Leeds United are beginning to get a sense of the cold, harsh reality of Premier League football. Successive 4-1 defeats to Leicester City and Crystal Palace have exposed the deficiencies in Marcelo Bielsa’s admittedly entertaining approach. Against Arsenal on at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon, that will need to change. Mikel Arteta’s side haven’t been free-scoring this season so far, but this game could be the turning point in that regard. Leeds naturally offer a lot of chances in a game, but the Gunners will be tested defensively; it promises to be a cracking afternoon and perfect for prime time on Sunday. Whenever Leeds play, they are unpredictable, but Arteta has introduced a structure to Arsenal that wasn’t previously there. With that in mind, read my thoughts on this weekend’s Premier League predictor, the £10,000 Pick 10 between Leeds and Arsenal, and join my Syndicate.
Premier League predictor: Leeds vs. Arsenal
What will the correct score be?
Arsenal will get chances, as previously stated. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been at the heart of an intense positional debate over recent weeks but he will cause damage for Leeds from the left or down the middle of the attack in this one. The home side have conceded three or more goals four times this season already, so it stands to reason that Arsenal could potentially add to that poor record. Leeds have also scored three or more themselves three times, so there is a good chance of a high scoring draw. Leeds will also look to replicate the way Aston Villa tore through Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium two weeks ago.
Selections: 2-1, 1-1, Other Draw, 1-3, 2-3
Will a penalty be taken?
Penalties are always worth backing in Premier League syndicates these days, given the sheer number of them in comparison to previous campaigns. I know I say it every week, and I will continue to, but VAR and the new handball rules have really made the whole thing a lot more likely. Some say it is ruining football; that isn’t for me to say on this preview. Leeds have only been given one penalty this season, however, so this could be a risk.
Will a player be sent off?
Similarly, because of VAR, this is more likely. But, despite traditional reputations, neither Leeds nor Arsenal are particularly ‘dirty’ teams. They haven’t received one red card between them this season, so it is difficult to make a case for one coming here. There is a first time for everything, though.
Will a goal be scored in the 1st half?
I think this one could be a really exciting game, with action at both ends from the start. Five of Arsenal’s last seven games have involved first half goals, and Leeds conceded early against both Crystal Palace and Leicester. One defence will buckle quickly here.
How many corners will be taken by Leeds?
Leeds tend to take a high number of corners in a game. Despite being taken apart by Leicester on the counter attack, they still had ten on the night. Arsenal may try to play them at their own game a little more, which could bring the total down. But I think that between three and six is a good shout.
Selections: 3-4, 5-6
How many corners will be taken by Arsenal?
Arsenal have a rather inconsistent record for corners taken in matches, with just three per game in two of their last three and nine in the other. I’m looking at the same totals for which I backed Leeds.
Selections: 3-4, 5-6
How many cards will be shown to Leeds?
With no red cards, I don’t think Leeds’ yellow card count will be high. It is usual for teams to pick up around three per game, though.
How many cards will be show to Arsenal?
My thought process is very similar regarding Arsenal. I don’t see this one being a bad-tempered affair.
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