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Leeds vs Crystal Palace: Predictions
It has been a mixed start to the New Year for both Leeds and Crystal Palace, who will each be looking to generate some momentum for the second half of the Premier League campaign and push for a top-ten finish. As it stands just two places separates these sides in the table, while there is only a two-point gap between themselves and Arsenal in 10th.
For Marcelo Bielsa, huge wins over high-flying Leicester and Newcastle have been somewhat diluted by defeats to Spurs, Brighton and more recently Everton since the turn of the year. That patchy form explains their bottom-half-of-the-table status, but the enigmatic Bielsa will no doubt be itching to mark Leeds’ Premier League return with a top-half finish.
Palace likewise have followed a similar trajectory post-Christmas, pulling off some huge results over Wolves and Leicester, but coming up short against the likes of West Ham, in a 3-2 loss earlier this month and 10-man Aston Villa, in which they suffered a 3-0 drubbing on Boxing Day.
Those results have kept the Eagles away from danger but not quite in the conversation for a European place. The evergreen Roy Hodgson has made Palace a difficult side to break down, combining a stubborn defence with an inventive frontline, and Bielsa will have to be at his best if he is to outfox and outwit the experienced English coach.
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Leeds vs Crystal Palace: Match Stats
Leeds as expected have been a ruthless and unrelenting force this season, closing down like a pack of hyenas and pressing with inexorable zeal, and few players have encapsulated that dogged determination more than Luke Ayling, whose impressive metrics back up his muck-or-nettles approach: only Aaron Wan-Bissaka (62) has registered more tackles than the versatile Leeds defender this term (58) of any Premier League player.
That hard-hitting approach should play a key part in trying to stifle the attacking unpredictability of Wilfried Zaha and Co, but there should be goals here. Interestingly Palace are looking to win three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since a run of four between February and June 2020, while Leeds haven’t lost three consecutive home league games since October 2017, while they last did so in the top flight in November 2003.
So, split the difference here and a draw is the most probable outcome between two sides on identical points and with very little to split them.
07 November 2020 – Crystal Palace 4-1 Leeds – Premier League
09 March 2013 – Crystal Palace 2-2 Leeds – Championship
24 November 2012 – Leeds 2-1 Crystal Palace – Championship
14 January 2012 – Crystal Palace 1-1 Leeds – Championship
10 September 2011 – Leeds 3-2 Crystal Palace – Championship
It was a sobering experience for Bielsa on his first visit to Selhurst Park. Hodgson’s men ran aplomb in a comprehensive 4-1 thrashing with goals from Scott Dann, Eberechi Eze, Jordan Ayew and a Helder Costa own goal securing the three points for Palace. If Leeds are to push for a top-half finish then they will need to eradicate those sort of capitulations and start securing points in these ‘winnable’ fixtures.