Sunday afternoon features the great entertainers of the Premier League and an Arsenal team still looking establish an attacking identity.
Mikel Arteta’s side have hit the skids after a run of five wins from six games. They edged a 0-0 draw at the Emirates against Man Utd before a calamitous 2-1 defeat at Molineux featuring red cards for David Luiz and Bernd Leno. That Wolves result should be seen as a one-off with Arsenal dominating the game before Luiz’s red card, however, last week’s blunt effort in a 1-0 defeat at Villa Park felt like a return to Arsenal’s early season attacking struggles.
It not surprising that this dip in results has coincided with an injury to Kieran Tierney. The former Celtic star has missed the last three games and his drive and penetrating runs from full-back make such a difference to Arsenal. He is the only player in this Arsenal squad that you could legitimately say is one of the best at his position in the Premier League and his absence along with Thomas Partey will be keenly felt on Sunday.
Arsenal v Leeds
Sky Sports Main Event
At this stage of the season, it’s pretty clear where Leeds can be exploited. No team has conceded more goals from set pieces in the Premier League than Marcelo Bielsa’s team and there should be opportunities for Rob Holding and David Luiz to notch a rare goal.
Leeds have also suffered heavy beatings to the best counter-attacking teams in the league. These were 4-1 defeats against Leicester and Crystal Palace, a 3-0 reverse to Tottenham and a 6-2 defeat to rivals Man Utd. Bielsa’s man-to-man pressing style and commitment to numbers in the opposition box mean Leeds will always be vulnerable to pacy attackers on the break like Jamie Vardy, Wilfried Zaha and Son Heung-min.
However, if you can’t exploit those vulnerabilities then your team will be in trouble, and this Leeds attack are very unlikely to be held scoreless. No team outside of the top four have scored more goals than Leeds, and only West Brom and Crystal Palace have conceded more goals which shows you why the ‘great entertainers’ tag is apt. The key to this game will be whether Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka can exploit Leeds on the break because if they don’t, the relentlessness of Leeds will wear them down.
Ultimately, I don’t trust Arsenal to really hurt Leeds on the break and the visitors to win the match makes the most appeal for me here.
As outlined above, Leeds rarely hold their opposition scoreless so Both Teams to Score will be leg 2 of the Bet Builder.
Stuart Dallas has been one of the players that has most improved under Bielsa. The Northern Ireland stalwart would previously have been seen as no more than a decent Championship performer but he has thrived in the Premier League this season and chipped in with four league goals. He makes so many driving runs from midfield and looks worth chancing for a shot on target.
Lastly, we’ll go for Granit Xhaka to be carded. As mentioned above, Leeds don’t hold back in attack, and if the hosts find themselves overrun in the middle of the park, Xhaka is likely to take the matter into his own hands.
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Arsenal v Leeds tips
All four of these selections in a Bet Builder will pay out at odds of around 50/1
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