The conclusion of the first midweek gameweek in the Premier League this season sees Leeds travel to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester in a big game at the lower end of the table. The pressure has been mounting on Brendan Rodgers all season, but they come into this one with four points from their last three games, accounting for 80% of their season total. Leeds started very strongly, with seven points from their first three games, but are winless in six and have only picked up two points since then.
Leicester have been very poor this season. With a lack of investment over the summer, as well as losing Wesley Fofana and Kasper Schmeichel, their defence has gone to pieces and Brendan Rodgers is in serious danger of losing his job. However, there are signs of improvements with two clean sheets in their last two home games and they’ll be looking to build on this here. They have picked up all five points at home so far this season, and only conceded five goals in this time so they’re stronger at the King Power. However, they were booed off on Saturday afternoon. What will disappoint Rodgers most is that they’ve dropped 14 points from winning positions already this season and if they had picked up just some of these, they’d be much higher in the table than they are now. However, they will be without starman James Maddison who is injured, as well as key players such as Wilfried Ndidi, Ricardo Pereira and Caglar Soyuncu.
Leeds looked very good at the start of the season, with two wins in three to open, but they are desperate to halt this winless run, in which they have not picked up a point on the road. They come into this one on the back of a 1-0 defeat to league leaders Arsenal but they can feel aggrieved not to come away with at least a point, given that Patrick Bamford missed a penalty and they dominated on expected goals, winning 2.35-0.86. Three of their next four heading into the World Cup are against Leicester, Fulham and Bournemouth, so they will be hoping to build some momentum going into the break. Were they to lose here, they’d stay outside the relegation zone on goal difference alone. Marsh has confirmed that Pascal Stuijk will miss the game, meaning Junior Firpo should slot in at left back, and they remain without Stuart Dallas and Adam Forshaw.
Leicester City v Leeds United Bet Builder Tips
Under 2.5 Goals
A few weeks ago, you’d have been crazy to back Leicester games and the under goals market, but they look stronger at the back now. Admittedly, they have still conceded 24 goals and scored 15 in their ten games, giving them an average of 3.9 goals per game, but the underlying data suggests signs of improvement. Their xGA has not been that high all season, only conceding two or more xG once – at Arsenal. However, a lot of the criticism and their underperformance of xG was aimed at Danny Ward, who has impressed in a Wales shirt before now. His confidence seemed to be on the floor but two clean sheets in his last three games might have provided a boost of morale for him and the whole defence, especially in their last game against Crystal Palace where they conceded just 0.34xG and kept a clean sheet. Going forward, they’ll be without James Maddison due to an accumulation of yellow cards, the last of which was in the last minute for simulation on Saturday afternoon. It is difficult to explain how much this might affect the Foxes as his five goals and two assists have been key to them this season. He has also made the highest number of key passes and has the second highest expected assists out of anyone in that squad. They may struggle to create too much here.
Leeds looked much better against Arsenal than they have done in recent weeks and really should have picked up some points. In their run of six winless games, they have struggled for goals, with only four of them and they’d have hoped that having Patrick Bamford back would have helped. Coming off the bench at half time, he missed three big chances that would have given Leeds a way back into the game, including a penalty. Defensively, Leeds have been solid, if not spectacular. Excluding a slight anomaly at Brentford, they have only conceded eight goals in their eight games so far this season, including a clean sheet against Chelsea. Given Maddison’s absence, I expect Leicester to struggle to break down this fairly solid Leeds defence that allowed Arsenal only 0.86xG and Chelsea just 0.72xG. I expect this to be a close, cagey battle between two sides desperate for points and I think that there is value in the under here at just over even money.
Luis Sinisterra to have 2+ Shots
One of Leeds’ new signings, Luis Sinisterra, has provided a few moments of magic for United, especially his goal against Everton which gained them a point. He has scored three goals for the club, and is starting to be trusted more. In his first six games, he did not manage to play more than 63 minutes once and was sent off on his seventh appearance against Aston Villa. However, the suspension he faced has given him more time to get used to the systems and methods and Jesse Marsch trusted him to play 88 minutes on the weekend against Arsenal. In that game he managed four shots, meaning over the course of the season, he averages 2.28 shots per 90. This is not a surprise, as in his last three seasons at Feyenoord he averaged 2.00, 1.94 and 2.92 shots per full game, and he is not afraid to take a shot on.
Here, he will probably be on the left-hand side but is capable of playing on the right wing. Leicester have conceded plenty of shots down their right wing, and an opponent on the left wing has managed at least one in every game they have played this season. Wilfried Zaha managed two on the weekend, and I feel confident that Sinisterra can add his name to that list which includes Trossard, Sancho, Sterling, Martinelli and Wissa.
Harvey Barnes to have 3+ Shots
Harvey Barnes is becoming a very important member of this Leicester attack and has two goals so far this season, including one against Forest here. He has managed at least two shots in every game that he’s played more than a half in and has hit at least three in five of the nine games. He also averaged 2.87 shots per game last season and had three against Crystal Palace on the weekend. As an alternative angle, he’s also had nine shots on target in the league so far, and at least one in six of the games. In Maddison’s absence, there is even more responsibility upon Barnes and the other Leicester attackers to step up.
Leeds have conceded plenty of shots to left wingers, especially in recent weeks. Across the season, they have allowed 20 shots in their nine games but in recent weeks, they have been particularly vulnerable there. Keane Lewis-Potter, Phillipe Coutinho and Wilfried Zaha have all managed at least three shots from left wing in Leeds’ last four games and this could be an area that Leicester might be targeting given Maddison’s suspension.
Over 3.5 Cards
As I explained earlier, I think this will be a very cagey affair given how important it is to both sides. I can see it being very stop-start with plenty of fouls. Leicester average 3.40 cards per game, which rises to 3.80 at home. In four of their five home games, they have had at least four cards which would see this selection land. Leeds average 4.33 cards per game, 2.33 for them, as well as 4.75 away from home. They have had at least four cards in all four of their games and have received at least three in three of their four games.
The referee for this one is Peter Bankes who averages 3.71 cards per game and has given at least four cards in 50.33% of his games across his career. However, this season, he’s been harsher with his cards, giving an average of 4.6 cards per game in the Premier League and has shown at least four cautions in three of his five games. He also gave out a massive six cards at West Ham when they faced Tottenham and showed six in Bournemouth’s opening day victory over Aston Villa. This shows that he is not afraid of showing cards if necessary, and I think that they will be in this massive game.
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How to watch Leicester City v Leeds United in the Premier League?
📅 When is Leicester City v Leeds United? / Thursday, 20th October 2022, 20:15
🏟 Where is Leicester City v Leeds United? / King Power Stadium (Leicester)
📺 What TV channel is Leicester City v Leeds United on? / Amazon Prime Video 🟨 …And who is the referee for Leicester City v Leeds United? / P. Bankes 🏴