CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Monday night's showdown between Leeds and Leicester.
Leeds vs Leicester | Monday 2nd November 2020, 20:00 | Sky Sports
On Monday evening, Leeds welcome Leicester to Elland Road for the first time since 2004.
It’s been some return to the top-flight for Marcelo Bielsa’s men. They currently sit in 12th and have already notched three wins in their opening six games, all against teams, that you could argue, will be around them in the table during the latter stages of the season.
Leeds’ intense style of play is a reflection of Bielsa and his footballing philosophy. They are exciting to watch and some of their performances have already warranted more from the games in which they’ve dropped points.
It’s also been an excellent start from the Foxes who find themselves in eighth spot, but if they leave Yorkshire with all three points they will jump up to second place and just a point behind leaders Liverpool.
Leicester, quite simply, been excellent on the road so far this season, winning all three of their away games and scoring nine goals in the process – including FIVE at the Etihad back in September.
It’s an intriguing prospect given the form of each side coming into this one, as well as their respective styles of play.
- Commit on average 12.3 fouls per game when playing at home so far this season.
- Receive on average 13.7 fouls per game when playing at home this season (second-most in the league.)
- Have seen 2+ cards in 2/3 home games so far this season.
- In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 1/3 occasions.
- Have won just once at Elland Road this season.
- Have won 15 of their last 20 league matches.
- Only Liverpool and Manchester City have won more games in Englands top four tiers since Marcelo Bielsa took charge in August 2018.
- Have scored 3+ goals in THREE of their first SIX games.
- Jamie Shackleton replaced Pascal Struijk in midfield early in the first half last time out and the youngster may start at the Dutchman's expense.
- Bielsa remains without Kalvin Phillips, Gaetano Berardi and Diego Llorente.
- Liam Cooper is back and could return here, while Adam Forshaw will first play for the U23s before being considered for the first-team.
- Commit on average 8.7 fouls per game when playing away so far this season.
- Receive on average 12 fouls per game when playing away.
- Have seen 2+ cards on 2/3 occasions when playing away so far, they’ve seen at least ONE card in all three.
- In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on just ONE occasion.
- Have been drawing at half time and winning at full time in their last THREE away EPL matches.
- Have never won away from home in the EPL when playing away from home on a Monday (D3 L9).
- Can win FIVE of their first SEVEN games of a top-flight season for the first time in their history.
- Jamie Vardy has scored 12 goals in his last 15 appearances against newly-promoted sides, including NINE goals in his last SEVEN such matches.
- Timothy Castagne joins Caglar Soyuncu, Daniel Amartey, Wilfred Ndidi and Ricardo Pereira on the sidelines.
- Jonny Evans faces a late fitness test.
- Rodgers may continue with a three-man defence, with Marc Albrighton featuring at right wing-back and Jamie Vardy spearheading the attack.
Referee: Andre Marriner
Marriner has officiated THREE games so far this season handing out a total of SIX yellow cards, averaging 2.00 cards per game.
My first bet is for there to be UNDER FOUR match cards and for Leicester to score. There have been under four cards in 14 of the last 20 games that Marriner has officiated. Leeds’ home games this season are also yet to see 40 booking points or more and I fancy that trend to continue.
Despite 2/3 of Leicesters away games this season seeing that number land, all of those games were overseen by referees who tend to have high card average, and against sides who are never too far away from the top of the discipline league table come May.
I also think Leicester will score. As previously mentioned, Jamie Vardy has scored 12 goals in his last 15 appearances against newly-promoted sides, including NINE goals in his last SEVEN such matches. He’ll be bang up for this one and I think the Leeds United defence will do well to contain his pace and finishing.
Leicester are averaging THREE goals a game away from home so far and on the flipside, Leeds United have conceded in every home game. With the statistics to back this up, I’m very confident to have a play at just under evens.
My second bet is for this game to see over 21.5 free kicks and under 5 cards. I’ve explained my reasoning behind the cards angle but I really like this free-kick line, it’s landed in all three away games for Leicester so far as well as in all of Leeds’ home games.
With how these two play you can expect to see a few simple fouls to quash any momentum building for both sides. On Bet365, offsides count towards the free-kicks tally and with both sides likely to play with high lines and relying on pace, there should be quite a few of those too.