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Premier League Odds, Picks | Leeds United vs Southampton (Feb. 25)

Premier League Odds, Picks | Leeds United vs Southampton (Feb. 25) article feature image

Bryn Lennon/Getty. Pictured: Southampton.

Leeds United vs Southampton Odds

Sat, Feb. 25
10 a.m. ET
USA Network

Leeds United Odds


Southampton Odds

Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (-110 / -110)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No) (-125 / -105)
Odds via PointsBet. Get the latest soccer odds here.

A huge match in the relegation fight takes place at Elland Road on Saturday as Leeds United host Southampton

Leeds now find themselves in the relegation zone after their loss to Everton last weekend. The Peacocks though have found their replacement for Jesse Marsch in the form of Javi Garcia, who has formerly managed teams like Watford, Valencia and Osasuna. His goal is simple: avoid relegation at all costs.

Southampton received a boost in their quest to stave off relegation last weekend, going to Stamford Bridge and beating Chelsea 1-0. It was a much-needed win for the Saints, who are now just three points from safety. They are still under caretaker manager Rubén Sellés as they search from their next manager, so we’ll see if the new manager bounce propels Southampton out of the relegation zone.

Leeds United Better Than Results Suggest

Leeds’ underlying metrics suggest that they shouldn’t be in the relegation zone. They have a -5.2 xGD, which is actually 10th in the Premier League and better than that of the likes of Fulham, who are in sixth place.

They have a ton of offensive talent and that has shown in their metrics. Leeds are averaging 1.22 npxG and 12.1 shots per 90 minutes, both good for ninth in the Premier League. They are also due for some positive regression, as out of the World Cup break they have created 9.3 xG but only scored five of those chances.

Leeds are much better offensively when they can play in transition. They are not the best team when they have to breakdown a structured defensive block, which was very evident against Everton this past weekend. That need to play in transition has also been their downfall under Marsch and it’s what ultimately got him sacked.

The Peacocks are 17th in npxG allowed per 90 minutes, but looking through all of their other defensive metrics, it actually paints them as an above average defense. They are 10th in big scoring chances allowed, seventh in box entries allowed and sixth in crosses allowed into their penalty area. However, they are 15th in final third to penalty box conversion rate, which essentially tells me once teams get forward in transition, Leeds are horrible at stopping them.

They are the second-best pressing team in the Premier League by PPDA and have forced the fourth most high turnovers – which is great – but if the high press isn’t working, it leaves them very exposed at the back.

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Southampton Onto New Manager Once Again

Nathan Jones has been sacked, which means Southampton are on their third manager of the season. The style of play isn’t going to change for Southampton, as they will continue to set up as a very direct counterattacking team under Rubén Sellés.

Southampton have run ridiculously cold defensively this season and a lot of it comes down to bad goalkeeping play. The Saints have allowed 36 goals off 30.6 expected and their goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu had a -10.4 post shot xG +/-.

Unless he is the worst goalkeeper in Premier League history, he is bound to improve and regress towards the mean. Selles went back to Southampton’s patented 4-4-2 that they played for so many years under Ralph Hasenhüttl, which will give Southampton more structure and it helped them get a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge.

The problems that have existed for Southampton are because of their attack. They do not have a good striking duo that can finish at a high rate.

Southampton are only averaging 0.93 npxG per 90 minutes and have created just 13 big scoring chances on the season. They did sign Kamaldeen Sulemana from Rennes at the transfer deadline. He was a 0.54 xG +xA per 90 winger in France, but it’s hard to see how that will translate to the Premier League, especially when he’s going to be asked to play up top.

Leeds United vs Southampton Pick

This is a very difficult match to handicap, but it is vitally important for the relegation fight. At the time of writing this I am not sure whether Javi Garcia will be able to get his work permit in time to be in the dugout for Leeds.

The last time these two faced off, Leeds blew a two-goal lead on the road to end up drawing the match 2-2 with over 3 xG being created. That was back in August and things have changed drastically for both of these clubs, so there isn’t much we can take away from that.

Problems that Leeds have had in transition defense do not set up well against Southampton, who are going to be playing very direct out of their 4-4-2. Plus, the positive regression that Southampton are due for leads me to a play on the Saints here on the spread.

Pick: Southampton +0.5 (-115) 

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