Leeds United can secure their Premier League promotion and EFL Championship league title when they welcome bottom-placed Barnsley to Elland Road.
The hosts need just one win to guarantee a league title and automatic promotion and it’s difficult to envision how soon-to-be-relegated Barnsley provide much resistance for Marcelo Bielsa and his men.
While the visitors are still ‘fighting’ to stay up there’s no denying that the writing is on the wall for the Tykes. Their form away from home has been terrible all season, picking up just 16 points – the worst return in the league.
That said, their defensive numbers on their travels are far more respectable than you might imagine. They give up a 1.48xGA per game on their travels, which actually has them in 14th in the league for chances allowed and their 32.1xGA total is 12th in the division in expected goals allowed away from home.
The biggest challenge for them in this one however is trying to break down what is a formidable Leeds United backline.
The hosts are atop the league largely because of their defensive acumen at home where they give up a measly 0.72xGA per game. They’ve kept a clean sheet in 11 of their 21 games at Elland Road this season which is a large reason why their average goals per game total at home sits at just 2.33.
Perhaps more daunting is the fact that Luton were the first team in the bottom eight to score at Elland Road this season in that 1-1 draw here – they recorded a 0.29xG that game.
We’ve seen how Bielsa prioritises defence all season and the approach won’t change with the end goal so close. Look for the home side to play their way into this one, which should see a slow tempo in the early exchanges.
If Leeds go in front they’ll look to see the game out in the most comfortable way possible and a 2-0 scoreline is showing as the most likely per our projections. The previous meeting between these sides ended in a 2-0 win for Leeds, with both goals coming in the final six minutes – more of the same would be a welcome result.
– Under 2.75 goals @ $2.09 (Betfair)
– Leeds 2-0 (correct score) @ $7.20 (Betfair) (0.25 units)