Marcelo Bielsa has enjoyed an extremely impressive start to life as Leeds United manger, guiding them to five wins and three draws from their opening eight games of the Championship season.
His intense, high pressing style of play seems to have taken many second-tier teams by surprise but there continues to be questions surrounding the length of time Leeds can keep this high work-rate up throughout the campaign.
Birmingham, on the other hand, are yet to record their first win of the season under Garry Monk, having drawn six of their opening eight matches to keep them just above the bottom three by a single point. They’re fast becoming this season’s Championship draw specialists.
Given both side’s current form, it’s easy to call this game as a forgone conclusion, with Leeds fully expected to take all three points at Elland Road to keep their spot at the top of the division. But we all know the Championship doesn’t always work like that.
So ahead of this game, we’ve teamed up with 5P0RTZ – the new revolutionary sports gaming experience – where YOU can win big cash prizes! All you have to do is answer seven questions for a chance to be entered in to the prize pool.
Take a look at the questions below and then enter with a £5 stake before kick-off. The prize fund for this fixture is £100, with the winner pocketing a cool £50!
Our first instinct is to go with a Leeds win but given Birmingham’s tendency to draw games this season and the fact Leeds themselves have shared the points in three of their last five Championship outings, going for the draw here seems like an attractive option.
When taking the 5P0RTZ game in to consideration, you can earn three times your initial points by picking the draw, which gives you a much higher chance of winning some cash here.
Leeds are averaging two goals-a-game at Elland Road this season, while Birmingham are averaging one goal conceded per away fixture, so if this outing is true to form then we’re looking at three or more.
However, with a view of trying to boost your chances in 5PORTZ, it’s worth looking at the four or more category, with 25% of both side’s fixtures so far pulling in four or more goals.
Selecting this will earn you double the points in 5P0RTZ, so it’s worth the betting for one additional goal than form suggests.
You’ll probably be better off playing it safe with this selection, which means opting for a Leeds player to score anytime.
The pick of the bunch for us, given the options given to us by 5P0RTZ, is Mateusz Klich, who has been involved in five goals this season (three goals, two assists) – only Kemar Roofe has been involved in more (6) but he’s not listed as an option here.
Picking Klich to score at anytime earns you double your points in this 5P0RTZ game.
Birmingham are averaging seven corners a game so far this season, which seems particularly high for a side struggling near the foot of the table. Leeds are averaging considerably less per game with 4.6.
With that in mind, we’re swaying towards the 10 or more bracket, but if you’re feeling bold then 12 or more earns double the points.
There are eight scenarios here, but ‘Birmingham keeper to make 5 or more saves‘ is the stand out pick, and that offers three times the points if it comes in.
Leeds are are averaging 4.9 shots-per-game at the moment, the fourth best in the division, but while Birmingham have the fourth best shots conceded per-game average in the Championship (10.5), home advantage for Leeds suggest this area may not be true to form.
Leeds are expected to dominate possession in this fixture, with Birmingham more than willing to soak up pressure and then catch Bielsa’s side on the counter. If it does play out that way then Birmingham are more than likely going to be the team to pick up more cards throughout the 90 minutes.
5P0RTZ are offering twice the points if you think a card will be showing in the opening 15 minutes, but we’re happy to play it safe with the first card being shown between the 31st and 45th minutes.
Away from home, Birmingham have conceded the majority of their goals in the second half and more specifically between the 61st and 75th minutes. Interestingly, Leeds have scored the majority of their home goals in the exact same period. That said, this one is a bit of a lottery – I always pick my lucky number here (23).
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