Friday 1 March: 7.45pm
Live on Sky Sports Football
Leeds United lost momentum in their bid to win automatic promotion when losing 1-0 at QPR on Tuesday night. The result leaves them third in the table but can go top if beating fourth-placed West Bromwich Albion on Friday evening.
Only six points separates the top four teams in the Championship. That will narrow to just three if West Brom can win this game at Elland Road. It’s a key game for both sides and one that Leeds United can’t afford to lose.
They could have gone back to the top of the table on Tuesday but lost 1-0 at QPR. That defeat leaves them third in the table, two points behind leaders Norwich City and below Sheffield United on goal difference. Even worse, that was their game in hand on their two promotion rivals.
Leeds United are now 3/1 (4.0) at Paddy Power to win the title and 3/4 (1.75) at Unibet to finally win promotion back to the Premier League. A draw on Friday takes them into the top two and a win will again make them league leaders.
The loss to QPR was their eighth league defeat of the season. Half of those have come in 2019 with four losses in nine games. That’s got fans worried that their dreams of a Premier League return may again fade away. Perhaps they’re just not doing their homework as they used to.
Of those four defeats, three have come on their travels. Three of their next four league games will have a huge influence on how their season progresses. After this match against fourth-placed WBA, they travel to Bristol City who are sixth and then host second-placed Sheffield United.
Home form is going to be important for United and so far this season they’e won 11 of 17 league games played at Elland Road. Three of the last four have been won with the other being a 3-1 defeat by league leaders Norwich City. It’s 6/5 (2.2) at William Hill that they can beat West Brom on Friday.
This is a big game for their opponents who can close to within a point of United if winning. WBA had been unbeaten in their last four league matches before losing at home to Sheffield United at the weekend. A second loss to promotion rivals would leave them in danger of being seven points behind the top three. Victory though would make it even tighter at the top.
West Brom have recently tended to struggle in the most important games though. The loss to Sheffield United followed a home defeat by Middlesbrough and a draw with Norwich. The odds of them winning at Elland Road are 11/5 (3.2) at Betway.
Their away form is good though with four straight league wins on the road. That includes their last gasp winner at QPR last week.
West Brom have won their last four games against Leeds United. The reverse fixture between these two teams saw Albion win 4-1 at the Hawthorns. That was their first game against Leeds for 11 years after their long spell in the Premier League and only one of the four have been at Elland Road. Leeds fare much better at home with a run of nine unbeaten games, last losing in 1989.
Leeds United v West Bromwich Albion Team News
West Brom have injury doubts over both Ahmed Hegazi and Jacob Murphy. The latter missing out would be a major blow as he’s scored in two of the last three games.
Over 2.5 Goals Likely
West Brom have scored in each of their last nine away league games and over 2.5 goals were scored in six of those matches. Albion have scored 67 league goals but conceded 43. The odds on over 2.5 goals being scored (which has happened in the last three Leeds home games) are 4/5 (1.8) at Betfred.
Last week saw West Brom get an injury-time winner at QPR. It’s 11/10 (2.1) at Betway that the last goal in this game comes between the 76th minute and full time.
A key game in the Championship and one neither side can afford to lose. Leeds need to bounce back from the loss at QPR but will be severely tested by West Brom. A bet on a draw with both teams scoring is 3/1 (4.0) at SkyBet.