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West Ham vs Leeds: Best bets at the London Stadium

Football_v4

West Ham welcome top flight peers Leeds to the London Stadium at 14:00 on Sunday for a clash in the FA Cup third round live on ITV.

Domestically, David Moyes has hoisted his side out of the slump that saw them win just two matches over a ten game period. The Hammers look revitalised after picking up maximum points from their trips to Vicarage Road and Selhurst Park and with them scoring seven goals in the process, the look back to their attacking, free-flowing best.  

This does not bode well for the visitors. Marcelo Bielsa’s side have won just five games in all competitions this season, and his misery will only be aggravated by the ever lengthening list of absentees. Joe Gelhardt is the latest addition to the eight long term Thorp Arch physio regulars, with Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper also on that list. The pair played colossal roles in Leeds' top half finish last campaign and have been desperately missed this season. 

Bielsa’s attack could at least be bolstered by the addition of Patrick Bamford, who is a doubt but could spearhead the visitors attack. Elsewhere, Foreshaw, Klich and Dallas are expected to start in central midfield. 

As for the Hammers, Moyes has been forced to slightly shuffle his deck with several first team regulars unavailable. Said Benrahma has left for AFCON and Pablo Fornals, Aaron Cresswell, Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna are injury concerns. Given that West Ham face Norwich on Wednesday, this fixture presents Moyes with the opportunity to rest his regulars and get competitive minutes into the legs of the fringe players.  Mark Noble, Alex Kral, Arthur Masuaku and Andriy Yarmolenko are all expected to feature from the off. 

Given the gulf in squad depth, it is no surprise to see a gulf in price between these two sides with the hosts going off at 4/5. However, the value may lie with Leeds at 10/3 as they have actually won 25% of their fixtures when priced accordingly. 

West Ham vs Leeds Tips

West Ham vs Leeds Odds

Today's Football Tips
Over 2.5 Goals
3/4
Odds correct as of 2022-01-08 14:30 Odds subject to change.

As previously alluded to, West Ham have scored seven in their last two games but this bet has landed in all of their last four as goals have been plentiful at both ends with their matches averaging 4.5 per game. Domestically, their fixtures have averaged 3.2 goals and they have only kept one clean sheet in their last ten games which came against Burnley despite the fact that they shipped an xGA of 0.75. 

The visitors' league games have averaged over three goals per match as well and they have kept just three clean sheets all season. Since their 1-0 win over Palace at the end of November, they have played five games, scored six goals and conceded 17 as their games have averaged 5.75 goals with overs landing in all of them. 

West Ham vs Leeds Odds
Craig Dawson to Score and be Carded
46/1
Odds correct as of 2022-01-08 14:30 Odds subject to change.

When previewing a game featuring Leeds, I often think it is worth getting the opposition centre backs onside in the goalscorer market because, since their promotion to the top flight, Leeds have been notoriously poor at defending set pieces. The exact cause of this could be because of their lack of physicality or perhaps it is Bielsa's indefatigable devotion to zonal marking. 

Whatever the cause, since the start of last season just under a quarter of the goals they have shipped have come directly from set pieces as the trend has continued into this campaign. Leeds have shipped eight goals from them (joint 2nd most in the EPL) and an xGA of 6.9 (6th most) despite only conceding 69 shots from set pieces (9th least). Essentially this means that, despite not conceding a great number of shots from set pieces, teams are creating high quality chances from them. 

With seven goals coming directly from set piece s- 19% of their EPL goals total - West Ham are one of the most dangerous sides in England from dead ball situations. It should come as no surprise though given their aerial prowess. Moyes' men will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing a side that cannot defend set pieces. 

Craig Dawson is one of their main threats. Over the course of his career he has bagged 42 goals, giving him a goals per 90 average of 0.12. In 18 EPL and UEL apps this season, he has had 21 shots- six on target- and generated an xG of exactly two. However, with his anytime price a little short for my liking, I think it is worth combining a Dawson goal with a Dawson card. 

Since joining from Watford, he has picked up ten cards in 48 appearances meaning he has a cards per 90 average 0.22. This alone makes his price of 4/1 with Betfair value though it is also pointing out that he may be marking Bamford, who can be a bit of a shyster.   

I am not for one second saying that this double represents value. In fact, if you were to look at it purely from a statistical point of view you would think quite the opposite as this bet has only landed once in a career spanning just under 400 games. By that logic, this bet should be at least 395/1!

What I am saying though, is that this game presents us with an ideal concoction of circumstances for it to land. It is also worth noting that, in his most recent appearances against Leeds he did score and also committed two fouls. 

Best of luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly.

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