ENGLAND: Premier League
Venue: Elland Road (Leeds)
It was a real ‘nightmare before Christmas’ for Leeds United earlier this week when they suffered a 7-0 mauling at the hands of Manchester City. That result handed the ‘Whites’ their first league loss by a seven-goal margin since 1934 (Stoke City, 8-1), and never before in his previous 567 games as a manager had Marcelo Bielsa been on the end of such a heavy defeat.
The hosts can’t stew on that loss or feel sorry for themselves in the midst of their pretty severe injury crisis, otherwise they risk being sucked into a relegation dogfight. They’ve picked up just one Premier League (PL) win across their last seven matches, and conceded 12 goals across the last three fixtures alone. There’s a chance that poor defensive record continues here given they have conceded six times across their last two competitive H2Hs vs Arsenal.
It’s hard to predict what you’ll get from Arsenal right now, as they’ve won as many as they’ve lost across their last six PL matches (W3, L3). However, they climbed into the top four following their win over West Ham United on Wednesday night, winning ‘to nil’ for a seventh time this season – only the division’s top three have done so on more occasions.
Each of the ‘Gunners’ last five victories were all accompanied by a clean sheet, although four of those wins came at home. Mikel Arteta’s men haven’t enjoyed the same sort of success on the road, winning only one of their last five PL trips, whilst each of their last three saw them concede 2+ goals.
Players to watch: Leeds’ Raphinha has three goal contributions across his last four PL matches (G2, A1), two of which came before the 30th minute. Alexandre Lacazette has stepped up as captain following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s demotion, registering goal contributions across his last two matches (G1, A1).
- Leeds’s form in last 5 matches: LLDWD.
- Arsenal’ form in last 5 matches: WWLLW.
PREDICTION: Draw/Away and Over 1.5