Monthly Archives: August 2021

Leeds United and the Premier League Outright Betting Markets – by Rob Atkinson

With just two rounds of the 2021/22 Premier League season played, we take a look at some of the outright betting markets that are available along with seeing if there is any value in backing Leeds United for any early-season bets. Several bookmakers are running promotions for Premier League betting markets for the new season and some of the best free bets sites are paying out early on bets, offering enhanced odds and more which can add value to your bets.

Premier League Winner

Leeds are the bookies eighth-favourites to win the league this coming season and are priced at 150/1. It’s an extremely unlikely scenario and although Leicester managed to do it in the 2015/16 league at much greater odds of 5,000/1, not many will be taking the punt at 150/1. 

  • Man City 4/5 
  • Chelsea 5/1
  • Liverpool 13/2
  • Man Utd 9/1
  • Tottenham 60/1
  • Leeds 150/1

To Be Relegated

Bookies have Leeds priced at 12/1 to drop down into the Championship come the end of the season but following a top-half finish from Marcelo Bielsa’s side and points being picked up against the top sides such as Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Leicester and Man Utd, there doesn’t seem to be much value in those odds. The three newly-promoted sides are favourites to make the drop straight back down and there are several more likely contenders than Leeds who are expected to have a relatively good season in the top-flight again.

  • Norwich 1/1
  • Watford 1/1
  • Brentford 1/1
  • Crystal Palace 7/4
  • Burnley 5/2
  • Leeds 12/1

Top Goalscorer

Patrick Bamford found the net 17 times for Leeds in the Premier League last season, although it wasn’t enough to beat Harry Kane’s tally of 23. He’s 28/1 to pick up the Golden Boot this term and although he’ll do well to score more than the likes of Kane, Salah, Sterling and Jesus, he could be a good shout for an each way bet which would pay out if he is one of the four top scorers which he achieved last season. Watch out, too, for Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku!

  • Harry Kane 10/3
  • Mohamed Salah 9/2
  • Raheem Sterling 20/1
  • Sadio Mane 22/1
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 25/1
  • Patrick Bamford 28/1

Without The Big 6

Several online bookmakers allow customers to bet on the league winner without the ‘Big 6’ teams. These include Man City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool. Therefore, whichever team finishes highest from the rest of the league, wins. Leicester are currently favourites in this market priced at 13/8 with Leeds next on the list at 6/1. There are of course several other teams which could do well this season including Everton, West Ham and Aston Villa but it is a more appealing market for Leeds than say the outright league winner.

  • Leicester 13/8
  • Leeds 6/1
  • Everton 6/1
  • West Ham 8/1
  • Aston Villa 9/1
  • Brighton 20/1

To Finish In The Top Half

This will most likely be the most popular betting market for anyone backing Leeds. They’re currently priced at 4/5 to finish in the top half of the table which is a strong possibility going off their performances last season. 

A strong end to last season meant that Marcelo Bielsa’s side finished in 9th place, tied on points with Everton below them and 4 points clear of 11th-placed Aston Villa.

  • Man City 1/1000
  • Man Utd 1/200
  • Liverpool 1/100
  • Chelsea 1/100
  • Leicester 1/5
  • Leeds 4/5 

Team To Score The Most Goals

With teams such as Manchester City perfectly capable of putting 5 goals past the best of goalkeepers, it may be a tough ask for Leeds to be challenging in this market. However, they did manage to bag an impressive 62 goals last season with only Tottenham (68), Liverpool (68), Man Utd (73) and Man City (83) scoring more. With a little more precision, they could be challenging for an each way place this season which may be a bet worth considering, especially at odds of 150/1.

  • Man City 4/11
  • Liverpool 13/2
  • Man Utd 8/1
  • Chelsea 10/1
  • Arsenal 50/1
  • Leeds 150/1

Some unexpected early results, with some fancied clubs having difficulties in their opening two fixtures, may already have seen some of these odds shifting, so it’s as well to keep an eye on the markets. Still, as we Leeds United fans know, things can change pretty quickly – and, when Bielsa’s men hit their stride, some of the achievement prices shown above could end up looking more than generous. The “Without the Big 6” market looks particularly attractive, especially with Leicester coming a cropper at West Ham last night. It’s all to play for, and the game’s afoot!

Marching On Together

Lionel Messi To Leeds? Was it Ever Likely to Happen? – by Rob Atkinson

Ok, so in the end – despite a flurry of excitement on the #LUFC Twitter hashtag – it wasn’t to be. Although, some online bookmakers like the ones found on WhichBookie.co.uk seemed to think that there was a chance, once it was revealed that Barcelona superstar, Lionel Messi, would be leaving the Spanish giants; a club that he had been with for 21 years.

Since being introduced into Barca’s senior team in 2003, Messi has played 778 games, provided 305 assists and scored 672 goals; a record that is unlikely to be beaten at the club anytime soon. However, despite the club and Messi agreeing a new 5-year contract for him to remain at Camp Nou, which would have meant a 50% reduction in his wages, the deal fell through due to “financial and structural obstacles”.

A statement from the club read:

“Despite FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi having reached an agreement and the clear intention of both parties to sign a new contract today, this cannot happen because of financial and structural obstacles (Spanish Liga regulations).

“As a result of this situation, Messi shall not be staying on at FC Barcelona. Both parties deeply regret that the wishes of the player and the club will ultimately not be fulfilled.

