Sunday 28 April: 12pm
Dreams don’t always come true and fans of Leeds United are afraid that the ones they have been having all season are about to fade away. Leeds have hit a bad patch at just the wrong time and their hopes of automatic promotion are in real trouble after a disastrous Easter. They host an Aston Villa side that are in great form at present and destined for the play-offs.
Easter was a time for celebration unless you are a Leeds United fans. The weekend had started well with Leeds one-up agains relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic, who had been reduced to ten men. Then the disastrous weekend began as they conceded twice to lose 2-1 and drop out of the top two. More misery followed as on Easter Monday they lost 2-0 at Brentford
That was their third loss in five league games and they start the weekend in third, three points behind second-placed Sheffield United and six behind leaders Norwich City. A major problem is that Leeds have the worst goal difference of the three trailing Norwich by nine and Sheffield United by ten.
Saturday sees Norwich at home to Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield United home to relegated Ipswich Town. A win for United and a point for Norwich will all but end the chances of Leeds gaining automatic promotion. Leeds are currently 12/1 (13.0) at Bet365 to finish in the top two and Betfred will give you 15/8 (2.87) on them winning promotion back to the Premier League.
Leeds have won two and lost two of their last four home league gamess. They are still regretful over the crucial 1-0 home loss to Sheffield United in mid-March. Now they have to pick themselves up for this game against Aston Villa and the final day fixture at Ipswich Town. Automatic promotion hopes may have diminished but you can bet their boss will be doing his homework for a potential play-off campaign. Leeds can be backed at 17/20 (1.85) to beat Aston Villa.
When you’ve just lost two league games in a row, the last team Leeds need to meet are Aston Villa. A Championship form guide for the last ten games has Villa top of the table. Not just top but with eight points more than any other team (12 more than Leeds).
It was all looking a bit grim for Villa a while back and radio phone-ins were full of fans complaining about how bad they were. Those moans have diminished now after a run of ten wins in a row. it’s perhaps no coincidence that their improved form started the same time that Jack Grealish returned from injury.
Their ten wins have taken them from 11th to fifth in the table and a play-off semi-final against West Bromwich Albion is looking likely, though it could yet be Leeds. Villa are currently 2/1 (3.0) at SkyBet to win promotion this season.
They have won their last five away league games and scored at least twice in the last four. You can get 3/1 (4.0) at Paddy Power to beat Leeds United on Sunday.
Leeds United are unbeaten in their last five home games against Aston Villa. Three of the last five home games have ended level and it’s 3/1 (4.0) this game is drawn. Six of the last seven games played between these two teams have had under 2.5 goals scored in them. You can get odds of5/4 (2.25) at Betfair on that stat coming up on Sunday.
Leeds will be missing Barry Douglas, Ezgjan Alioski and Eunan O’Kane for this game. Aston Villa may have Axel Tuanzebe back but James Chester and Tammy Abraham will miss the game.
Just what chance Leeds United have of automatic promotion will be known before this game begins on Sunday. Aston Villa are already in the play-offs so the heat isn’t on them quite as much as it is the home side. A bet on over 2.5 goals has odds of 3/5 (1.6) at Betway.