Brentford v Leeds Monday April 22, 17:15 Live on Sky Sports
Brentford earn excellent point
Brentford manager Thomas Frank piled on the praise to his players after seeing the Bees deservedly pick up a point at Millwall on Good Friday despite playing for over an hour with 10 men at The Den. Captain Henrik Dalsgaard was controversially sent off when the scores were locked at 1-1 during an action-packed first-half in Bermondsey.
Brentford fell behind to the strugglers inside 15 minutes but responded soon after with a stunning 25-yard equaliser from midfielder Josh Dasilva, before Dalsgaard received his marching orders. The Bees looked the more likely after the interval; Sergi Canos rattled the crossbar, Kamohelo Mokotjo had a goal ruled out and Neal Maupay shot inches wide.
Frank said, "I'm very pleased and proud of the boys for what they did and managed it for 60 minutes under difficult circumstances." Brentford will now miss Dalsgaard on Easter Monday through suspension, but with little left to play for the hosts look likely to again rotate their squad with the likes of Romaine Sawyers and Said Benrahma back in contention.
Leeds suffer damaging defeat
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa said he could offer "no explanation" as 10-man Wigan dented the Whites' automatic promotion hopes by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Elland Road. United won the shot count 36-8, the Expected Goals (xG) battle 3.72 - 0.57 and enjoyed 77% possession at their Yorkshire base but surrendered their spot in second.
Wigan were a man light after just 14 minutes when Cedric Kipre was sent off for handling on the line and although Pablo Hernandez's penalty hit the post, Patrick Bamford put United ahead shortly after. However, the Latics hit back either side of half-time to stun the frustrated hosts, scoring with their only two strikes on-target across the 90 minutes.
Post-match Bielsa said, "Any explanation that I could give would be meaningless. If I look for reasons, I have no explanation that could justify a loss like today's. Destiny gave us a red card, a penalty and 15 chances to score. We simply should have won that game." Leeds hope to have Liam Cooper available after the defender failed a late fitness test on Friday.
Bees buzzing at Griffin Park
Brentford are unbeaten in their last nine home meetings with Leeds across all competitions (W6-D3-L0), a run that dates way back to 1950. Indeed, the visitors have notched just seven goals in their last 11 league contests against the Bees, securing only two triumphs in those 11 head-to-head battles (W2-D5-L4), with the draw 3.70 the most common outcome.
Brentford [3.70] have won once in their last eight outings (W1-D3-L4), although Thomas Frank's troops have tabled nine wins from 12 home games across all competitions (W9-D2-L1). Even so, 11 of the Bees' 12 league victories at Griffin Park have come against clubs outside the top-eight with the hosts returning W1-D2-L4 when taking on the division's elite.
Leeds2.10 have a rotten Easter Monday record (W1-D0-L9), losing each of their last six. But Marcelo Bielsa's men have registered 11 away league wins this season, one off a club record haul on the road. The visitors have toiled against the division's lesser lights, mind, bagging just W4-D3-L5 when excluding the top-10, a record they'll be keen to enhance here.
Goals can flow in the capital
Brentford's matches have averaged the fourth-highest haul of goals in 2018/19 with their 2.93 average rising to 3.24 at Griffin Park despite only 11/21 (52%) paying-out for Over 2.5 Goals 1.78 backers. Leeds have also returned 11/21 (52%) Over 2.5 Goals winners on the road, although games outside of Elland Road have produced a lower 2.71 goals average.
The two teams have a solid record for getting on the scoresheet in their respective home/away tussles. Collectively, the pair have failed to net in only 4/42 (9%) ties, but with Both Teams To Score too short to support, it may pay to head to Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi market for an alternative angle of attack.
We can garner odds of 9/10 by backing Over 0.5 First-Half Goals along with Both Teams To Score. Looking at the duos 2018/19 records, 26/42 (62%) of their home/away fixtures have featured a goal before half-time and it wouldn't be a surprise if the deadlock was broken early again with two attack-minded outfits on show.
Mark O’Haire says: back Over 0.5 First-Half and Both Teams To Score at 9/10 in Brentford v Leeds