Premier League Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions for Leeds United vs. Manchester United (Sunday, April 25)
Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images. Pictured: Bruno Fernandes.
- Manchester United looks to complete the double against Leeds United on Sunday in Premier League action.
- The Red Devils' offense matches up well against the host Peacocks, which was apparent based on the results of their first meeting.
- Anthony Dabbundo explains below why he's expecting a similar result.
Leeds vs. Manchester United Odds
|Manchester United Odds||-132|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-175 / +138)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 9 a.m. ET|
|Odds updated Saturday afternoon via DraftKings.|
Manchester United have all but clinched second place in the Premier League behind Manchester City, and their attention could turn to the Europa League semifinals on Thursday. First, the Red Devils will travel to Leeds to take on historic rival Leeds United.
Leeds have had an excellent return to the Premier League under manager Marcelo Bielsa, whose press and attack at all costs style has gained him many fans over the years and make Leeds’ games a fun watch for any neutral. The Peacocks sit in 10th and a point would push them above Arsenal. A win gives Leeds an outside chance at the top seven and European football next season.
Man United thrashed Leeds in the first encounter between these two teams, a 6-2 win after a dominant attacking performance. United posted 4.0 expected goals (xG) in that game according to FBRef.com, the most they have tallied in any game this year.
Before betting this game, one has to look at why Leeds were ripped apart so easily in these teams’ first meeting. It may be a one-game sample, but it’s telling given how much United created.
Leeds’ pressing nature doesn’t really allow opponents to sit on the ball with loads of conservative possession and look to poke and prod at the defense to create chances. That’s the exact play style United’s attack has struggled against this year.
When the Red Devils are given space to run in behind, able to break quickly on an opponent or carry the ball up the field, they are one of the league’s best attacks. Leeds will allow a lot of this. Bielsa isn’t going to change his approach, so expect the same style on Sunday morning that the Peacocks always play.
United completed just one cross and 11 passes into the penalty area in the first meeting against this Leeds defense. Those are solid numbers, but not something that will usually lead to four expected goals. Instead, it was progressive carries, as Fred, Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford ripped apart the Peacocks.
Leeds have had an excellent run of form of late and have performed admirably against top-tier PL sides this season. But there may be no worse matchup for them than this United team, assuming the key players start for the Red Devils.
One of the most important numbers to look at for any team playing Leeds is their passing success rate. In the first matchup, United completed 77.2% of their passes, which is much lower than their on average and slightly better than what Leeds typically allows. United didn’t necessarily pass their way through this Leeds press. Instead, when they found themselves in behind or in space, they created chances and converted.
As a whole, United are a team I’d look to play against more than play on. The Red Devils have run hot in finishing most of the season and are second in the league table, despite the fourth best underlying numbers in the league. They struggle to break down teams who sit in against them because they are over-reliant on attacks up the left side and don’t get a ton from their striker when Edinson Cavani isn’t on the pitch.
However, their one-dimensional attack isn’t an issue in this matchup with Leeds. Rashford should find himself in space with the ball plenty. Fred and McTominay don’t have to do as much passing and can do more running, which both are more suited to do.
Betting Analysis & Pick
My projections make United -130 in this match, which is right in line with where the market has moved to since opening Manchester United at -110 odds.
That said, I still like the Red Devils, with the caveat that lineups should be watched closely. If they roll with a lesser team of attackers, I’d probably stay away.
However, this matchup advantage for a full-strength Manchester United is too much to pass up, so I’ll be looking to play the visitors. If Rashford and Bruno Fernandes start, the Red Devils should take all three points.
Picks: Manchester United ML (-132)