Leeds United v Derby County: Keep the faith and back the Whites

Mirco Antenucci in action against Blackpool.

Mirco Antenucci in action against Blackpool.

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LEEDS UNITED won’t often be 3-1 to win at home so keep the faith and have a small wager on Neil Redfearn’s side having a ‘shock’ in store for tomorrow’s visitors Derby County.

Steve McClaren’s Championship leaders are odds-on across the board this weekend with 37-40 the best price available with BetVictor who actually have the best price on all three of the game’s eventualities.

The draw is 13-5 with them and a whole host of other firms while Leeds are a stand out 16-5 with BetVictor.

And the latter appeals as the value option to side with in light of United being undeniably unlucky last weekend.

Leeds were tipped here at 9-2 to win at Blackburn and really should have done.

We don’t need reminding again about what went wrong after the break and but for one defensive mix up and a dubious penalty decision United would have won.

But had that of happened, Leeds would have then been a shorter price to win tomorrow as a result yet instead United can now be backed at better than 3-1 to win a home game.

While Derby are top of the Championship, they are certainly not unbeatable.

The Rams were felled 2-1 at Brentford only on the first Saturday in November and their only other Championship away loss this season has come at Charlton in their fourth game of the season.

Derby have obviously improved since then - they hammered Fulham 5-1 in their next game after that - but Leeds outplayed Blackburn in the first half on Saturday and there’s no denying the Whites have the talent far superior to a side who sit two points above the drop zone in 16th.

Roared on by a packed and potentially intimidating Elland Road crowd, Leeds will be instructed to attack Derby from the off by Redfearn in a game that surely promises goals.

United are anything but solid at the back and Derby are the division’s joint top scorers with 35 goals.

With the onus also on Leeds to attack at Elland Road, both teams to score at 8-11 with Bet365 and Boylesports actually looks fair enough and - as with last weekend at Ewood Park - is tipped with confidence.

But the gut feeling is that backing any team to win at odds on in this division is not a good long term plan - Blackburn were lucky last weekend - and here’s hoping a small investment on Leeds can this time be rewarded.

Derby’s Chris Martin is the favourite to score first at a best-priced 9-2 ahead of Jamie Ward, Leon Best and Kwame Thomas at 11-2, 6-1 and 13-2 respectively.

But like last week, Leeds might strike first if they can rise to the occasion and Mirco Antenucci - unlucky not to net at Blackburn last weekend when hitting the post - is a reasonable suggestion at 9s.

Let’s just hope this time, for once, the football Gods are also on our side.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Leeds to beat Derby (16-5 with BetVictor)

Mirco Antenucci to score first (9-1 with Paddy Power, each-way a fifth of the odds 1-2-3).

Both teams to score (8-11 with Bet365 and Boylesports).

Chris Wood celebrates his opening goal.
 Picture: Bruce Rollinson

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