Leeds v Stoke Betting Preview, Odds & Tips | 5th August
Sam Langston (@Samlan98) previews Leeds United v Stoke City and provides us with his best bets for Sunday’s Championship clash by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
Leeds United v Stoke City Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 05/08/2018
- Time: 16:30
- Venue: Elland Road
- Channel: Sky Sports
In Championship openers over the past ten years, sides demoted from the Premier League have won just 7 times out of 30 (23.3%). 11 (36.7%) of those relegated earned draws in their first fixture, whilst 12 (40%) were left empty handed following opening day defeats.
This data magnifies the task that Gary Rowett’s Stoke face on Sunday, who I am happy to oppose given the aforementioned trends.
With the appointment of maverick Marcelo Bielsa, their opponents also provide an element of the unknown. Predicting the result of this one is therefore difficult, so exploring alternative markets may be the angle to take here.
Characterized as the world’s best coach by Pep Guardiola, Bielsa is renowned for his strategic innovation.
Deploying a unique 3-3-1-3 formation throughout his managerial career, the Leeds tactician encourages an attack-minded approach. He implements a possession-based style with three ball-playing centre-backs, utilizes a deep-midfielder as a fulcrum, and promotes width using wing-backs. The wide full-backs press high in an offensive support role, linking up with an attacking midfielder, wingers, and a central front man.
Playing styles are a major factor in forecasting corner proficiency and with this in mind, Leeds may have been undervalued in the market. Bielsa’s Lille, Marseille, and Athletic Bilbao averaged 6.5, 6.6, and 7.4 home corners per-game and with the home line set at 4.5, this initially appears to be a discrepancy.
Considering the heavily offensive approach and wide style implemented by the Argentinian, his teams’ tendency to gain corners cannot be labelled a coincidence. With his last three clubs, 35 (74.5%) out of 47 home fixtures produced 5 or more corners for the hosts, making the 8/11 on Leeds to hit the same on Sunday appeal.
Conversely, Bielsa’s managerial counterpart, Gary Rowett, employs a counter-attacking style based upon a sit-deep strategy. In general, Rowett’s sides concede most of the possession to their opposition, allowing territorial advantage which results in chances for corners. His Derby team conceded 5 or more in 18 out of 23 (78%) away fixtures last season and a similarly functioning Stoke side could provide similar opportunities.
Adam Forshaw is a doubt for The Whites. Mateusz Klich is therefore set to start in the anchor role.
Stoke’s new £6.5m man Oghenekaro Etebo could be handed his debut in central midfield.
Potential Leeds United Starting XI: Peacock-Farrell, Cooper, Jansson, Phillips, Douglas, Ayling, Klich, Sáiz, Hernández, Alioski, Roofe.
Potential Stoke City Starting XI: Butland, Pieters, Martins Indi, Shawcross, Bauer, Allen, Etebo, McClean, Bojan, Ince, Afobe.
Head To Head
- The sides have met on six occasions, producing two wins a-piece and a couple of draws.
Key Stats & Facts
- Stoke conceded 5 or more corners in each of their 19 away fixtures last term.
- Leeds United – 9/5
- Draw – 23/10
- Stoke City – 9/5
With both sides still adapting to life under new management, I am happy to focus my attention away from the 1×2 market and instead zone-in on forecasting the corner match. As mentioned, Bielsa’s 3-3-1-3 formation promotes a wide, attacking playing style, so we can expect opportunities for corners in these areas. Historical trends tend to align with this view and therefore, Leeds to hit 5+ appears a solid play.