Leeds United’s promotion push began in earnest on the opening day of the season. A 3 – 1 win at Bristol City underlined the Peacocks title credentials with few doubts raised since.
Brentford, on the other hand, one of the preseason promotion favourites, are proving to be a mixed bags. Four points out of nine, all from winnable games is sluggish form, not what was expected from the Bees.
Turning it around at Elland Road is a tall order but one they are capable of achieving. Marcelo Bielsa knows this and is wily enough to ensure it doesn’t happen.
Our Leeds United vs Brentford predictions favour the home side. Can the visitors show the steel needed for a promotion push?
Before the campaign began, we looked at how the season might pan out in this division. See how we think these two teams will fare in our Complete 2019/20 Championship season preview, predictions and betting tips.
Leeds United vs Brentford Predictions
The pain of losing to Aston Villa in last season’s playoff semi-final scars those at Elland Road. Bielsa’s squad is determined to close the campaign with an automatic promotion at the very least.
Dropped points at home to Nottingham Forest are the only blight on their season so far. The convincing wins at Bristol City and last weekend Wigan Athletic put them at the top of the table on goal difference.
With Brentford relatively out of sorts, Bielsa knows his team has an opportunity to improve that statistic.
However, the question is whether he has the strike power to do that? Patrick Bamford is a useful player to have but not a prolific striker.
Last season saw him score 10 in 24 games, seven of which appearances came as a substitute. Losing Kemar Roofe to Anderlecht was a blow and left a hole in the Leeds squad.
Bielsa filled it with Arsenal youngster Eddie Nketiah, untried at this level but with a habit of scoring in the League Cup. The Yorkshire club hopes he transfers that skill to the Championship.
The absence of a dominant goalscorer underlines why our Leeds United vs Brentford predictions see this as a low-scoring match.
Brentford views the match through a different lens. Last season saw them slip to 11th, paying the price for a 19-match run which saw them win just twice (D8, L9).
This time, the Bees started slowly. An opening day defeat to Birmingham is beginning to look a worse result than originally thought but winning at Middlesbrough highlights the abilities of the Londoners.
Head coach Thomas Frank lost Neil Maupay this summer to Premier League outfit, Brighton & Hove Albion. Filling his 28-goal boots is a tall order; Ollie Watkins is their only goalscorer this season as finding the net proves tough.
Just two goals in their three Championship matches leaves the Bees in twelfth and joint-lowest scorers in the division. For good measure, they scored and conceded one goal in the Carabao Cup exit to Cambridge United, losing 5 – 4 on penalties.
If you aren’t scoring many, the defence must be watertight; it isn’t. The Bees conceded in two of their three games. Indeed, they fell behind in three of their four games in all competitions; all were, however, at home.
The return of Said Benrahma to fitness comes at the right moment. There is a weight of expectation on his shoulders following the 10 goals he netted in his debut season in English football.
This time, Brentford need a lot more if they are to challenge for the playoffs.
It’s a big night for Pontus Jansson, the former Leeds United captain who moved to Brentford this summer and picked up the captain’s armband at Griffin Park.
Thomas Frank enthused about the Dane but was less impressed with his squad after the Hull City draw.
He declared himself “impatient” for his side to improve. If they are to take anything from this fixture, that’s what they must do.
Leeds United vs Brentford Head to Head
The history books tell us this is a match which is too close to call. Leeds United lead the head-to-head with 13 wins to 12, with 12 drawn.
Recent meetings, however, go in the Brentford’s favour. Since the pair were united in the EFL Championship five seasons ago, the Bees recorded five wins (D3, L2).
At Elland Road, Leeds United have two wins (D2, L1) in five. Goals in those matches are in short supply; only the two drawn games saw more than one goal.
Leeds United Team News
Marcelo Bielsa is expected to name an unchanged team for the third consecutive Championship game.
Luke Ayling and Tyler Roberts miss out through injury.
Brentford Team News
Said Benrahma is earmarking the fixture for his first start of the season having recovered from an ankle injury.
Otherwise, Thomas Frank has an unchanged squad from last weekend.
Leeds United vs Brentford Betting Tips
The form book dictates Leeds occupy the role of favourites and they are 3/5 with Novibet to win.
In four of the last six meetings between the two sides, only one side has scored and Brentford are 7/5 to fail to score.
If Brentford buck that trend, however, it’s worth looking at total goals with three in total quoted at 59/20.