- 31 goals hit the net in Leeds’ eight Premier League fixtures this season.
- Over 2.5 goals were scored in five of Leeds’ eight top flight matches this term.
- Only three clubs have conceded more attempts per game on average than Leeds so far this season.
- Patrick Bamford has scored seven goals in eight Premier League appearances since the summer.
Leeds provide plenty of entertainment
Leeds’ adventurous approach under Marcelo Bielsa has made them one of the Premier League’s most exciting teams to watch this season, and a combined 31 goals hit the net in United’s first eight matches since their promotion.
After a poor run of results, and successive 4-1 hammerings at the hands of Leicester and Crystal Palace respectively before the international break, some of the mystique around the Yorkshireman and Marcelo Bielsa seems to be fading however, and Leeds face another tough test of their top-flight mettle against Arsenal at Elland Road on Sunday.
Remarkably, Leeds simultaneously rank 5th in the Premier League for xG (expected goals) and 2nd for xGA (expected goals against) this season, further highlighting just how open their games have been so far.
Gunners targeting final third improvement
Mikel Arteta was lavishly praised when Arsenal forced a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford on November 1st, though the Gunners’ win in Manchester provided their only triumph and their only goal in four Premier League fixtures before the international break.
While Arsenal have found plundering goals against some of Europe’s lesser lights in the Europa League relatively easy, their output domestically has been woefully below standard.
Arsenal were torn to shreds at home to Aston Villa in their last Premier League outing, and Arteta will be demanding a response from his players after their humiliating 3-0 reverse to the Villains at the Emirates Stadium.
Goals likely at Elland Road
While Arsenal’s ponderous football has led to uninspiring displays over the past month, Leeds’ highly contrasting philosophy should ensure that we are treated to another open tussle at Elland Road.
As many of the stats we covered earlier detail, chances have regularly been flowing at both ends of the pitch in Leeds’ Premier League matches this season. Only seven teams have scored more goals than Bielsa’s team this term, while United also hold the division’s joint worst defensive record alongside West Brom.
In terms of attempts on goal, only four clubs have averaged more per game than Leeds (13.1) since their promotion, while just three teams have conceded per on average per contest at the other end (14).
With the pattern set, we expect Leeds’ encounter with Arsenal to be similarly high on action, making the over 2.5 goals and both teams to score the outstanding choice in the markets for the game at Elland Road, while our correct score prediction tips a pulsating 2-2 draw to develop in Yorkshire.
Both Leeds and Arsenal are nursing bruised confidence following runs of three defeats in four Premier League fixtures respectively, and while goals should be on offer for both teams, a point apiece could be seen a respectable result for two sides desperate to halt recent slides.
Anytime goalscorer tip: Patrick Bamford
Patrick Bamford continues to divide opinion, though the Leeds centre-forward has been a prime source of goals for his team this term, netting seven goals in eight Premier League starts overall.
The 27-year-old will be the focal point of the Leeds attack again on Sunday, and with his touch in front of goal looking sharp, Bamford is a good bet to add to his haul against Arsenal.
Leeds injuries and team news
Kalvin Phillips and Gaetano Berardi are both sidelined for Leeds, as is Adam Forshaw, though Diego Llorente and Jamie Shackleton will both hope to be involved.
Rodrigo has recovered from COVID-19 however, and should return to the Leeds squad.
Arsenal injuries and team news
Gabriel Martinelli and Pablo Mari are both long-term absentees for Arsenal, though Calum Chambers is close to a return to first team action.
Mohamed Elneny and Saed Kolasinac tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Sunday’s game, while Thomas Partey and Reiss Nelson are also nursing knocks.
Willian – who recently broke travel rules to visit Dubai – could also miss out.