Adrian Clarke is looking to go one better than last weekend with two strong Premier league fancies…
We came mighty close to landing a double win last weekend, just one goal short in a very open North London Derby.
We move on, though!
Ahead of the next round of Premier League matches, I’ve found another pair of appealing goal angles.
ELLAND ROAD MATCHES ARE WILD, AND BRENTFORD’S VISIT SHOULD BE NO DIFFERENT
Seven. Four. Four. Seven. Five. No, not a code for my padlock, but the number of goals scored in the last five matches to have been played at Elland Road in all competitions. Amazing.
The truth is, Jesse Marsch’s Leeds United are every bit as frenzied as Marcelo Bielsa’s. The American does not want them to be as kamikaze out of possession, but his desire to play with wild amounts of energy, often at the cost of defensive structure, runs strong.
Leeds score plenty but will almost always offer up gifts at the back.
Personnel-wise they suddenly look stacked in forward areas. Patrick Bamford is (finally) fit and firing, Rodrigo looks sharp and in teenage tearaway Wilfried Gnonto the Yorkshire giants appear to have unearthed a gem.
Quick, direct, full of tricks and with bags of talent the young Italian’s inclusion has improved Marsch’s starting XI.
The Whites have scored in 7 of their last eight top-flight matches, and the average number of goals scored in those games is 4.13 per 90.
Failing to keep the back door shut is problematic for them. Leeds have just three clean sheets from 18 games, and Nottingham Forest are the only side to have leaked more goals in open play than Marsch’s men (24).
Brentford rock up at Elland Road this Sunday, and although they have a far better defensive record, you could hardly describe the Bees as watertight.
Thomas Frank’s team have faced the most shots in open play this season (230) and are averaging two goals conceded away from home.
The west Londoners are always worth a goal though, finding the back of the net in 15 of their 19 contests so far.
Away from home they tend to cut loose a little bit too. Remarkably, they have notched exactly two gpals in five of their nine away fixtures.
Both Teams to Score feels nailed on here but at 1.63 there’s no way I can put that up as my selection, so I am definitely looking at the Overs market.
The line which stands out best for me is Over 3.0 goals at 2.1 with Matchbook.
If there are under two goals we lose, if there are exactly three goals we get our money back, but anything more is a lovely win. Of those scenarios, two or less goals feels the least likely when you consider it’s a match at Elland Road.
Leeds v Brentford looks like a belter that should feature plenty of goals.
WITH JOBS ON THE LINE, GO LOW FOR EAST LONDON’S EL SACKICO DUEL
I’m certainly not labelling David Moyes and Frank Lampard as cowboys here. but it does feel as if they are about to take ten paces and turn.
This relegation shootout feels big for both managers, and if there is a loser on Saturday afternoon they might struggle to survive.
Who will win? Don’t know.
Everton view the Hammers as welcome opponents, beating them more times (28) than any other opponent.
But flip it around and they have just seven points from nine away games, scoring more than one goal just once on the road.
As for West Ham, home advantage should count here – and they will be lifted by the signing of Danny Ings – but they’ve lost six of their last seven and confidence is low.
The best way in for a selection around this fixture has to be goals, and a lack of them.
West Ham United and Everton are the lowest first-half scorers in the division, netting just six apiece.
That’s one first-half goal every 142.5 minutes.
Despite being in precarious positions inside the bottom three, neither club has been porous before the break either.
The Toffees are excellent at keeping things tight early doors, letting in just 11 first-half goals, two less than the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool. David Moyes’ side have also conceded 13 prior to the interval.
Given these numbers and the game-state they find themselves in, it is not too difficult to envisage a slow, scrappy, cagey first period.
This is an absolute must-not-lose for two conservative teams, so I don’t expect a first half free-for-all.
My pick here is Under 1.0 first-half goal. Two goals would be an unexpected blow, but if someone scores, we get the protection of a push, and our stake is returned. Should it be goalless, we are quids-in at 1.8.
The most likely half-time score for two sides that average 0.32 goals per first half has to be 0-0.
- Leeds United v Brentford – Over 3.0 goals (2.1)
- West Ham United v Everton – Under 1.0 First Half Goal (1.8)
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