Newcastle vs Leeds: Magpies too easy to break down

Newcastle vs Leeds: Magpies too easy to break down

Kick-off: 2000, 17/09/2021

Stadium: St James’ Park

TV: Sky Sports

Two winless teams meet on Tyneside on Friday night when defeat for either will really set the alarm bells ringing.

Newcastle have picked up just one point from their first four games and have the worst defensive record in the division with 12 goals conceded.

Leeds showed last season they are capable of performing better than their slow start suggests and an away win at 5/4 is our opening Newcastle vs Leeds prediction.

A Look At Newcastle United’s Betting Odds

Reading too much into Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired Manchester United would be harsh on Newcastle but the six goals they have already leaked at home against West Ham and Southampton are more worrying.

They twice took the lead on the opening weekend against the Hammers but still lost 4-2 while they conceded two equalisers in the 2-2 draw with Southampton.

Newcastle gave a decent account of themselves for long periods at Old Trafford but once again paid the price for lapses at the back.

Manager Steve Bruce said: “There were positives to take out but unfortunately, defensively, we are not doing enough.”

The two meetings with Leeds last season produced 10 goals and the Whites came out on top in both, winning 5-2 at Elland Road and 2-1 at St James’ Park.

Looking at the Newcastle vs Leeds odds, taking a bigger price of 21/10 for an away win and over 2.5 goals seems worth the extra risk.

Last Newcastle line-up: Woodman, Clark, Lascelles, Manquillo, Ritchie, Hayden, Almiron, Willock, S Longstaff, Joelinton, Saint-Maximin.

Midfielder Joe Willock and defenders Ciaran Clark and Javier Manquillo all picked up minor injuries last Saturday but the trio are expected to be fit, while winger Ryan Fraser has returned to training after an ankle problem.

However, striker Callum Wilson (thigh) will miss out once again, as will keeper Martin Dubravka (foot), defender Paul Dummett and midfielder Jonjo Shelvey (both calf), while Bruce faces a decision over whether to replace Freddie Woodman in goal with the fit-again Karl Darlow (Covid-19).

A Look At Leeds United’s Betting Odds

Leeds are yet to hit the heights of last season and the lack of a clean sheet has contributed to them only picking up two points so far.

Defeats against Manchester United and Liverpool were perhaps to be expected but Leeds were at least competitive in a 2-2 draw at home to Everton and 1-1 draw at Burnley.

To add to their defensive problems, Leeds’ appeal against the red card shown to Pascal Struijk against Liverpool has been unsuccessful and he must now serve a three-match ban.

This looks a good opportunity for their attacking players to shine, though, and Jack Harrison can be a thorn in Newcastle’s side again.

The former Manchester City winger scored in both meetings last season, including the winner at St James’ Park.

He is yet to open his Premier League account this season but scored twice against Crewe in the Carabao Cup and appeals at 14/5 in the anytime goalscorer odds as our final Newcastle vs Leeds prediction.

Last Leeds line-up: Meslier, Ayling, Firpo, Cooper, Llorente, Dallas, Harrison, Phillips, Bamford, Raphinha, Rodrigo.

Leeds have a central defensive dilemma with Pascal Struijk, Diego Llorente and Robin Koch all ruled out.

Adam Forshaw is still out due to a muscle strain, but is expected to return to contention next week and deadline-day signing Daniel James is pushing for his first start after making his debut off the bench last weekend.

Additional stats

Last result:

Man Utd 4-1 NEWCASTLE – Javi Manquillo

LEEDS 0-3 Liverpool

Head-to-head: Newcastle 1-2 Leeds, Leeds 5-2 Newcastle, Newcastle 1-1 Leeds, Leeds 0-2 Newcastle

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