Southampton v Leeds Tips: Klich and collect in shots market

Andy Schooler previews Southampton's Premier League game with Leeds on Saturday with his best bet coming in the shots markets...

The two teams have managed just one win between them so far and sit just above the dreaded drop zone.

Clearly there's plenty of time to recover but neither side will want to lose this.

Selection headaches

As the teams prepare to try to pick up what would be a big three points, both have problems in terms of selection.

Already missing Jack Stephens, winless Southampton will be without striker Che Adams, injured on international duty with Scotland, plus key midfielder James Ward-Prowse, who is suspended.

Ibrahima Diallo will replace the England international but will be making his first league start of the season.

At least Armando Broja is back having been forced to miss the Saints' last league game - at parent club Chelsea.

Leeds' problems have also mounted with last season's top scorer Patrick Bamford still out.

Kalvin Phillips remains a doubt, although Marcelo Bielsa was at least making some positive noises on Thursday about the man who withdrew from the England squad due to a calf injury.

However, it's hard to envisage Raphinha - Leeds' best player this season by some distance - starting a game which comes less than 36 hours after his start in Brazil's World Cup qualifier against Uruguay.

At the back, Luke Ayling and Robin Koch remain sidelined so it will remain something of a makeshift defence.

Draw possibility

Whether Southampton can take advantage is another matter though, particularly without Adams.

1280 Che Adams Southampton friendly 2021.jpg

They've scored just five goals so far, two of which have come from the penalty spot, but that's hardly surprising given the sale of Danny Ings, replaced by a signing from the Championship, Adam Armstrong.

To be fair to Armstrong, the former Blackburn man has started OK in the top flight but Saints don't look full of goals and could be vulnerable to a Leeds side who attack, whoever is in their XI.

Still, Ralph Hasenhuttl is well aware of Leeds' attacking verve - the Yorkshire side won both encounters last season - and the Austrian boss gave a nod towards his tactics at Thursday's press conference.

He said: "This game will not always be nice to watch, because of the pressure we will both put on each other - so don't expect a five-star dinner, you won't see that.

"It will be about winning duels, winning second balls, using the space, there will be a lot of bad passes - and I'm sure this is how they play."

A physical battle looks to be on the cards (both teams are in the top six of the tackles table) although I don't see Leeds shirking that.

In the win-draw-win market, Leeds (3.05) look more tempting than the hosts (2.46) to me but of the three outcomes, the draw at 3.65 is arguably the best bet.

Still, it's not something that sets the pulse racing and the goals line is of much greater appeal.

Go low on goals

Leeds have already been to Newcastle and Burnley this season and been held to 1-1 draws, while their home game with another of the early strugglers, Watford, was won 1-0.

Another under 2.5 goals game looks worth backing at 2.25, given the absence of a lot of attacking talent.

Yes, Leeds do have plenty of shots (only Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs have had more) but the quality of them has been poor, something highlighted by a couple of stats.

Leeds have the sixth-lowest expected goals total, while their xG-per-shot is the lowest in the competition this term.

With the hosts' problems in front of goal already mentioned, the unders - a bet which has already landed twice in three games at St Mary's - looks good at the price.

While on the subject of goals, it's worth mentioning the goal timings for these sides.

Southampton matches have featured 15 goals so far with 12 coming in the second half. As for Leeds, their split is 8-13.

Saints have conceded five in the final 15 minutes too, which is interesting fodder for those trading in-play.

Shoot for profit with Klich

I mentioned Leeds' impressive shot numbers earlier and I'll try to make the most of that aspect of their game by heading to the shots markets, which have proved a rich seam in my Premier League previews this season.

It's three winners from three such bets so far and my latest pick is for Mateusz Klich to have 2+ shots.

The Pole has landed this in all five Premier League starts this term and he managed five shots in the away game at Newcastle.

The 9/5 offered about the midfielder producing 2+ shots again, against a side still recovering from the sale of Jannik Vestergaard, therefore looks chunky indeed.

Opta fact

Thirty-one of Leeds' 35 Premier League goals against Southampton have been scored in the second half of games, including each of the last 13 in a row. Of all teams to have scored 20+ goals against an opponent in the competition, Leeds against Southampton is the highest ratio scored after half-time (89%).

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