Leeds vs Leicester – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Tuesday 25th April 2023
As part of our midweek Premier League predictions, we take a look at Leicester’s visit to Leeds. With this season’s relegation battle hotting up, Leeds’ home form has deserted them. Can they get back on track? Read on with our Leeds vs Leicester prediction.
Leeds vs Leicester Match Preview
Leeds United’s miserable run of form continued with a 2-1 defeat away to Fulham (correctly predicted on this website), a match in which they were well beaten. The away side didn’t really get going until they found themselves 2-0 down, and frankly, with the woodwork saving Gracia’s men on two occasions they could have few complaints about the final result.
So what does this mean for Leeds United’s chances of Premier League survival? Well, they can consider themselves fortunate that only Leicester and West Ham managed to win on the weekend, with Everton and Southampton each managing a point. This keeps them outside of the relegation zone for now with six games remaining. With none of the bottom three (Everton, Nottingham Forest and Southampton) having won a match in their last five, Leeds will feel a positive result against their fellow strugglers could prove invaluable.
Leeds travel to Bournemouth following this fixture, and they also have an away trip to West Ham in their penultimate match – both games which will have a direct impact upon their chances of survival. Home matches against Newcastle and Spurs are preceded by an away trip to Man City which is unlikely to yield any points for the visitors.
Leicester finally won at the 11th time of asking to end a miserable run of form of one draw and nine defeats in all competitions. We correctly predicted that Leicester would defeat fellow relegation battlers Wolves 2-1 at home, as they proved able to carry over their improved performance in the second half against Manchester City to earn a crucial three points.
Under new manager Dean Smith, Leicester have now jumped two places in the Premier League table to find themselves outside of the relegation zone, albeit ahead of 18th-placed Everton by virtue of a superior goal difference (-13 to -22). This differential could prove to be vital as they seek to preserve their Premier League status – an unlikely scenario at the start of the season given Leicester’s last few league campaigns.
Leicester have consecutive opportunities to improve their situation at their relegation rivals’ expense, with a home game against Everton following this trip to Elland Road. An away match against Fulham precedes a couple of tricky fixtures at home to Liverpool and away to Newcastle, while they will be hoping that West Ham are safe with little to play for in their final fixture of the season.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Adams, Dallas
Might Not Play: Barnes, Bertrand, Evans
Will Not Play: Justin, Pereira, Vestergaard
Leeds vs Leicester Lineups (Predicted)
Leeds (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Wober, Koch, Cooper, Kristensen; Roca, McKennie; Harrison, Aaronson, Sinisterra; Rodrigo
Leicester (4-2-3-1): Iversen; Faes, Soyuncu, Kristiansen, Castagne; Soumare, Tielemans; Maddison, Tete, Iheanacho; Vardy
Leeds vs Leicester Analysis
Leeds’ Struggle to Defend in Transition
As a team, Leeds are evidently struggling to cope whenever the opposition steps it up a gear and starts to move the ball quickly. In their recent heavy defeats against Crystal Palace and Liverpool, it was notable that many of the goals conceded were as a result of losing the ball high up the pitch after being counter-pressed, and then they were carved open as they struggled to regain their shape.
Leicester have demonstrated their ability to play in such a manner throughout their last two games. There was the danger of reading too much into their second-half performance against Manchester City after City found themselves 3-0 up in 25 minutes and opted to substitute most of their ‘better’ players in the second half, but to their credit, Leicester were able to consistently hurt Wolves despite having 42% possession.
Leeds ran into the same issues against Fulham and were perhaps fortunate not to be 3-0 down instead of 2-0 before they produced a more coherent attacking performance in the final 20 minutes to pull a goal back. While it’s true that Leicester aren’t exactly defensively solid, they restricted Wolves to an xG of less than 1 and three shots on target after they fell behind early with Wolves in the ascendancy for the first half an hour or so.
Leicester Can Dominate the Flanks
Leeds have been at their most dangerous this season when utilising their wide men to stretch the play which allowed them to get at the opposition defence. The issue for Leeds is that there is no consistency in their team selection – they’ve been using a rotating cast of Sinisterra, Summerville and Gnonto (who was excellent a few months back) to support either Bamford, Rodrigo or Rutter and as a result they’re not functioning coherently as an attacking unit.
Leicester are now looking to get Castagne and Kristiansen involved high up the pitch wherever possible and this approach paid dividends against Wolves on the weekend. As we’ve mentioned, Leeds are struggling to defend in transition whereas Leicester are starting to become a consistent threat in those situations. Two matches is admittedly a rather small sample size, but the evidence is there.
If, as we’re predicting, James Maddison comes back into the team and Iheanacho retains his place, Leicester will have three direct attacking threats with Iheanacho, Tete and Vardy, with Maddison attempting to pull the strings in the middle against a Leeds team that has looked lightweight in that area of the pitch, to put it kindly. Leeds will certainly have their hands full keeping Leicester quiet.
Leeds United are in turmoil, and we’ve not seen any recent evidence that results will improve. Their home advantage at Elland Road, while hardly a fortress, meant that they had only lost four from 14, but now that has evaporated. They look vulnerable whenever the opposition steps things up, and they seem to be lost collectively when defending transitions.
Leicester have been able to find a bit of form at the right time, and this Leeds United side represents a good matchup for them given their recent tactical approach. They won’t have it all their own way; they remain vulnerable themselves, and can possibly get caught out of position as they look to supplement their attacks in wide areas, but Leeds’ fullbacks aren’t up to much in an attacking sense so they’ll probably risk it.
Leeds 1-2 Leicester
Leeds vs Leicester Betting Tip – Leicester Odds:
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