Wood lacking support as usual
On paper it’s been a poor start to the season for Burnley, who lost 2-1 at home to Brighton and 2-0 away at Liverpool so far.
Then again, they were 1-0 up until the 73rd minute in the first one and there’s certainly no disgrace in losing at Anfield. Other teams this season will surely lose by bigger margins than that.
But what is perhaps a little worrying for them is how little possession they’ve had. It’s one thing only having 33% possession at Anfield, but it was just 36% at home to Brighton.
As ever with Burnley, you have to wonder where their goals are going to come from. Opta tell us Chris Wood is the highest scorer for them in Premier League games with 46 goals from 129 games but with the exception of Ashley Barnes, you can’t see who else might be good for a goal.
It’s really quite remarkable year after year they fail to address the issue.
Second season syndrome for Lillywhites?
Leeds have one point from two matches. They were absolutely hammered 5-1 at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season but with the attacking talent Manchester United have, that’s something that can happen on any given day.
There wasn’t too much wrong with a 2-2 draw at home to Everton given I think the Toffees could have an extremely strong season under an excellent manager in Rafa Benitez.
It will be interesting to see if there’s a little bit of a case of second-season syndrome here with teams finally working them out and finding ways to counter them. Or whether they’ll actually improve after having a season of Premier League football under their belts.
Marcelo Bielsa has a full squad of players to choose from with no injuries or suspensions (the second goes without saying).
That’s a rarity.
It’s 3.1511/5 Burnley, 3.55 the draw and 2.47/5 on Leeds.
Is that a bit short on Leeds away from home? I’m not sure it is.
Opta tell us Burnley did admittedly win three of the last four at home to the Lillywhites but look at what happened last season: Bielsa’s boys thrashed them 4-0 at Turf Moor.
For good measure, they also beat them 1-0 at home.
In fact, Burnley are historically Leeds’ second-favourite team to play against from those they’ve faced at least 50 times. Their win rate against this lot is 51.7% and only against Coventry (53.8%) is it higher.
Add the fact Burnley have been quite poor this season and a big gulf in quality between two teams in terms of players and I think Leeds are worth a bet at that price.
I also think there’s decent value in going with ‘no’ on both teams to score.
The first reason is that I really do think Burnley’s blunt attack may struggle against a Leeds defence that improved last season as the year went on.
They actually kept back-to-back clean sheets away from home (one against Burnley) their last two matches. And ‘no’ would have paid out in 52.6% of their way games last season, including five of the last seven.
And it was the same 52.6% of Burnley home games where there was at least one clean sheet so I’m really not sure why you can get 2.4 rather than say even money. All the better for us.
There is of course also the possibility that this ends up a drab affair where Burnley go into ultra-defensive mode, and it ends 0-0. For the sake of this bet, that would suit us just fine.
In the world of Bet Builders, there might be a good one.
Burnley managed to get more corners than their opponents in just 26.3% of their home games last season, while Leeds managed it just under half (47.4%) of their away games. So the 4/6 on Leeds looks decent enough.
Patrick Bamford is favourite on the anytime goalscorer market 13/10 but I’d rather push the boat out and go with the lively Raphinha at 3/1. He’s already got one for the season after scoring against Everton and should give you a decent run for your money here.