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Leeds passed their Southampton test with flying colours on Tuesday night as hey ran out 3-0 winners to go above Arsenal and into the top half of the table.
They’d be able to leapfrog Aston Villa with a win here, and with Jack Grealish potentially injured for the visitors, the Whites may fancy their chances.
What is noticeable though is the fact that Leeds have regularly struggled against the better sides in the league this season, going from 2.4 points per game against the bottom-eight to just 0.73 against sides placed 12th or above, as they’ve lost four of six winless games at Elland Road against that better bracket of sides.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have struggled for consistency and are certainly one of the most unpredictable sides in the league as they’re either scintillatingly brilliant or defensively leaky, resulting in no side having fewer draws than their two in the league so far as they’ve gone W8-L8 sine their last stalemate against Arsenal back in November.
Aston Villa have slowly gone off the boil after their early season form, and although they have two games in hand on most teams in the league, five defeats from their last nine is not the kind of form they would have been hoping for heading into this game.
They’re still in a strong position of eighth and know that if they start picking up some points with regularity, they’ll have a very strong shout at European football next season.
Leeds To Beat Villa
Captain Grealish was a massive miss for them against Leicester last weekend, and they’re still yet to win a game without the Englishman since the start of last season and although that’s only a small sample of three games, it highlights his impact on this team, which has only got bigger this season.
It’s unclear whether or not he’ll be available here, though some reports suggest he could be out for around a month which would massively disrupt any momentum the midlands side are trying to build, and on that basis we’d have to opt for a home win here.
Leeds Half Time/Full Time
You could argue that this game could be decided in the opening half, as when Leeds trail at the break they’ve often failed to pick up results, mustering up just a single point from nine such situations this season, while they’ve managed to hold on to all five half-time leads that they’ve established.
This game will therefore rest heavily on the opening goal for us, and with Leeds coming off the back of a confidence boosting win, we’d expect them to start the strongest here.