Leeds v Wolves
Live on Sky Sports Premier League
Leeds looking to maintain strong start
Leeds won plenty of admirers in their hugely entertaining 4-3 defeat at Liverpool on opening weekend but it’s points that count.
And Marcelo Bielsa’s men have knuckled down by taking seven from the last nine.
That comprised another wild seven-goal shootout at home to Fulham after Leeds had led 4-1, a gutsy 1-0 derby win at Sheffield United and a more-than-deserved 1-1 Elland Road draw against Manchester City.
The tests keep coming and now Bielsa comes up against another charismatic manager, who has played a huge part in restoring his club’s fortunes.
It will be their first meeting.
Leeds managed to add Rennes winger Raphinha in the transfer window and Bielsa will be placed to see £27m Rodrigo get his first goal (v Manchester City) after his move from Valencia.
With Patrick Bamford scoring in the Whites’ first three Premier League games and goals coming from midfield too, there’s plenty to like about Leeds right now.
Wolves struggling for consistency
It’s been more of a mixed start for Wolves in terms of pre-season expectations given that they finished seventh last time.
So far it’s wins with clean sheets away to Sheffield United (2-0) and home to Fulham (1-0). But in between they conceded seven goals in defeats against Manchester City (1-3) at Molineux and at West Ham (0-4) at the London Stadium.
That latter reversal was particularly hard to fathom although its shock impact has rather been diluted by results such as Man City 2-5 Leicester, Man Utd 1-6 Spurs and Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool.
Keeping Raul Jimenez was obviously a great bit of business and he’s scored twice in those four Premier League games so far. He also netted the winner for Mexico in a friendly against Holland during the international break.
Wolves have taken victory on their last two visits to Elland Road and in the most recent season they locked horns (2017/2018), Wolves won 3-0 (away) and 4-1 (home).
An awful lot has changed since then of course although for those who like historical trends/bogey grounds/happy hunting grounds, Wolves have won four of their last six at Leeds.
It’s a measure of Leeds‘ progress that they go into this one as short as 8/52.6 for the win.
Wolves are priced at 2/13.05 while The Draw is the outsider of the three options at 12/53.4.
Instinctively, Leeds look a tad short while Wolves, based on their more proven pedigree at this level, may just be the value.
Then again, this is definitely an ‘all three results possible‘ sort of game.
But rather than the outrights, the goals markets hold most interest for me here.
It’s been goal-crazy so far in the Premier League and Leeds have played a big part in that with a pair of 4-3s.
Bielsa’s insistence on relentless football is a recipe for chances at both ends. Leeds are like a dog with a bone and just keep going for it. When behind, they’ll chase and chase and not worry about conceding more. And they won’t back off when in front.
Wolves are more canny but teams can get caught up in a basketball match before they know it.
I’m surprised to see Unders the clear favourite so first bet is Over 2.5 Goals at 6/52.22.
But why stop there?! Over 3.5 Goals at 4.1 and Over 4.5 Goals at 8/19 are both within reason so I’ll have smaller bets on those too.
I’d obviously also be a player of Both Teams To Score if getting involved in that market.
‘Yes’ is 10/111.88.
By definition of backing goals, the scorer markets are also worth a look.
Bamford and Jimenez are the two most obvious but it’s the sort of game where possession will change hands quickly.
Therefore, Adama Traore could be a real threat on the break even though he may cause more damage as a provider rather than a scorer.
Leeds have goalscoring options everywhere and Mateusz Klich and Helder Coasta have both netted twice in the Premier League so far.
Leeds have faced more shots than any other side in the Premier League so far this season (73). This could be, in part, down to the fact that the Whites have had more high turnovers against them (open play sequences that begin 40m or less from goal) than any other side in the competition this term (30).