Leeds United will take on Aston Villa at Elland Road in the Premier League on Saturday, 27 February 2021.
The Whites will be keen to complete their first league double over Villa since 1975/76.
Patrick Bamford was the hero when the Englishman bagged his first Premier League hat-trick to inspire Leeds’ 3-0 victory when the sides met at Villa Park on 23 October.
Leeds Betting Preview
With 35 points from 25 games, Leeds United could feel pretty safe for their Premier League future and could even dream for a top half finish, which could become an even more achievable objective should they emerge victorious at Elland Road on Saturday.
Marselo Bielsa’s side returned to winning ways when they beat Southampton 3-0 on Tuesday, following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Wolves and Arsenal.
Bielsa will once again have to choose his tactical approach without the long-term injuries Robin Koch, Gaetano Berardi and Ian Poveda-Ocampo, as well as the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Rodrigo Moreno, while Mateusz Klich is a major doubt for this one.
Whereas Phillips and Rodrigo were already unavailable for the victory against Southampton, Klich was forced off in the second half.
Leeds United’s next step will be to try to win three consecutive Premier League home matches for the first time since they won five in a row between April and August 2001.
Patrick Bamford scored his 13th goal of the season and the Englishman has now levelled Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Harry Kane’s tally of 13 Premier League goals to be among the most prolific domestic strikers.
Raphinha is one of the most in-form players in the Premier League and his free-kick against Southampton means he can already boast five goals and five assists since he joined Leeds in October and that’s a very decent record for the Brazilian.
With Klich, Rodrigo and Phillips all more likely to miss out, the North Macedonia international Ezgjan Alioski and veteran Pablo Hernandez could be options to start for the Whites, as well as Tyler Roberts who assisted for Bamford’s goal last time out.
Aston Villa Betting Preview
Dean Smith’s side fail to maintain consistency following an extensive coronavirus outbreak within the squad and they will hope to return to winning ways here.
However, Aston Villa are eighth in the Premier League table with 36 points after 23 games and whereas Leeds United are 10th, only one point behind the Birmingham outfit, Dean Smith’s men also have two games in hand.
With that said, the Birmingham outfit have already picked up more points than they did throughout 2019-20 – 35 points in 38 matches – and a good streak could once again inspire their dreams to claim European football next season.
Villa’s ace Jack Grealish (6 goals and 10 assists in 22 Premier League matches) missed the 2-1 home defeat to Leicester City on Sunday and his absence could be a huge blow, given that the England international is one of the most progressive players in the league.
Having scored four goals in five Premier League matches between 23 January and 6 February, Villa’s top goalscorer Ollie Watkins (10 goals in 23 Premier League appearances) failed to score in Villa’s goalless draw at Brighton and in the subsequent 2-1 home defeat to Leicester City last weekend, and the 25-year-old Englishman will be keen to reignite his scoring form against Leeds.
Emiliano Martínez is one of the most reliable goalkeepers in Europe’s top leagues as the Argentine has kept 12 clean sheets in 23 Premier League appearances this season, the most by a Villa goalkeeper since Brad Friedel’s 15 in 2009/10.
If Grealish is not fit to start at Elland Road, Ross Barkley could keep his place in the starting XI despite being wildly out of form since his comeback from injury last month, or winter signing Morgan Sanson could get his first Premier League start.
Anwar El Ghazi and Trezeguet are in contention to start on the wing and considering El Ghazi’s poor form, the latter could be set for his first Premier League start since November.
Experienced Egyptian defender Ahmed El Mohamady looks set to keep his place with first-choice right-back Matty Cash still a couple of weeks away from full fitness.
Defender Kortney Hause and attacker Wesley are also sidelined for the Birmingham outfit, with the latter edging close to recovery after a long-term injury lay-off.
Possible Starting Lineups of Leeds United and Aston Villa
Leeds United: Illan Meslier – Ezgjan Alioski, Liam Cooper, Diego Llorente, Luke Ayling – Jack Harrison, Stuart Dallas, Pascal Struijk, Raphinha – Tyler Roberts – Patrick Bamford. (4-4-1-1)
Aston Villa: Emiliano Martínez – Matt Targett, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, Ahmed El Mohamady – John McGinn, Douglas Luiz – Trezeguet, Ross Barkley, Bertrand Traore – Ollie Watkins. (4-2-3-1)
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
There is only one point separating Leeds and Aston Villa in the table, in what is expected to be another exciting and unpredictable encounter at Elland Road.
All in all, The Villans have won just two of their last 17 away league matches against Leeds (9 draws, 6 defeats), with those victories coming in January and December 2000.
Despite the more injury concerns for the West Yorkshire side, we believe that Villa are more reliant on Jack Grealish’s form and if he’s not fully fit, Marcelo Bielsa has the performers to get the better of Dean Smith’s side.
Spooky Express Free Play: Money Line – Leeds +126 @ BetOnline for 5/10 Units