There are some rivalries that stand the test of time and burn so bright that matches between the teams now are often played at a different level of intensity. Games such as local derby games are amongst the most common of these fixtures but there are a number of others. Liverpool v Manchester United and Manchester United v Arsenal are amongst these other games but one that dates back to well before the start of the Premier League era is the rivalry between Leeds United and Chelsea, who lock horns this weekend in the EPL.
The rivalry dates back to the late 1960s and 1970s when Don Revie’s Leeds United team were sweeping all before them and they struck up a fierce rivalry with the London side, some brutally physical battles between the two teams were evidence of just how much the two disliked each other.
This culminated in the 1970 FA Cup Final between the two teams, which is regarded as one of the most physical and dirtiest football matches in history, with several players on both sides engaged in behaviour that would see them nowadays red carded and handed a very lengthy ban. David Elleray, a modern referee, watched the game back and said that he would have issued six red cards and 20 yellow cards in the game. Across both the final and replay, the referee of the games issued just one yellow card and Chelsea won the replay 2-1 after extra time.
With such a fierce rivalry in the 70s, the contrasting fortunes of both these teams over the years means that they have not met as much but the traces of that rivalry linger on and will no doubt come to a head once again this weekend. If you fancy a bet on the Chelsea v Leeds game and you are yet to sign up with a sports betting site, then the latest bet365 New Player Bonus is the best place to start as you can claim up to £100 in bet credits when you start betting on the site.
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Let’s now learn a little more about the game this weekend at Elland Road.
Chelsea v Leeds United Preview
Although the rivalry between these two teams came to a head in the early 1970s, it was to be short-lived as by the end of that decade, both clubs were in decline and both spent time outside of the top division across the 1980s. In the 1990s Leeds returned to title winning form in 1992 and when Roman Abramovich took over at Chelsea, his cash transformed the fortunes of the club. However, just as Chelsea were coming to prominence, Leeds were dropping out of the Premier League and into the lower reaches due to serious financial issues.
It has taken Leeds many years, and a couple of short promotions, to overcome that decline but now under Marcelo Bielsa they are back in the Premier League and ready to travel to the capital to take on Frank Lampard’s new look Chelsea, who currently lie third in the Premier League. Leeds are 12th but just five points behind their London rivals.
Chelsea’s recent form has been excellent and the likes of Ziyech, Werner and Chilwell are settling in well to their roles at the club. A trip to Seville in midweek is a tough one ahead of this game and Frank Lampard will know that he needs his team to pick up maximum points at home as they chase down Tottenham and Liverpool ahead of them in the table.
That means any players rested in midweek for the Sevilla game could well be back in the team for Sunday’s game and in truth, I don’t think Lampard will change too much from the team that were held 0-0 by leaders Spurs last weekend.
Possible Chelsea XI – 4-3-3 – Mendy, James, Chilwell, Silva, Zouma, Kante, Kovacic, Mount, Ziyech, Werner, Abraham
After two heavy defeats to Leicester and Crystal Palace, Leeds bounced back earning a 0-0 draw with Arsenal and then beating Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park and they are going to have to be at their best again to earn the win at Stamford Bridge. One plus point for United is that Chelsea’s sole defeat this season in the Premier League did come at home, against Liverpool earlier in the season.
After such a good display against Everton last week, it is hard to see Marcelo Bielsa making too many changes to his team for the Chelsea game,
Possible Leeds XI – 4-4-1-1- Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Rafinha, Klich, Phillips, Alioski, Harrison, Bamford
Tale of the Tape – Chelsea v Leeds United
- League Position – Chelsea 3rd, Leeds United 12th
- EPL Goals Scored – Chelsea 22, Leeds United 15
- EPL Goals Conceded – Chelsea 10, Leeds United 17
- Last Five EPL Games – Chelsea Won 3, Drew 2, Leeds Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 2
- Last meeting – League Cup – Dec 2012 – Leeds Utd 1-5 Chelsea
- Top Goalscorer – Timo Werner (Chelsea) 4, Patrick Bamford (Leeds) 7
Chelsea v Leeds United Tips
Full Time Result – Chelsea to win – 8/15
I expect Leeds to make things difficult for Chelsea, but I do worry about how exposed the Leeds defence will be against the intelligence and pace of Chelsea on the counter attack and I think that could well be their undoing on the day.
Correct Score – Chelsea 3-1 Leeds United – 12/1
Chelsea have been amongst the goals in recent times, their 0-0 draw with Spurs last weekend apart. Leeds too always tend to find goals but also concede a fair few too. I think Leeds will grab a goal but that ultimatelty Chelsea will win the game comfortably 3-1.
Anytime Goalscorer – Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea) – 7/4
Ziyech has started to show his true talents in recent weeks but has been without a goal in his last couple of games. He looked a little nervy against Tottenham but I think he will be a key man here and at 7/4 to score any time he is a good value bet.