Brighton v Leeds United
Saturday 1st May, kick-off 15:00
Live on Prime Video via BT TV
Potter’s Brighton safe for now
Brighton last tasted victory in the Premier League back in March courtesy of a 3-0 win against Newcastle. And in 17th position in the table, they are lucky there are several teams far worse. They seem to have preserved their stay in the top flight for another year.
I once remarked to an Elvis Presley fan that I thought he was a little, well, overrated. It went down badly as you’d expect, but there’s something in the overrated stakes with Graham Potter. His team play nice football, and I admire a club that sticks with their manager and a philosophy in these trigger happy times. But Brighton don’t win many matches and they don’t score many goals. Yet he’s never a manager under pressure.
Their failures against the teams in the bottom four has perhaps been their number one cardinal sin, although six goalless draws and just two victories at the Amex all season hardly have helped their cause.
The recent 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United was a snapshot of everything Brighton do; they fail to take their chances.
Leeds evolving according to Bielsa
Much like Florrie Forde was the darling of Music Hall theatre, Marcelo Bielsa is the darling of Yorkshire. As usual, something interesting came out of his press conference this week, with the Argentine apologising for his lack of English. I’m not sure the Leeds’ fans care.
A new contract extension is reportedly on its way following the recent words of Andrea Radrizzani. That’s good timing too, with Bielsa saying recently following the 0-0 with Manchester United that his team are evolving as a Premier League force. That draw was the culmination of a remarkable six-game unbeaten run that saw them take points off Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool.
In terms of team news, captain Liam Cooper serves the final game of his three-match suspension. Rafhinha and Rodrigo won’t be in the squad.
With my less-than-glowing intro, I can hardly tip up Brighton at 2.285/4. Once again, the hosts are the wrong price. Of course, they can go on and win this game comfortably, but for a team with just two victories at home all season, backing at odds of 6/5 over a period will not make a profit. I think they are an overrated team, and the market often sees them that way.
There are plenty of better 6/5 shots around elsewhere.
Leeds are priced at 3.412/5, and that brings into play the Double Chance or Draw No Bet selections. But I worry slightly that the visitors have a poor record at Brighton as they have lost their last four by an aggregate of 9-0.
I like the idea of backing the draw here at the biggest price of all at 3.55. Brighton have been held to a stalemate in more Premier League matches this season than any other team (13). And with Leeds unbeaten in six with three draws, that looks the most solid option. Especially if we have a more “balanced” performance from Leeds like we saw against Manchester United – rather than just try and steamroller opponents.
The Under 2.5 Goals price surprised me at 1.9210/11, as I thought it would be a little shorter. Perhaps the layers are wary of Leeds, but Brighton’s knack of a goalless draw makes that appealing, so too does their record of keeping clean sheets in five of their last seven matches at the Amex.
The hosts are also underperforming against their xG. They have the biggest negative between goals scored (33) and goals expected (46.9). They haven’t scored in their last three matches despite registering 51 shots either.
Backing the Under 1.5 is something I consider with a potential low-scoring game, although there is often little margin for error. So I’d rather get involved with the 0-0 Correct Score at 12.5, and that gives us an option to trade to get some of the stake back at around 20 minutes in potentially tight opening.
Patrick Bamford proved a hit by knocking off Bielsa’s glasses in training this week. His accuracy is unnerving, especially away from home as nine of his 14 Premier League goals this season have come away from Elland Road. Combining him to score and the draw on the Bet Builder via the Sportsbook pays out nearly 10/1.
You can follow me on Twitter @DudmanAl