“FC Barcelona wholeheartedly expresses its gratitude to the player for his contribution to the aggrandisement of the club and wishes him all the very best for the future in his personal and professional life.”

Lionel Messi is considered to be one of the best footballers to grace the pitch and his departure from the club he has been with for over two decades is possibly the biggest move in football history. Messi was a free agent when his contract with Barcelona expired at the end of June, so whichever club picked the six-time Ballon d’Or winner up, it was always going to be all about his wage demands.

So, which clubs were in the running to sign the 34-year old superstar?

Paris Saint Germain (13/20)

Ligue 1 side PSG were justifiably favourites to put pen to paper with Messi and bring him to France to play alongside the likes of Neymar, Mbappe and Sergio Ramos. The attraction to Paris eventually proved enough of a temptation to Messi, along with being reunited with ex-teammate Neymar and crucially the funds were available to afford him.

Manchester City (7/1)

With a string of world-class players and the finances to meet Messi’s wage demands, Premier League title holders Manchester City were the top choice of English clubs if Messi had decided to play in England. City’s style of play would likely have suited Messi given that he is 34 years old and manager Pep Guardiola would surely have been a reason for him to consider the move. However, City signed Jack Grealish for £100m from Aston Villa and have had their eyes on England number 9 Harry Kane, who would set them back even more. Even for City, splashing out for Messi’s wages would have been a push, albeit not out of the question.

Manchester United (20/1)

Our old friends and foes from just outside Manchester might have expected to be in the running for his signature maybe a decade ago, but they were outsiders to attract Messi in their state today. They would no doubt be interested but the club has had to dig deep in their pockets for new signings Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane and although they may have tried to show some intent, the move was always unlikely to materialise.

Lionel Messi Next Club Odds Were:

  • PSG: 13/20
  • To stay at Barcelona: 13/5
  • Manchester City: 7/1
  • Any MLS Club: 16/1
  • Manchester United: 20/1
  • Newells Old Boys: 20/1
  • Liverpool: 25/1

So what about Leeds United?

Bookies had Leeds United as 19th favourites to sign Messi in the summer transfer window with online bookmaker Sky Bet offering odds of 50/1, doubtless influenced by Messi’s well-known adoration of Marcelo Bielsa.

So, Messi to Leeds? Well, in the end, money talked, so this was just a beautiful and short-lived pipe dream, but the United Twitteratti certainly enjoyed the entertainment while it lasted. Although, let’s face it – at 34, Lionel may never even have survived the first Murderball session, so it may well turn out that we’re better off with Lewis Bate after all…

Marching On Together

“Reformed” VAR Still Persecuting Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson

Any Leeds fans with nightmare memories of the number of occasions last season, when Leeds United had ridiculously tight VAR calls go against them, might have gone into today’s game against the Pride of Devon hoping for better, or at least fairer, things. It’s fair to say those hopes were dashed, and thrice dashed, making an opening day defeat at the Theatre of Hollow Myths an even bitterer than usual pill to swallow.

Let’s start with an admission – Leeds deserved nothing better than defeat on the day. It’s the scale and manner of that defeat I’m taking issue with, and although I’m probably going to be accused of blinkered bias, I’ll say here and now that two of Devon’s goals were as dodgy as a seven pound note – AND we should have had a penalty near the end. As ever, I’ll welcome comments that disagree or agree with my not entirely objective view – but I’d be grateful to see reasons, pro or con.

The first goal came directly from our young keeper’s less than habitually accurate kick out, gifting possession to the Devonians and allowing Bruno Fernandez to score. No quibbles here. In the second half, Ayling’s howitzer of an equaliser was a thing of beauty and a joy for a few minutes, until Greenwood managed to get by Pascal and score. 2-1 to the European Super League wannabes – and that’s where the game started to go bent. For the third home goal, I remain unconvinced that the whole of the ball crossed the line. Where was the computer graphic of last season, showing clearly the position of the ball relative to the line? All I saw was an unconvincing and blurry freeze frame, and my dander was well and truly up from that point onwards.

The fourth goal looked offside to me in real time, and again I was unconvinced by replays – the lines so often drawn last season seemed to be on leave of absence, and it felt as though justice was not seen to be done. I’d heard the lines were supposed to be thicker, not AWOL. As I said earlier, I’d welcome other views on both of these “goals”, perhaps I’ve missed something while tearing my hair and gnashing my teeth.

The fifth goal was down to lax and demoralised defending, too much room in our box, ‘nuff said. But then we should have had a penalty (yes, I know that’s unrealistic at Old Toilet, but this was a stonewall penalty). Contact was demonstrably made with Tyler Roberts’ trailing leg, and a commentator mouthed something along the lines of “not enough to make him go down”. But Roberts was moving at speed, and any contact was going to be enough to put him on the deck. I guarantee that, if the incident was in the other area, with a Franchise player measuring his length on the turf, the ref would have whistled long and hard.

So, there we have it. No complaints about the result, but there was some devil in the detail, and those injustices were salt rubbed into a raw and painful wound. At least I’ve got this off my chest, so now maybe I can look ahead to other battles where perhaps we’ll acquit ourselves rather better. It’s just that, after one game, admittedly against opponents who notoriously always get the benefit of any doubt, I have this feeling that Leeds United will not benefit from this supposedly fairer application of VAR. I guess we’ll see over the next 37 games.

Marching On Together