Saturday evening entertainment on the South Coast
Brighton and Hove Albion host Leeds United on Saturday evening hoping to maintain their position in the top half of the Premier League. Graham Potter’s men’s early season form has slowed up a little with the Seagulls falling away from the dream of European qualification and into mid table mediocrity. As has been the case ever since Brighton earned promotion to the top-flight, their defensive process is very solid but their attacking form has regressed which makes the visit of 17th placed Leeds a difficult task. Marcelo Bielsa’s men are looking to pull away from the relegation conversation in the lead-up to the January transfer window.
The expected goals (xG) data is not good reading in an attacking sense for the hosts, very different from the conclusions we were drawing last season. Potter’s men have scored just 12 goals in as many games from chances equating to 14.0 xG, which ranks them 18th in the division, suggesting their attacking process is of a relegation scrapping standard.
It is not a surprise to see them so blunt when they are producing just 1.17 xGF per game at the moment but the backline is making up for their shortcomings. Brighton rank sixth for their rearguard action allowing 1.23 xGA per game on average in letting in 14 from 14.7 xGA, a narrow negative xG difference paints the picture of a sight who are more inclined, in their current guise, applying their trade in mid table.
The Whites look more dynamic in the final third but have been struggling to keep them out with regularity this season. Leeds have scored the same amount as Brighton, 12, but created slightly more quality chances with 14.9 xGF from 12 outings, ranking them in 15th for attacking progress. Bielsa’s men also sit 15th having conceded 20 goals from 20.7 xGA.
Leeds typically release the shackles a little more on the road and that could play into Brighton’s hands as they look for greater results going forward. A goals based selection is my pick for this fixture.
- Brighton have scored in seven of ten.
- Brighton have conceded in seven of ten.
- Brighton have seen both teams score in six of ten.
- Brighton have seen over 2.5 goals in four of ten.
- Leeds have scored in seven of ten.
- Leeds have conceded in eight of ten.
- Leeds have seen both teams score in six of ten.
- Leeds have seen over 2.5 goals in three of ten.
Leeds need it more and should make for a fiery but evenly matched encounter. It could be excellent Saturday evening viewing.