Leeds - Burnley

Asian Handicap
Pick: AH +0.75 Burnley
Odds: 1.91
Stake: 1

Match date: 27/12/2020
After a long 44 years, Leeds United and Burnley meet in the elite class of English football, and these teams have not met in the English top flight since the 1975-1976. season, when Leeds won both matches.
This season four points separate this clubs in 15th and 16th place, and returneer to the Premiership Leeds playing one game more.

So, an important match for both clubs, because they want to be as far away from the relegation zone as possible, and the biggest difference between them is the style of play.
Leeds is a very offensive team under the direction of experienced coach Marcelo Bielsa, the most goals scored so far in his league matches, often play wild football without a plan.
The best examples are last two games, in which Leeds first beat Newcastle 5:2 and then lost at Old Trafford against Manchester United 2:6.

On the other hand, Burnley coach Sean Dyche has been surviving in the Premiership for seasons based on the excellent defense, aggression and perfect physical readiness of his players. Burnley hard scoring goals, but he also hard conceding and his defeats were only from strong clubs.

Of the six league losses they have suffered this season, five of them have been against teams in the top half of the table. This flirtation with the relegation zone, then, looks more like the result of unfavorable scheduling.
After a bad start, Burnley have lost in last seven games only 0:5 against Manchester City, while in the last four rounds they have won eight points against very respectable rivals (Wolverhampon, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Everton).

Sean Dyche will line up his team in some iteration of a 4-4-2 sistem. There is always the possibility that one of the two strikers could drop a little deeper, forming a 4-4-1-1. But for the most part, the Burnley structure will follow the tried and tested formula that has kept them in the Premier League all these years. A 4-4-2 means the relatively rare appearance of the 3-3-1-3 formation for Leeds, all the more worrying given Leeds center-back injury crisis at the moment.

The host will surely be without German centre-back Koch, and very questionable for performance today is captain Liam Cooper after he suffered an abdominal strain against Manchester United at the weekend. Spanish central defender Diego Llorente is back in training after injury and may feature, but the last time he played so unprepared, he quickly had to leave the pitch.

Playing in a direct, counter-attacking manner, Burnley rely fairly heavily on wide players for their creativity, moving the ball in transition into wide areas where they can find the heads of strikers Chris Wood or Ashley Barnes. Dwight McNeil, perhaps their most creative player, is doubtful for the game and Robbie Brady, who seemed to have hit some sort of form, came off injured in the win against Wolves. Still, guest coach Dyche believes they will both play, while winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson also on the recovery trail, having played in a behind closed doors game earlier this week - along with Phil Bardsley, Dale Stephens and long-term absentee Jack Cork.

- There’s a certain style there, of course, and that had led to an up and down season so far for Leeds, but the Premier League can be like that anyway, regardless of styles. I’m not too worried about that because our stats down the years have suggested we can cope with that. We are traditionally in among the front runners with our physical energy. Of course, it doesn’t just come down to that, but it’s a helpful tool to have in a group of players who are fully motivated. Opinions on football are for everyone else and whatever others think of Leeds, my focus is to look at the ways we can go and win the game - said Dyche before coming to Leeds.
Although bookmakers significantly favor Leeds, this could be a much more even and uncertain match. Burnley is a specialist in killing the rhythm of the game, he also has a great goalkeeper Pope, while the question is who will play in the back line of Leeds.
Also, 20-year-old Leeds goalkeeper Meslier is one of the worst and most inexperienced in the league, having already conceded 30 goals in 14 games.
Leeds are very weak on defending set-piece situations and corners (so they were recently beaten by West Ham with two goals after corners) and the visitors have a robust and tall striker Wood. As the stands will be empty again, the 'value' bet is that in form Burnley will not lose on Elland Road today."
HALF LOST Score: 1:0 Profit: -0.5
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