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Complete Bookmakers’ Analysis on Leeds as Season Reaches Midpoint – by Rob Atkinson

Shield

Most Leeds fans are reasonably happy with the way things are going of late: The team has the meanest defence in the Championship; the team is unbeaten since the 5th October, with an 11-game streak yielding 27 points; and, most importantly, there is currently a 10-point cushion to Preston North End in 3rd place.

In short, Leeds are in prime position to make it back to the Premier League next season, perhaps while putting the Championship trophy in the cabinet on the way. However, it can be difficult to look at things objectively. So, in light of that, we are going to look at what the bookies are saying about Leeds for the run-in. We will also try to pinpoint the best value for backing the team after scouring dozens of betting sites.

Without further ado:

Title Odds:

Despite being two points behind West Brom, Leeds are still odds-on favourites for the title. The best price we can find is the 5/6 with Betway and Bet365, but it’s worth noting that some sites are as low as 8/13. It’s a nice position to be in, of course, but you must bear in mind that Leeds have Preston, Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield Wednesday in the next three weeks. If Bielsa and co are still in the same position in mid-January, we will be a lot more confident.

Promotion Odds:

As you might expect, bookies are really keen on the promotion chances of West Brom and Leeds, thanks to that big gap from second to third place. SkyBet has the best price currently at 1/12, although Leeds are trading a bit higher on betting exchanges. We would, however, ask you to be aware that the likes of Brentford and Fulham are offered around 5/2, so it’s not that the bookies are really sticking their necks out. Again, the busy Christmas period should really tell us whether Leeds have been overbought or not.

Straight Forecast:

A really interesting market if you believe Leeds and West Brom are guaranteed to finish in the Top 2. It’s even at Betfair money for Leeds to finish 1st and West Brom in second, whereas it’s 2/1 for the reverse. Smart punters can back both outcomes for a profit with the use of a betting offer. Sites like Freebets bring you the top free bet offers for all the bookies listed here, so consider visiting if you want to cover your own selection.

To Win the Playoffs:

This is always a muddied betting market, given the fact that teams in Leeds’ position are priced higher due to the fact it’s statistically unlikely they will enter the Playoffs. It’s 20/1 from Paddy Power that Leeds somehow fall of the cliff edge into the Playoff spots, then scramble their way back to the promised land with victory at Wembley on 25th May 2020.

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Top Scorer:

Finishing with an area that concerned Leeds fans in the early autumn – goals. Business has, of course, picked up in front of goal lately, and Leeds have scored two or more goals in seven of their last eight games. Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic is way out in front on 16 goals, and he is odds-on across the board to top the list at the end of the season. Patrick Bamford, sitting on nine goals at the moment, can be found as high as 33/1 with some bookmakers.  It’s a tall order, but we still have a huge number of games to play.

 

Three Pivotal Moments in Leeds United’s FA Cup History

The FA Cup is undoubtedly the premier competition of its type in the world, despite the fact that it may have been marginalised by leading Premier League clubs since the advent of the lucrative European Champions League. Its history can be traced back over 140 years of football and it continues to deliver thrills, spills and excitement to this day. There are some clubs that have a greater affinity with the competition than others, however, with Leeds United providing an example of a team that has lived through both heartache and triumph in the pursuit of cup glory.

3 Major Moments that have Shaped Leeds’ FA Cup History

With this in mind, let’s take a look at three of the most inspirational moments that have shaped Leeds United’s cup history:

1.  Jermaine Beckford Scores the Winner Against Manchester United, 2010

FAC Beckford

After their heroic exploits at the turn of the century when Leeds reached the dizzying heights of the European Champions League semi-finals, few would have expected the club to by plying their trade in League One less than a decade later. This, though, was the situation that Leeds United found themselves in during 2010, as they headed to Premier League champions Manchester United for an FA Cup third round tie. Despite being huge underdogs and with 9,000 travelling fans providing fanatical backing, yet fearing a thrashing at the hands of their bitterest rivals, Leeds pulled off one of the proudest moments in their cup history as Jermaine Beckford’s first half goal was enough to send Man U to their earliest exit from the competition since 1984.

2.  Ray Crawford Stuns Leeds as Colchester Utd Record Huge Upset, 1971

FAC Crawford

In 1971, Leeds United were on the way to becoming the best and most combative team in the English League under the managership of Don Revie. Hailed far and wide as “Super Leeds”, the Whites were therefore overwhelming favourites when they visited an ageing, lower league Colchester side for the fifth round of the FA Cup in February, 1971. Nicknamed ‘Dad’s Army’ by the press, few gave the home side a chance but a brace from striker Ray Crawford and a deceptively narrow pitch, together with some typically bizarre goalkeeping from Sprake, helped Colchester earn a stunning 3-0 lead early in the second half. Although Leeds recovered with two late goals, they eventually lost 3-2 as Colchester recorded a significant act of an FA Cup giant killing.

3.  Alan Clarke Wins the Cup for Leeds United, 1972

FAC Clarke

From the ridiculous low of their defeat at Layer Road the previous year, Leeds United recovered admirably to beat the cup holders and the previous seasons’ double winners Arsenal and lift the cup at Wembley in 1972. The game was a hard-fought and at times brutal affair, but it was decided by a flash of brilliance and what has to be the finest moment in Leeds United’s outstanding cup history. Allan Clarke was the match-winner, as he dived at full length to head home Mick Jones’ accurate cut-back. Although Leeds United were to fall victim to another act of giant-killing against Sunderland in the following years’ final, nothing could dampen the enthusiasm surrounding the clubs’ first and, to date, only FA Cup win.

These are just three historic moments in a long history of FA Cup football for Leeds. Perhaps you have different favourites – it would be interesting to hear from you with your own FA Cup memories of Leeds United.