Football Tips: Leeds to stumble in title hunt and Stoke to pick up valuable win on Sunday

Will Leeds falter again?

Steve Cooper Marcelo Bielsa

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13:30: Swansea vs Leeds – Draw

The difficult games keep coming for Leeds with third-placed Brentford unrelenting in their push for automatic promotion. The Bees may have well cut the gap to three points by the time Leeds kick-off at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday and Marcelo Bielsa’s men could do without dropping points here.

Swansea won’t be a pushover, however, with their recent wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham propelling them into the play-off hunt once more.

The Swans’ season looked to be grinding to a halt after a disappointing defeat at home to Luton and an uninspired draw at Millwall, but they now find themselves just one point off bitter rivals Cardiff and just five points off fifth-placed Nottingham Forest, who they play on Wednesday.

MarceloBielsaJul19a

A win is imperative for both sides and it should make for a tense affair. It seems like a different season when these sides met back in August at Elland Road.

Swansea stole victory on that day thanks to a late Wayne Routledge winner, despite Leeds dominating the ball. It could be a similar story on Sunday, with Leeds controlling possession and Swansea doing their utmost to frustrate them.

This has real potential to be a banana skin for Leeds and Swansea could very well take points off them and secure a draw.

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13:30: Stoke vs Birmingham – Stoke to win

Birmingham have endured an unusual return following the suspension in play. The Blues went to West Brom – the second-highest scorers in the division – and kept a clean sheet on their return to competitive action and also kept Fulham out for 95 minutes before Josh Onomah snatched a late, late winner.

However, they also shipped three goals in successive home games against relegation-threatened Hull and Huddersfield. While they managed to snatch a late draw against Hull, that result was arguably worse considering Hull had picked up two points since New Year’s Day prior to that.

Wednesday’s 3-1 hammering at Swansea signalled the exit of boss Pep Clotet. He was due to leave at the end of the season, but his exit was brought forward. Craig Gardener and Steve Spooner will take his place in the dugout.

Michael-O'Neill-Stoke-manager

Stoke, meanwhile, have endured a similarly strange return to footballing action. The Potters thrashed survival rivals Barnsley 4-0 to ease their relegation fears somewhat, but also suffered heavy defeats at the hands of Middlesbrough, Wigan, and Leeds.

The latter result was expected, but it came at a time when Stoke’s relegation rivals picked up valuable points and cast them further into relegation mire. They could easily be in the bottom three by the time they kick off on Sunday and this game definitely falls into the “must-win” category.

They should do. Just about. Birmingham are on a precipitous slide down the Championship table and may well be pulled further into the dogfight on Sunday afternoon following a Stoke win.

These two selections in a double will give you odds of just over 6/1 with Paddy Power.

Tips for Sunday’s Championship clashes

13:30 Swansea vs Leeds: Draw
13:30 Stoke vs Birmingham: Stoke to win

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