On the back of a pair of heavy defeats, Leeds hope to steer their campaign back on course by taking all three points when they host a bruised Arsenal side at Elland Road (11:30am ET Sunday, Premier League Soccer).
Will they be able to? Read Leeds vs Arsenal predictions for this EPL game preview, along with betting picks from USAbetting to conclude.
Leeds have made a mixed start to life back in the top tier following more than a decade and a half away. They have taken a solid haul of 10 points from eight matches but come into this weekend on the back of just one win in five and consecutive defeats at scorelines of 1-4.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side were clearly outclassed by Leicester in the first of those losses, but there was rather less between the two sides in the second, away to Crystal Palace before the international break. Leeds didn’t create enough to justify being aggrieved at the final result, but their major downfall was the concession of two early goals from set pieces.
Leeds were projected to finish mid-table prior to the start of the season and that does still look about right for them. Even though they are currently 15th in the table, they are as close on points to the top three as they are the bottom three, so it’s not really of major concern. Their underlying numbers also look like those of an upper mid-table side.
It has, though, been evidently clear that they won’t be able to rely on the sort of defensive solidity that saw them concede just 0.76 goals per match in the Championship last season. They have conceded three or more goals in half of their matches to date and have the joint-worst defensive record in the league, with 17 goals conceded.
The attack has held together well, scoring 14 times to date, and it is at that end of the pitch that Leeds’ underlying numbers are most impressive, with only three teams posting up more expected goals. They will need to keep creating and scoring chances at a good clip if they are to offset their defensive issues.
There is nothing to be unduly concerned about at this stage, particularly with a pretty clear bottom three or four already emerging from the early running, but three points on Sunday would nevertheless do Leeds and Bielsa very well after recent results.
Arsenal could also do with taking maximum points from this fixture after a disappointing start to the campaign that has seen them combine four wins with four defeats. The top-four challenge that many were predicting has so far looked unlikely to happen, although it did always seem to be predicated more upon a series of assumptions than anything concrete.
There was no clear improvement in the team’s underlying numbers after Mikel Arteta replaced Unai Emery as head coach at the back end of 2019, and that has held into the new campaign. In fact, the team’s attacking output has nosedived.
Arteta’s team come into this fixture on the back of a 0-3 home loss to Aston Villa. It was a fairly even encounter in terms of chance count, but Villa went ahead through an early Buyako Saka own goal and then finished the game off with two further goals in the final 20 minutes to consign Arsenal to a third defeat to nil in their last four league matches.
As the season goes on, Arsenal will probably turn out to be a better side than their current league position of 11th would suggest. They have had a relatively difficult early set of fixtures, having played last season’s top three and four of the top five across their opening eight fixtures. As Arteta closes in upon a year in the job, there is little sign of the more dramatic progress that many of the club’s supporters seemed to expect.
This could be just the sort of fixture for Leeds to restore a bit of confidence in themselves after two bad defeats. Arsenal have their vulnerabilities and would appear to lack the attacking might to test a hitherto shaky Leeds defence. It represents a good opportunity for the home side to take the scalp of a big-name Premier League team. So our Leeds vs Arsenal predictions’ verdict of this EPL matchup preview is the following betting pick:
- Bet on Leeds to win @ best odds of +210 with Bovada on the moneyline. Next best is +209 with Bookmaker and then +200 with Intertops. BetOnline are just +190.