Sometimes as a punter you look at a match and just can’t figure out which way it’s going to go – every statistic you look at sends you mixed messages about the two sides.
But then at other times, there is a glaring fact that glows brighter than the rest, like a giant red button that says ‘Don’t push’ and you know that if you don’t take it seriously you will almost certainly regret it.
The meeting of Leeds and Blackburn Rovers at Elland Road this weekend certainly falls into the latter category. But why?
It’s really quite simple: Steve Kean’s men have what can only be described as a horrendous away record that stretches back to the start of the 2010/11 season. In the period since then, Rovers have only mustered six wins on their travels in a total of 39 league games.
The omens for Steve Kean’s side don’t get any better when you see that apart from a lone victory in 2003, the Lancashire club haven’t won at Elland Road since 1959 – a spell comprising 22 visits.
No surprises, then, to see Leeds priced as slight favourites at 13/10 in bwin’s 3-way football betting market for Saturday’s latest clash between the pair, with a Blackburn win 2/1 and the draw at 11/5.
Blackburn’s shocking away form continued in midweek with a 2-1 defeat to League One side MK Dons in the Capital One Cup. Leeds fared far better in their second-round clash though, comprehensively winning 3-0 against Oxford United at Elland Road.
That success maintained a 100% home record so far this term for Neil Warnock’s side, with eight goals scored and none conceded. Admittedly, two of those games were against lower league opposition, but it suggests that Elland Road could once again become a fortress for United.
And when that impressive goals against column is combined with Rovers’ away-day blues, there are suddenly plenty of tempting prices for Leeds to continue in the same vein this weekend, such as 14/5 on them winning to nil or 3/1 on a multiple correct score of 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0.
However, Blackburn do have a strong mix of experience and quality in their attacking ranks, with former Portugal international Nuno Gomes getting off the mark against MK Dons and fellow new boy Colin Kazim-Richards scoring twice already.
Blackburn will fancy their chances of getting on the scoresheet, so a 2-1 win for Leeds – which, incidentally, has been the exact scoreline in the previous two league meetings between the sides – is therefore a worthy cover bet at 8/1.
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