Leeds, you're falling apart again.
My, oh my, football can be cruel.
Leeds United look to have run out of steam at the worst possible time—much to the glee of the pre-season Bielsa-doubters—and four defeats from their last seven games has surely condemned then to the Championship play-offs.
As a Brighton fan, I say this from experience: mentally recovering for a play-off campaign, after getting so close to automatic promotion, is fiendishly difficult. There’s a reason why so many third-place teams fail to win the play-offs.
With Sheffield United looking set to seal promotion against Ipswich on Saturday, Leeds prepare for yet another kick to the balls against an Aston Villa side who have won a record 10 matches in-a-row.
Leeds’ performance during their 2-0 defeat at Brentford on Monday didn’t scream of a side brimming with confidence; Villa, on the other hand, are playing with a scary level of confidence and panache.
At 16/5, Aston Villa to beat Leeds United is an enormous price, and one well worth packing.
Considering he’s scored in four of Villa’s last 10 matches—and that he’s just really, really good—it does seems a little insulting that Jack Grealish is 21/5 to score at any time against Leeds.
Villa’s talisman is a big reason for their upturn in form, and he’ll be licking his lips at the prospect of denting Leeds’ confidence further – particularly because they’ve kept just three clean sheets in their last 12 at Elland Road.
While I do believe Villa will win, this could be quite a slow burner.
Leeds have gone into half-time level in 11 of their 22 home matches to date, while 13 of Villa’s 22 on the road have seen a stalemate at the break.
With these stats in mind, 11/8 for a half-time draw looks fairly generous, so that’ll be my final tip.