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Isn’t football a funny thing? No matter how successful Leeds and Norwich will be over the next five years, it’s going to take decades for it to land in my head that this is actually a Premier League fixture.
Leeds are having a down year. Or, well, a normal year. Perhaps the freshness of their approach during the 2020/21 season is catching up to them and that gung-ho nature is regressing to the mean – where teams with better players pick you off for taking risks.
Sunday 2pm – Norwich v Leeds
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
Daniel Farke lost 15 straight Premier League matches up until mid-September, which was the longest losing run by any top-flight side in English football history. Yet, somehow, he has a job. This feels like a game both sides could really do with a win from, and given one of these doesn’t take it handy on that front to begin with, I suspect a cracking match. Here’s three bets for you to take a peek at.
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Short-Price Fancy: Both Teams To Score
Simply because they have to really. This is the kind of fixture that it’s hard to motivate players for. So that generally saps energy. And Leeds’ niche as being new boys on the block and capable of causing upsets has faded somewhat, so they don’t possess that swagger either.
It’s just that Norwich won’t have too many better chances at three points all season, and Leeds will consider this their easiest fixture of the entire calendar. Draws do nobody favours here, so I don’t expect either to approach it in that manner.
Value Play: Norwich To Win
I know this really goes against my gut instinct here and backing a side who’ve got just two points from their last 19 Premier League games might be a tad wild, but hold off on the arrest just yet.
Leeds are one of the very few teams that can operate at such a low level that anybody is capable of beating them. Their reliance on preparation exceeds any other side’s in the league – and it frequently makes up for their lack of talent personnel-wise.
They lack a focal point and until that build-up can stick to a Patrick Bamford higher up the pitch, they’ll slow-burn their way to the final third and risk losing possession. Southampton won possession high up the pitch on 15 occasions against Leeds this year – the third-highest total in the league. If Farke instructs to press like he should, it will wield opportunities.
Long Shot: Teemu Pukki To Score Two Or More
First of all, Teemu Pukki is the only Norwich player with an xG over 1. So, if anyone was to score twice, it’s Pukki. There’s also just 21 players with a higher xG than him in the league. He’s getting a lot of Norwich’s chances for himself, and if we’re having a punt on a fit striker in this game, he’s where my money goes.
Some more for Sunday
- BEST BETS: Paddy’s ultimate guide for this weekend
- BEST BETS: 3 punts for Norwich v Leeds on Sunday
- BET BUILDER: 30/1 flutter for Aston Villa v West Ham
- THOMMO: 3 for glee ahead of Villa v West Ham