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Leeds v Preston
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Promotion is the aim of the game for both of these historic clubs. Leeds are hunting the automatic top two promotion positions, and whilst those are out-of-reach for Preston, Ryan Lowe’s team will be trying their best to finish the season inside the top six to give themselves a chance through the play-offs.
Leeds have blown hot and cold so far this season. They have put together short runs of great form before running into a couple of matches of difficulty. At times the Whites have looked like the best team in the league, and if they can shed this inconsistency then they have every chance of catching Ipswich and Southampton to land that second place and an automatic return to the Premier League.
Preston started the season incredibly well but most people, including Preston fans and staff, were aware that they were over-performing at that stage. After a slide down the table to a more usual level, there is still every chance that the Lilywhites can build from here and challenge for the top six, before the weekend they were only two points from Coventry in sixth.
These two met on Boxing Day and Preston’s impressive victory at Deepdale saw the beginning of a bit of a slump for Leeds where second place drifted away from them. Leeds will have revenge on their minds for this encounter.
By using the data accrued during the season and the cheat sheet that displays lots of the most relevant information, we can construct a few pieces of advice for bet builders below.
Leeds v Preston Cheat Sheet
This Cheat Sheet and Preview was created using predicted lineups.
There are so many ways to use our Cheat Sheets, and we encourage you to find your own formula to pick a winning bet builder, however, if you’re unsure of how to use a Cheat Sheet, just click the link for some quick tips to help you make the most of it.
🏆 Match stats: Leeds comfortably the more impressive side
Leeds are pretty much bang on the money with their goal return of 48 coming from an expected goals total of 48.4, but this is still lower than the other members of the top four. This must be a slight disappointment for the Leeds faithful, especially given the talent at their disposal in that area of the pitch.
Regardless, Leeds are consistently in the top echelon for their attacking metrics. That xG created figure is only just short of Leicester’s leading 48.5, they have had the 4th-highest number of shots on target but they have also missed the 3rd most big chances.
An interesting aspect of Leeds’ data is that they have the fewest accurate long passes per match in the league. This demonstrates how Leeds build their attacks, but alongside that they have the 6th highest average possession, so they are happy to play on the counter-attack, where their pace is devastating, but they won’t just throw the ball forward.
Alongside the good attacking numbers, Leeds have statistically the best defence in the league. They concede the lowest xG against numbers, the joint 2nd-lowest goals and they have the joint-second highest number of clean sheets.
Preston have massively outperformed some of their metrics. They have the 3rd-worst xG created numbers in the league at 23.6, but they have scored 33 goals. They have missed the fewest big chances, only 14, which goes some way to explaining this.
They are clinical going forward, which is obviously very important, but there are defensive concerns as well. Preston are very much bottom half for goals conceded, with only four clean sheets all season. Their xG against isn’t as bad as that though, only mid table, so perhaps this balances the attacking overperformance out somewhat.
Regardless, the data does lean heavily in Leeds’ direction for this match.
⚽ Leeds (-1 handicap) @ 1.87
🎯 Shooting stats: High shot volume for Leeds forwards could have Preston in trouble
We know that Leeds are a good attacking unit and it is even clearer to see that when assessing their forward unit.
With Patrick Bamford brought back into the fold and seemingly feeling confident again, that adds an extra positive to the depth. To be able to call on Joel Piroe to change the game is impressive.
Leeds’ conversion to shots on target isn’t as good as they would hope though, they manage less than 6 shots on target on average, though this is still a high number in context of the Championship.
There are a couple of goalscorer spots to take advantage of too. Georginio Rutter could really benefit from playing in the #10 role. His shot volume has really increased in the last couple of games, and he scored in the last Championship match as well. He is priced behind most of the other Leeds forwards though at this stage.
Meanwhile, though Preston aren’t expected to trouble Leeds as often, Mads Frokjaer-Jensen is overpriced in the goalscorer market too if he starts. He is one of Preston’s big threats but isn’t priced accordingly.
⚽ Leeds to have 6+ shots on target @ 1.44
⚽ Georginio Rutter to score anytime @ 2.50
⚽ Mads Frokjaer-Jensen to score anytime @ 7.50
⛳ Corners stats: Preston corners likely to be restricted
Preston sit 8th in the league for the number of away corners that they win. Their average is 3.92 away from home, but they aren’t a big possession and territory-heavy team who work the ball towards the byline, so this is understandable.
The big difficulty, when looking at this market for Preston, will be getting up the pitch to win corners. Leeds have by far the fewest number of corners conceded in the league at home, only 2.46 corners against on average, almost one clear corner better than the next best.
The opposite isn’t true though in that Leeds don’t necessarily take a load of corners themselves. 6.46 corners per home game is a fine average, but only upper mid table in the context of the rest of the division.
⚽ Over 5.5 Leeds corners @ 1.44
🟨 Cards stats: Preston midfield and forwards under pressure
Preston have conceded the 4th-highest number of fouls in the competition so far, and have the 4th-highest number of cautions to go alongside that accolade.
Meanwhile, Leeds sit at the bottom of the yellow cards received table with only 41.
So, all eyes on Preston for cards, and there are some potential candidates for individual cards too. Preston’s central midfielders have racked up the cards so far this season and Ali McCann, if he gets the nod, is a good price to pick up another. Out of the players that are likely to play, McCann is the one with the highest fouls per minute rate.
Will Keane rivals McCann for a rate of fouls, plus he is hardworking and will be constantly running to close the Leeds defenders and midfielders down in this match.
⚽ Preston to receive the most cards @ 1.44
⚽ Over 1.5 Preston cards @ 1.30
⚽ Ali McCann to be shown a card @ 4.20
⚽ Will Keane to be shown a card @ 5.0
* I recommend waiting for confirmed team line-ups before placing any bets.
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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