* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
When Robert Louis Stevenson sat down to write about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1885, I’m not sure Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United side from 2020/21 were at the forefront of his thoughts. But given the bizarre similarities, I can’t exactly rule it out either.
Now, a gothic literary reference for you – don’t say I don’t try. But what exactly are Leeds? The best promoted side we’ve ever seen or a kick in the face of structured, conservative football? Either way, we’re grateful for them. And it finally shows people what attacking football really looks like from a newly-promoted unit. Eddie Howe has been living off that myth now for years and hilariously hasn’t gotten a job because people can see right through it. Shame.
Leeds v Aston Villa, Saturday: 5.30pm
Sky Sports Main Event
As for Villa, who you might remember actually won the Premier League back in October – not even their seasonal highlight of slapping seven past Liverpool is holding form now. But that’s not to say this season hasn’t been a major overachievement and the decision to hold onto Dean Smith despite him appearing to resemble an extra in Hollyoaks has bore fruit.
So what happens when two unpredictable forces meet? Far too much to even comprehend – but here are three things I fancy will come to pass.
Leeds are pretty much bang on a point and a half per game this year which is terrific because they’ve only drawn twice – highlighting just how their form swings from one end to the other. But the one thing we can be sure of is that they won’t be ending in a stalemate. How very San Francisco 49ers of them.
This does feel like a turning point to some degree though. What I mean by that is they may be ready to turn a win-loss sequence into consecutive wins again and Villa for all their grandeur really don’t have a cutting edge to come back in games. It’s a decent price too, I think.
Look at the two sides we’re speaking about here. There’s a genuine opportunity for there to be a goal every five minutes. But that’s generally not the case for Villa in games they win. Ten of their 11 victories in the league have actually come to-nil which is an incredible statistic.
But all of their losses, like one I’m predicting here, have had multiple goals in them too. The only game to actually land under the standard 2.5 goal mark was their 2-0 loss to City.
When they don’t control games, and have to chase them, they’re quite weak. It strikes a good balance and it’s an indication of a good side who won’t lie down – but I’m happy to take a punt on this price.
Is he the low-key best signing of the first transfer window? Absolutely.
A lot of that is down his own ability but also the fact that it takes the pressure off Patrick Bamford who knows his limitations, no matter how good he’s been this year against all the odds.
In games where the Brazilian hasn’t found the net, the very Irish Patrick Bamford has – and vice versa. Their performances finally aligned in a 3-0 win over Southampton that saw them both score.
His run of form is set to continue here too, I’d wager.
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change
- Thommo’s Double For Man City v West Ham & Newcastle V Wolves
- Paddy trader’s 2 best bets for West Brom v Brighton
- Paddy’s 31/1 Saturday accumulator bet from across Europe
- Our striking 44/1 Bet Builder for Man City v West Ham on Saturday
- Bournemouth v Watford best bets plus our 19/1 Saturday EFL acca