By William Hill
31st December 2019
The Championship table is starting to shape up with 21 games to go, but there are two clear runaway leaders.
Leeds and West Bromwich Albion have been a cut above this season, with both sides nine points clear of third-place Fulham on 51 points. New Year’s Day sees Leeds visit the Hawthorns in a battle that could have serious title implications.
West Brom’s defence to let them down?
West Brom have been reborn under Slaven Bilic and their goalscoring exploits continue to impress. In their last three wins they have scored nine goals, however, recent signs of struggle are appearing, as they have just two points from their last three games, including poor results against lowly Barnsley and Middlesbrough.
While their attacking prowess cannot be doubted, they do have a tendency to ship goals, which could be a big weakness against a Leeds side who have found the back of the net 42 times this season.
Leeds to attack in style?
The Marco Bielsa revolution has continued at Elland Road, with the Yorkshire outfit looking set for a long-awaited return to the Premier League, even though there’s still a long way to go. Offering excellent value for the casual fan, some of Leeds’ recent results read 4-0, 3-3 and 5-4.
Entertaining going forward, while slightly erractic at the back, Bielsa’s system brings out the best in their wealth of attacking talent. Kalvin Phillips has developed into an excellent distributor of the ball at the base of midfield in Bielsa’s formation, while the Whites’ wingers score plenty. Leeds are favourites for this away tie at 13/10, while the often criticised Patrick Bamford is also 13/10 to score anytime.
Fireworks at New Year
Top of the table clashes are always exciting, and with so much on the line for these two, it should be a brilliant fixture. While sometimes these can be cagey affairs, neither manager hides from the limelight, with plenty of positive play expected from the off. Over 3.5 goals is 7/4, whilst a 2-2 draw can be found at 11/1.
Similarly, games like this one always have an edge, as neither side gives an inch. Yellow cards occur frequently, and while a red card is unlikely at 1/6, over 6.5 match cards can be backed at 7/2, which offers good value in a tight promotion affair.
Sit back and enjoy a cracking fixture between two of the best sides in the division, with two innovative and exciting managers facing off in a thrilling duel.