Championship football returns at Elland Road as title contenders host promotion pretenders. Our Leeds United vs Birmingham City predictions think it is the visitors who will hit a skiddy patch on the promotion road.
The Peacocks sit fifth, trailing leaders West Bromwich Albion by just two points. The Blues, however, are stalking horses.
Sitting four points behind their hosts, having convinced everyone they were relegation candidates pre-season, Birmingham are on the cusp of a promotion challenge.
Both sides stumbled before the international break and need to return to form quickly. Leeds, with one win in the last four at home, face Birmingham with one win in the last five away games. Something must give.
Check out our Complete 2019/20 Championship Season Preview, Predictions and Betting Tips for our vibe on the two clubs promotion chances.
Leeds United vs Birmingham City Predictions
This week sees Leeds United celebrate their 100th birthday; a home win would be the perfect celebration, especially if it took them back to the top of the table.
That outcome seems unlikely; the four teams above them have eminently winnable games so the pressure is on the Peacocks to win this one.
Ordinarily, you’d think it a foregone conclusion but recent form suggests it may not be as easy as some think. Nonetheless, anything but three points going to the title favourites will be a surprise.
Leeds have found that tag difficult to live with recently and scoring goals something of a burden. Patrick Bamford hasn’t scored since the win over Stoke City in August, leaving his place in the starting line-up under threat.
Is today the day Eddie Nketiah steps into the limelight. His goals in midweek for England took his total to 12 for the season for club (7) and country (5). Can Marcelo Bielsa afford to ignore him?
— Eddie Nketiah (@EddieNketiah9) October 15, 2019
A bigger boost is the return of playmaker Pablo Hernandez. He’s missed the last three (W1, L2) with goals in particular hard to come by.
Leeds haven’t scored more than one goal in the last four and failed to score more than once in each of their five Championship home games this season. Indeed, they have only four goals in total in league matches at Elland Road so far.
As disconcerting is the defence. One clean sheet in the last four games and only two at home so far. Both home wins were by 1 – 0 against West Brom and Brentford. Forest, West Brom and Swansea all found the journey home smoothed by the points they took.
Birmingham are equally inconsistent. No clean sheets in four, just one in seven home and away. City got off to a flyer with a win at Brentford but its been feast or famine since. Of their last seven games (W3, L4), four saw over 2.5 goals while the other three finished 1 – 0.
The capital city agrees with the Blues. As well as their 1 – 0 opening win at Griffin Park, Birmingham won at Charlton. Travels outside London are not so welcomed; four defeats, three of which saw City concede three goals.
Leeds United vs Birmingham City Head to Head
This is the 107th meeting of the two clubs, a fixture which was once a staple fixture of the top-flight in English football. It is no understatement that both clubs have been on a rollercoaster ride since.
In the head-to-head, it is the Blues who lead 41 wins to Leeds’ 39, with 26 drawn.
City won the last three, all by a one-goal margin. Of the last ten at Elland Road, Birmingham are unbeaten in seven (W5, D2). Leeds failed to score more than one goal in seven of those ten.
Leeds United Team News
Marcelo Bielsa is boosted by the returns of Pablo Hernandez and Adam Forshaw for this clash.
Otherwise, big decision is Bamford or Nketiah. Social media seems in little doubt…
Eddie Nketiah's goals across all comps in 2019/20:
⚽⚽⚽ (England U21s) v Austria U21s
⚽️⚽️ (Leeds U23s) v Watford U23s
⚽️ (Leeds) v Barnsley
⚽️⚽️ (England U21s) v Turkey U21s
⚽️ (Leeds) v Stoke
⚽️ (Leeds) v Brentford
⚽️ (Leeds U23s) v Millwall U23s
⚽️ (Leeds) v Salford
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) October 15, 2019
Birmingham City Team News
The biggest question for Pep Clotet is whether to keep Jude Bellingham in his side. The 16-year-old was a star turn in the 2 – 1 win over Middlesbrough but this is a big test for both City and the youngster if he plays.
Another change might be Jacques Maghoma coming into the defence with Villalba making way.
Leeds United vs Birmingham City Betting Tips
Leeds United are clear 41/100 favourites in Novibet’s match odds with 17/5 the draw.
Given the Blues recent dominance in this fixture, their long-shot odds of 39/5 hold some appeal. Recent meetings finished shy of goals and with Leeds own goalshy attack, Match Goal Lines market with under 1.5 goals in total isn’t a bad shout at 27/10.
Birmingham’s two away wins came with a 1 – 0 scoreline (16/1) while Leeds United’s home wins were also 1 – 0 (11/2); who’s to argue with history repeating itself?