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Leeds United vs Leicester City tips and predictions: Nothing to separate best defences in the league

Leeds United and Leicester City will clash at Elland Road on Friday night (2000 GMT) with major implications for the Championship title race.

Friday night’s Championship clash between league leaders Leicester City and second-place Leeds United promises to be a titanic tussle, but there’s no guarantee.

Leeds are even money to pick up all three points and are moving towards odds-on at some bookmakers, which is a risky path to go down.

The Foxes were heavy favourites earlier in the campaign when Georginio Rutter’s second-half strike handed Leeds a deserved 1-0 win.

City were toothless on that occasion as the Whites opted to sit back and set traps, but the roles will almost certainly be reversed this time.

Enzo Maresca will no doubt insist his team aim to implement their style and control possession, but should that fall flat, they can hurt Leeds on the counter.

The course of this game probably lies somewhere in between. We’re expecting it to be back-and-forth but despite all the attacking quality, it wouldn’t be a shock if defences are on top.

Leeds and Leicester have the joint-best home defence in the league with 11 goals conceded and the joint-best away defence in the league with 15 conceded.

 

Suggested bet: Under 2.5 goals

 

The Foxes have scored more, but no team creates better chances than Leeds and as strong as they are at one end, they allow just 0.86xG per game at home.

No side has ever done that throughout a full Championship season and City are just below 1xG themselves, so these are two top-class teams in every department.

So how do you split them? We’re not sure you can. A winner either blows the title race wide open or confirms City’s position as champions in waiting, but a draw might not be a bad result for either side.

Southampton’s midweek loss means a point would keep Leeds second and keep the visitors at least seven points plus goal difference clear of third.

Leeds have kept a clean sheet in seven of eight and four of five at Elland Road, whereas Leicester have conceded in 12 of 14 away matches across all competitions.

You may lean towards Leeds being a more likely winner on that basis, but we think it’s hard to bet against both teams scoring in such a big game.

Notably, City have conceded one first-half goal across their previous 10 away fixtures, while Leeds have allowed just one in seven, so it could be a cagey start.

 

Team news

Leeds are without Karl Darlow, Stuart Dallas, Sam Byram, Pascal Struijk and Patrick Bamford.

Ethan Ampadu will continue to partner Joe Rodon at the heart of the defence.

Wilfred Ndidi is the only confirmed absentee for Leicester.

 

Key stats

- Leeds and Leicester have the joint-best home and away attacks in the league
- Leeds have won their last eight Championship matches, outsourcing teams 19-1
- No team has a better home xG for and against than Leeds
- Leicester have conceded one first-half goal in 10 away games
- Leeds have conceded one first-half goal in seven home games

 

Suggested bets

Both teams to score

Match result: Draw

First-half result: 0-0

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