It’s not been the start to the campaign that either Steve Bruce nor Marcelo Bielsa would have hoped for, with their respective clubs both firmly planted in the bottom-six after four games and while it’s far too early in the season to start drawing any conclusions, both will be desperate to get their first win on the board, especially after heavy defeats at the weekend.
Leeds were the league’s entertainers last season and although their games are still producing goals, there seem to be far too many being conceded for their liking, and the same can be said of their hosts.
These two sides are currently first and second for most goals per game this season with a total of 32 goals in their combined eight outings.
In fairness to Leeds, their only two defeats so far have come at the hands of Man United and Liverpool, which follows on from their trend last term.
Indeed, up against the eight sides that finished above them last season, the Whites only managed to pick up 0.88 points per game, though they were thoroughly more impressive against weaker outfits and earned 2.05 points per game against the 11 sides below them, and 2.5 against the bottom-six finishers with Brighton the only side in that bracket to take any points of Bielsa’s side.
The Magpies lost both outings against newly promoted Leeds last year and aren’t exactly showing any sort of form to suggest that they can overturn that this season.
Steve Bruce’s side struggled against middle-third outfits last season, with Everton the only side they managed to beat from the middle-six and although Leeds currently occupy a place in the bottom-six in the table, we wouldn’t expect them to remain there, and this could well be the start of their revival.
Both Teams To Score
We’d expect Leeds to dominate the ball like they did in both meetings last season, and while that translated to seven goals in those two games, they also managed to concede three as their defensive susceptibility shone through yet again, especially in their 2-1 win in this exact fixture.
That brings both teams to score into the question in a big way, with that outcome occurring in three of each sides’ four matches so far this season.
However, there may be some concern over the host’s ability to score with the news that Callum Wilson will be unavailable here.
The English forward has scored four in his last four games for Newcastle and was their top scorer last year with 12, four better than Joe Willock’s tally.
However, since the beginning of last season, Newcastle actually have a slightly better win percentage in games the forward doesn’t start, while their output has actually increased in those games, scoring in each of the last eight at an average of 1.88 goals per game, so we’d back them to get on the scoresheet at least in front of their own fans.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE