Wolves vs Leeds – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 18th March 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Leeds’ visit to Wolves. Leeds earned a deserved draw against high-flying Brighton last time out, can they build on it? Read on with our Wolves vs Leeds prediction.
Wolves vs Leeds Match Preview
Wolves went down to a late 2-1 defeat away to Champions League chasing Newcastle United last weekend, though they couldn’t really complain about the result on the balance of play. While they played reasonably well and got their equalising goal midway through the second half through Hwang who unfortunately for them is missing today, Newcastle were able to play the game mostly on their terms and won the xG battle 2.18 to 1.23 despite having 42% possession, in the type of winning performance that has become Newcastle’s trademark for much of the season.
We can describe Wolves’ recent form as okay, in light of their disappointing season overall in which they’ve spent much of it engaged in a relegation battle. Ordinarily, they might expect to a be a little safer, but some of the sides beneath them in the Premier League table have been steadily picking up points and this means that Lopetegui’s men find themselves just three points clear of 18th place Bournemouth and in no way can they consider themselves to be safe from the threat of relegation. Just three goals scored in their last five Premier League fixtures continues their worrying form in front of goal.
Leeds will be coming into this match as the more content of the two sides following a good performance in their 2-2 home draw with high-flying Brighton. Many had expected the West Yorkshire side to lose that much, therefore they will have been pleased to limit the south coast side to just two shots on target (though they scored both) while matching their in-form visitors on the xG stat at 1.74 apiece.
As Bournemouth, West Ham and Everton were all able to pick up positive, and in Bournemouth’s case wholly unexpected, results last weekend, Leeds are now back in the relegation zone in 19th place. While we expect many twists and turns at the bottom of the Premier League table with it being virtually impossible to predict with any real certainty who will actually go down at the end of the season, Leeds will ultimately be concious of the fact that despite some battling displays and impressive performances, one win in 10 league matches does not cut it at this level.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Traore
Will Not Play: Bueno, Chiquinho, Hwang, Kalajdzic
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Adams, Dallas, Forshaw
Wolves vs Leeds Lineups (Predicted)
Wolves (4-2-3-1): Sa; Jonny, Dawson, Kilman, Semedo; Neves, Lemina; Neto, Joao Gomes, Podence; Jimenez
Leeds (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Firpo, Koch, Wober, Ayling; Roca, McKennie; Gnonto, Aaronson, Harrison; Bamford
Wolves vs Leeds Analysis
Wolves Have Won Three of Their Last Four Home Matches
Though we acknowledge that each match is different, and that victories in other games do not necessarily carry over into subsequent games in terms of performances and results, it is noteworthy that Wolves have won three of their last four Premier League matches. Additionally, with the exception of a 1-0 win over a West Ham side who hold the dubious distinction of having the worst away record in the division alongside Nottingham Forest and their opponents today, Wolves won those games by ceding territory and possession at times before looking to hurt the opposition in transition.
Despite their lowly league position, Leeds aren’t a particularly negative team – their squad isn’t constructed like that, and with the methods of Bielsa and Marsch still embedded within the club it will take time for Gracia to implement his own methods. What this means is that, while Leeds are more ball-dominant than you might expect for a team in their predicament (in fact, they’re 8th in the Premier League possession table), they can be rather open, which will suit Wolves. Here, we note that Leeds come into this game missing Tyler Adams, and while Roca is a capable replacement, he cannot match Adams’ workrate in the middle of the park.
Leeds Must Go For It
While Wolves have been in decent home form, they have shown vulnerability at times, particularly against Spurs despite emerging with a 1-0 victory. They were outplayed for much of that much and had good fortune to thank for that particular result. Despite their inconsistency in attack from game to game, Leeds do have a number of talented, capable attackers and when they opt to stretch the play in wide areas and play a more expansive style of football they do pose problems for most teams they come up against.
If they can attack with pace and with purpose, then Wolves can be, and indeed have been, caught out on occasions. 37 goals conceded in 27 matches isn’t a terrible defensive record, but then it’s not a particularly good one either. Leeds don’t do particularly well when tasked with sitting in and trying to grind out a result, they’re not constructed to excel at that kind of football, so they’re better off doubling down and taking the game to Wolves, effectively risking a point to earn three.
This should be a close fought encounter, but ultimately we back Wolves to come through this match with all three points. We’re taking into account their good home form, and they’re more effective against teams who come to play, so to speak. Against Bournemouth lately, they struggled with the low block but we don’t anticipate Leeds playing that way here.
We back Leeds to score, but backing them to score twice away from home is a tall order considering their poor form away from home this season. We might have predicted a draw here, but with Tyler Adams missing and Wolves holding something of a stylistic advantage here, we back the home side for a 2-1 victory.
Wolves 2-1 Leeds
Wolves vs Leeds Betting Tip – Wolves Odds:
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