West Ham play host to Leeds for the second time in quick succession on Sunday (9am ET, Premier League). Can the Hammers gain another positive result over the Yorkshire side? Or will Bielsa’s men bounce back?
Keep reading for our WHU vs LUFC predictions and betting picks for this Premier League soccer matchup preview.
For the Hammers, things continue to go swimmingly. They arrive here off the back of a rather simplistic win against Norwich last time out, a win which signalled four victories on the spin for David Moyes’ men. One of those came against Leeds, who Sunday’s hosts beat by two goals to nil at this venue in the FA Cup just seven days ago. Home fans will be hoping for a repeat scenario.
In contrast, Leeds United’s disappointing campaign lingers on. After showing infinite amounts of promise last season, their first since remerging as Premier League side following years in the Football League wilderness, Marcelo Bielsa’s men have struggle to stamp their authority on games and in truth are finding it hard to get going. The visitors have lost four of their last five, and realistically, they can think themselves lucky not to be more closely embroiled in a fight for a survival.
If we break things down and look at how West Ham have performed at home this season and compare that with how Leeds have fared on the road, then we see some quite glaring differences. For starters, to keep things simple, the Hammers have accumulated a very healthy 17 points at the London Stadium, whilst Sunday’s visitors have picked up just six points on their travels.
When it comes to goals scored, the Hammers have notched a healthy 20 times on their own patch, which dwarfs the eight goals scored by Leeds on the road. At the other end, though a total of 15 goals conceded isn’t great, especially at home, it’s still better than the 21 that Bielsa’s men have shipped away from home.
Moving onto expected goals, West Ham average 1.56 xG for and 1.06 against at home, giving them a healthy average expected goal difference of just over +0.50, which is a huge upgrade on the xG difference of -0.96 that the Leeds boys currently boast on their travels. The visitors average just 0.90 expected goals for per 90 minutes away from home, as well as 1.95 against.
Third time lucky?
Leeds fans will be hoping that it is a case of third time lucky when the pair meet on Sunday, as this will be the third fixture between the pair this campaign. Earlier in the season, back in late September, West Ham returned from Elland Road with all three points thanks to a 2-1 victory, courtesy of some sharp attacking playing from their talismanic forward Michail Antonio, who secured the three points in the 90th minute. In truth, as they bettered their opponents in terms of expected goals, creating 0.50 more, if either side deserved to win, it was the side managed by David Moyes.
When the pair met last week in the FA Cup, the Hammers were once again the dominant side. Leeds failed to take a couple of promising chances, which shouldn’t be overlooked, but so did Sunday’s hosts, who on the balance of play, deserved not only the result but the two-goal winning margin too.
WHU vs LUFC: Where’s the wager?
If you are looking to get involved in this fixture with the major online sportsbooks for Americans, then the hosts are hard to oppose, let’s be honest. At the current odds, the best option looks to be ‘West Ham to Win & Over 1.5 Goals’. We’ve already seen that the Hammers have the quality required to get the better of this Leeds side and we’ve seen it recently. Last weekend, West Ham created no shortage of chances against a defensive line that simply hasn’t been up to the task this season, especially on the road, as the numbers above suggest.
Having already notched twice en route to victory against Bielsa’s men on two separate occasions this season, the hosts are backed to secure the hattrick.
Back Bowen to bag another
West Ham’s Jared Bowen finds himself in the middle of a purple patch right now, and punters should strike while the iron is hot. The 25-year-old arrives here having warmed up nicely with a brace against Norwich last time out. Prior to hitting a double against the Canaries, Bowen found the net against Leeds last weekend, so he really couldn’t be in better form at this moment in time. Chuck in his average of 0.39 expected goals for per 90 minutes, as well as his average of 2.6 shots per 90, and the dynamic forward becomes a worthy ‘anytime scorer’ bet.
So these are our predictions for this preview, consisting of two advised picks against the bookies: