* 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.
Leeds and Newcastle have both endured awful starts to their respective Premier League campaigns, accumulating just three points between them from a possible 24 and conceding a combined 23 goals.
The Magpies have shipped four goals on two occasions already, while Leeds conceded a combined total of eight goals in comprehensive defeats Manchester United and Liverpool. Taking all that into consideration, it is unsurprising that they both find themselves near the foot of the table.
It is Newcastle, however, who will be more concerned by their disappointing start to the season. Leeds’s performances have not been convincing by any means, but they can at least point to the fact that they have already played Manchester United, Liverpool, and an in-form Everton.
Friday 20:00 – Newcastle v Leeds
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
Newcastle, on the other hand, managed to pick up one point from games with West Ham, Aston Villa, and Southampton before they were inevitably trounced by Manchester United on Cristiano Ronaldo’s return last weekend.
Steve Bruce’s side were also one of the pre-season favourites to go down, while Leeds’ form could be construed as an early-season blip. A defeat to Newcastle on Friday night would be cause for concern for Marcelo Bielsa, but The Whites realistically should claim their first win of the season.
It is not hard to see why Leeds and Newcastle both find themselves in the bottom four at this early stage of the season, considering they’re absolutely horrific defensive records. Newcastle boast the worst defence in the division with 12 goals conceded after four games – a record of three goals conceded per game – while only basement club Norwich have conceded as many goals as Leeds’s 11.
Leeds’ potent attack that saw them finish as the sixth-highest scorers in the Premier League last season has yet to click into gear, but they should have far more joy against a porous Newcastle defence than they had against Liverpool or Manchester United.
However, they also appear to have just a slim chance of keeping Newcastle out at the other end given their deplorable defensive record so far. Steve Bruce’s side have also scored two goals in two games this term and clearly have enough attacking potency to threaten the fragile Leeds defence. There really should be goals on Friday.
Patrick Bamford is yet to hit the lofty heights that saw him finish with an impressive tally of 17 goals last season, but it is not for the want of trying. The recently capped English striker has one goal to his name this season in the form of a late equaliser against Burnley and has attempted 11 shots on goal in his four games.
Even last season when Bamford was far more prolific, it felt like he needed a number of opportunities to score. The Leeds frontman attempted 107 shots last season at a rate of almost three per game and is on course to match that shooting record at this early stage of the season.
Coming up against a Newcastle side that has faced 71 shots in its first four games of the season, Bamford should have no problem maintaining his shooting averages on Friday night.
Neither Leeds nor Newcastle have won a flurry of corners in any of their games at this early stage of the campaign. Newcastle have won 18 corners in their four games so far, at an average of 4.5 corners per game. Meanwhile, Leeds have fared only slightly better with 19 corners in their opening four games.
They have not exactly been conceding corners either in spite of their porous defences, with Newcastle conceding 20 in four games and Leeds conceding 26. However, all most half of the corners that Leeds have conceded this season came in the comprehensive home defeat to Liverpool and it is unlikely that Newcastle will be so dominant on Friday night.
For all their defensive woes, Newcastle have actually been quite adventurous this season, attempting 48 shots on goal and finding the target on 12 occasions. They take on a Leeds side that has faced an identical number of shots as them on Friday night and will look to pepper Illan Meslier’s goal throughout.
Leeds have faced 77 shots in their opening four games, with 28 of them finding the target and it would be extremely surprising if Meslier wasn’t forced into at least four saves at St James’ Park.
* A Bet Builder on these five best bets pays at approximately 24/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.
NOT SURE WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT? CLICK HERE TO LEARN ALL ABOUT WHAT A BET BUILDER IS
BET BUILDER ACCA INSURANCE
If one leg of your 4+ fold Bet Builder lets you down, you get up to £/€10 back as a free bet. Customers can qualify for 1 Bet Builder Acca Insurance per day up to £/€10. The free bets will be credited by 12pm the following day.
- Score all your football betting tips and previews over at Paddy Power News
- Football tips: Our tasty 24/1 acca for Friday night’s action across Europe
- Premier League TV Fixtures: 5 matches on the box including Spurs v Chelsea
- Football tips: Alan Cawley’s FAI Cup and League of Ireland best bets for this weekend
- Ray Houghton: Man United have always been more proactive than Liverpool
- Ray Houghton: I’d keep Stephen Kenny for now, but a big judgement call is coming