Premier League Betting Picks | Fulham vs Leeds United Preview

Premier League Betting Picks | Fulham vs Leeds United Preview article feature image

Stu Forster/Getty. Pictured Rasmus Kristensen.

Fulham vs Leeds United Odds

Sat, Apr. 22
7:30 a.m. ET
USA Network

Fulham Odds


Leeds United Odds

Over/Under2.5 (-125 / +100)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(-163 / +120)
Odds via bet365. Get the latest soccer odds here.

Fulham and Leeds United both enter their match in rough form. They've combined for just three wins in each team's last five matches. Fulham sit safely in the Premier League mid-table, however, while Leeds United are +230 to be relegated and just two points ahead of Nottingham Forest in 18th place with seven league matches to play.

The Peacocks' performances haven't improved since firing Jesse Marsch, and the results haven't really turned either. They've certainly been a more passive team and allowed opponents to have more of the ball, but it hasn't improved the defensive outcomes much at all. As for Fulham, the expected regression has come for the Cottagers without leading goalscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic, who remains suspended for this match on Saturday.

Neither of these defenses have been capable of stopping opposing attacks this season — both rank inside the bottom five in xG allowed this season. With that being said, the underlying profile of Leeds United is much more encouraging overall and they're the better team in my power ratings. Because of that, the Peacocks are undervalued as a road underdog in West London on Saturday.

Fulham Struggling Without Key Player

Mitrovic has played 20 90s this season for Fulham and the Cottagers have a net xG difference of -3 in those minutes. They've largely been an average team with him on the pitch and a solidly above-average attack with him. There's some red card and penalty variance in there for sure, but Fulham's crossing-heavy approach has largely been successful this season.

When he's not on the pitch, the attack slides considerably. Fulham are almost a full goal worse per 90 minutes when he's not on the pitch. They have to commit more numbers forward to score without him and that leaves them more vulnerable defensively. In 11 90s without Mitrovic, Fulham have produced 9 xG and conceded nearly 20 xGA.

Fulham's recent form is reflected in this data too. The Cottagers have lost 4-of-5 and while they did put three on Everton, they lost the xG battle in six consecutive matches prior to that victory.

Mitrovic is one of the most impactful players in the entire league, in part because backup striker Carlos Vinicius is producing less than two shots per 90 in his place. That's not good enough shot production for a central striker in this league, especially if those shots aren't of high quality.

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Leeds United Failing to Generate Any Progress

Leeds United are playing a more passive approach under manager Javi Gracia, and the result is even worse defense. The Peacocks are much better using their midfielders and forwards to press from the front to protect an under-talented and inconsistent back line, instead of this approach from Gracia.

The defense conceded 2.7 xGA to Brighton, 2.7 to Wolves, 3.8 to Arsenal, 3.0 to Palace and 2.7 to Liverpool. That should be sounding alarm bells that the current approach isn't working. The injury to Tyler Adams — Leeds' best defensive midfielder — certainly hasn't helped them with midfield ball winning and a defensive line shield.

Their attack is still getting healthier and improving though, and the result of that has been perfectly capable production. The Peacocks finally have Rodrigo, Jack Harrison and Luis Sinisterra all fit and they produced a ton of chances against Liverpool as a result. Even though it only resulted in one goal, the attacking group consistently looked dangerous and it validates the underlying process numbers of Leeds' attack that show them to be a very capable group.

The Peacocks rank inside the top 10 in box entries, final third entries, crosses into the box and expected threat. Rodrigo is the best finisher and forward they have, and his production was sorely missed while Patrick Bamford went through a poor spell of finishing. Rodrigo levels up this attack and is the more viable option than Bamford for this team right now to survive in the Premier League.

Fulham vs Leeds United Pick

Fulham's attack is considerably worse without Mitrovic and that will come as a reprieve for a Leeds defense that has been the worst in the league for the last two months. The Peacocks are the much more reliable attacking unit now that everyone is fit.

In a matchup of two of the worst defenses in the league, I'll trust the offense to travel. Teams tend to regress toward their xG averages over the course of a long season too. In that sense, Leeds are a buy low and Fulham are a sell high.

I'd bet Leeds draw no bet at +110 or better and project this match as a true coin flip.

Pick: Leeds United – Draw No Bet (+110 or better)

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