Leeds v West Brom Friday March 1, 19:45 Live on Sky Sports Football
Leeds fall to surprise midweek defeat
Leeds missed out on the opportunity to return to the Championship summit on Tuesday night as the Whites went down 1-0 away at out-of-form QPR. Head coach Marcelo Bielsafelt his side didn't take advantage of their dominant first-half performance and were made to pay when falling behind to a close-range finish soon after the interval.
United had all the play in the opening 45 minutes but were unable to make the most of the chances they did create, Tyler Roberts going closest. After conceding the opener, the visitors continued to monopolise possession but a combination of smart goalkeeping and poor finishing meant Leeds fell to a second defeat in five games.
Bielsa named the same XI that started against Bolton last Saturday, although Barry Douglas, Izzy Brown and Gaetano Berardi returned to the bench after injuries. Adam Forshaw remains sidelined and top goalscorer Kemar Roofe is also unavailable meaning Patrick Bamford will again lead the line. Jack Clarke is still out with a virus.
West Brom suffer damaging defeat
West Brom failed to score at home for first time this season as they suffered a damaging 1-0 defeat to promotion-chasing rivals Sheffield United last weekend. The Blades were in front after 15 minutes following a flowing counter-attack but Albion unable to find a reply to slump four points off the Championship's automatic promotion places.
The Baggies enjoyed the bulk of the ball and goalscoring opportunities at The Hawthorns - Jay Rodriguez appeared to have equalised but was immediately pulled up for a handball - but it was United who looked the most likely to score again. Goalkeeper Sam Johnstonemade a couple of important stops with Rodriguez and the returning Dwight Gayle quiet.
Manager Darren Moore appreciated his team's effort and suggested fatigue may have played a part with West Brom playing 15 games in 63 days. The Baggies boss is expected to continue with the current 4-3-3 system, potentially welcoming Chris Brunt, Jacob Murphy and James Morrison back into the fold. Ahmed Hegazi and Hal Robson-Kanu are doubts.
Baggies capable of avoiding defeat
Leeds host West Brom for only the third time since 1990, although the handful of meetings over the past 12 years have tended to be enjoyable affairs. The Baggies have claimed top honours in each of their last four fixtures with United, racking up at least three goals in each, including in the 4-1 thumping they handed out to the Whites back in November.
Leeds2.30 were top of the table after Boxing Day, enjoying a six-point cushion to third. However, the Yorkshire giants have toiled in their following 10 outings (W4-D1-L5), only once claiming victory by more than a one-goal margin and surviving plenty of scares at lowly Bolton last weekend. The hosts have also kept only two clean sheets in their past 14 games and face a quick turnaround from Tuesday night.
West Brom3.25 have also endured a mini-slump since Boxing Day, returning W4-D3-L3, although all four triumphs arrived on their travels as Albion have posted the division's best road record (W10-D3-L4). That includes W3-D4-L2 at top-half teams and there may well be mileage in supporting the guests to avoid defeat at Elland Road.
Goals could be on the agenda
Leeds failed to score for only the third time this season under Marcelo Bielsa's tutelage on Tuesday night. The hosts welcome a West Brom outfit that's fired just four blanks since relegation, scoring at least twice in 10 of their 17 away days in 2018/19.
Friday night's fixture pits together two of the meanest frontlines in the division with Leeds and WBA both generating almost 1.10 Expected Goal (xG) from open play per-game - a return that only Sheffield United can better. The duo are also amongst the front-runners for shots attempted from inside the penalty area, suggesting goals could be on the agenda.
Considering the strengths of both teams in forward areas, supporting Both Teams To Scorewould normally appeal, albeit at a more attractive price. So instead, head to Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi market and back the Baggies double chance alongside Over 1.5 Goals for a 11/10 shot - we'll be paid out should West Brom avoid defeat by any scoreline other than 0-0 or 1-0.
Back West Brom double chance and Both Teams To Score @ 6/4 in Leeds v West Brom