Saturday Premier League Odds, Picks, Prediction, Best Bets: Leeds vs. Southampton EPL Betting Preview
Lindsey Parnaby/PA Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Leeds United standout Jack Harrison, right, celebrates his goal.
- Leeds United welcomes Southampton to Elland Road for Saturday's Premier League showdown.
- The Peacocks, who are getting healthier at the right time of the season, are slight +140 ML favorites against the Saints.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the meeting below and details why he's backing the Peacocks to earn the victory.
Leeds vs. Southampton Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-175 / +120)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Leeds United and Southampton play two of the most unique styles of soccer in the Premier League, with their pressing intensity and frenetic pace making contests between them fascinating matchups.
The last time they met the Peacocks had a myriad of injured players that led to a depleted lineup, which struggled to cope with the Saints’ press. Southampton earned the 1-0 victory, outshooting Leeds by a 19-3 margin.
Leeds will be out for revenge Saturday, gives the host is the more desperate side given its situation in the table. The Peacocks sit in 16th place and seven points above the relegation zone. However, because of games in hand for Burnley, that lead isn’t as safe as it might seem.
The club fired Marcelo Bielsa and hired American manager Jesse Marsch to see out the season. And while the Peacocks have improved, the results haven’t exactly shown for them at this point in his four games in charge.
For a period in January and February, Southampton was playing as well as any EPL team. The Saints tied Manchester City; defeated Tottenham; crushed Everton and Norwich City, plus they had a draw with Manchester United. They shot up the table into the top half briefly, but regression has come for them in the last few matches.
Southampton has since lost four consecutive matches across all competitions, but I’m not buying into the bounce back spot here for the visiting side.
Key Returning Players Should Help Leeds
When you consider Leeds’ performance, it’s important to consider what the preseason expectations were under Bielsa.
The Peacocks were projected to finish safely mid-table with 53.5 projected points. However, they struggled finishing early on and the defense no longer had the good fortune of excellent shot-stopping from goalkeeper Ilan Meslier. Leeds was worse than expected, but not a relegation-level team. Once the injuries all hit at once and Bielsa burnout became real for the players, the defense dropped off a cliff.
The club frequently conceded more than two expected goals per match, which isn’t a sustainable way of remaining in the English top flight. However, a lot of that was due to playing the same high press, man-marking style with much worse reserve players.
Following the international break, Leeds is the healthiest it has been since at least November. Meslier returns in goal, plus Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas will be the first-choice fullbacks. Liam Cooper and Robin Koch are healthy at center back and, most importantly, Kalvin Phillips returns to the midfield. Phillips is very essential to the Peacocks’ pressing system, which is now more of a defensive press under Marsch.
The Peacocks are still without Patrick Bamford, but the defense should and will improve under Marsch. In fact, it already has. In 333 minutes of game time at 11-on-11 under Marsch, Leeds are +0.64 xG difference per 90 minutes.
The Peacocks have been extremely unlucky at both ends of the pitch and hold an actual goal difference of -1.35 per 90 minutes. When they were up a man against Wolves, the attack created three goals and 1.4 xG in that match. That said, I’m expecting a much-improved Leeds side the remainder of the season.
Regression Hitting Southampton in Unpleasant Way
Southampton has been a difficult team to figure this out because of how cold and hot it has run with regard to finishing. There are a few constants, though.
The Saints, who concede a lot of big scoring chances, are excellent on set pieces and will press heavily. Yet, the early portion of the season was defined by severe xG underperformance in front of goal that led to them scoring way less than they should have.
Then, Southampton ran ridiculously hot for a while and scored everything, shooting up the table into the top half. Now, the pendulum is swinging back in the other direction and I expect the Saints to regress a bit more. They have outperformed my preseason expectations, but at no point have I projected them in my power ratings higher than 13th in the league.
Southampton ranks 16th in the league in big scoring chances allowed. And based on its press, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s conceding a lot of big chances when teams do break through against the high line that overcommits to win the ball. The same could be said of Leeds under Marsch, but the defensive numbers are a bit deflated for the host because of injuries.
BJ Cunningham’s EPL Projections
Betting Analysis & Pick
Leeds isn’t getting much of a new manager bounce in the market despite the fact it’s clearly improved in the last few weeks since Marsch took the reins. The results haven’t exactly come, but the Peacocks were clearly better than three of their four foes when you look at the chances allowed and created.
Some projections systems have Leeds all the way down in 18th in ratings, including FiveThirtyEight. However, I’m much more bullish on the Peacocks and have them 15th in my ratings, just a spot behind Southampton.
For that reason, I show value on Leeds once you factor in the home-field advantage. I’ll take the more desperate team at Elland Road that’s due for some positive bounces to go its way based on underlying numbers.
I project Leeds on the moneyline at +120 odds and would take the +140 currently offered at BetMGM as my top selection.
Pick: Leeds ML( +140)