford winner with another one here – he is a widely available best priced 7/2 to break the deadlock or 11/10 with BetVictor to score at anytime.
That strike to defeat Manchester United came from the spot and there is no better man in charge to give that opportunity again than Anthony Taylor who has awarded eight penalties in his six EPL games so far this campaign, as well as one in his only Champions League outing.
I’m going to take the 7/4 with Bet365 that Taylor points to the spot again and given that six of his penalty awards have come in pairs – including one for each side the last he refereed Marcelo Bielsa’s men – I’m also going to take a chance on that happening again at odds of 9/1 with SkyBet.
I was tempted to team up the penalty award with an angle on cards too – but although this seems to have the makings of a fiery clash both sides sit mid-table with regards to discipline – picking up 11 yellow cards apiece from their fixtures so far, and although Taylor has been in good recent form with five cards shown in each of his last three appointments and eight in the one prior to that, the 4/5 with Sky Bet just doesn’t quite excite me enough to put it forward here.
I mentioned a lack of consistency earlier so for my final bets I have looked for the area where either side has shown a regular level of performance – and for me that has to be the tackles market.
Leeds top the charts with 168 tackles from their 720 minutes of actions and average of 21 tackles per 90 minutes – one of their most consistent exponents has been Luke Ayling who has registered 26 tackles in the league this season – the fifth highest in the division.
Although the former Arsenal man has been moved around the back line he is yet to miss a minute for Leeds this season – always an added bonus when playing the player props markets. The 29-year-old has played where needed starting three matches as a centre back and five in his favoured right back berth where we should expect to see him for this clash.
Ayling gets up the field more as a right back as seen in his five shots, eight chances created and 21 crosses but it is his tackles we are looking at here and he produces similar defensive stats no matter his starting position.
The last game against Palace saw a return to his best tackling form completing five after three games of 0-1-1, his season started with 6-4-4-5, so I am happy to play the odds of 11/10 with Sky Bet (1/3 with William Hill) to make over two tackles here.
However with this having the makings of a scrappy but aggressive game where you would expect Bielsa to set his side up to press at every opportunity I am also having a small amount on Ayling to hit the same number as he did against Liverpool and make 6+ tackles at 14/1 with Sky Bet.