Neither Leeds nor Blackpool are in good shape and with a gap of more than 10 points separating both from the last playoffs eligible spot, any mistake can prove fatal. The two teams are struggling in the second half of the standings and the recent results are far from encouraging, with the defense being arguably the weakest area. The high number of goals conceded recently, turned Leeds from a favorite to advance to the Premier League, into a team that struggles in the Championship division.

They’ve recently got a taste of what Premier League matches might look like, when they faced Manchester United in the League cup. Leeds conceded four goals without scoring one and they have only three days to rebound from that awful performance and win the home game against Blackpool. A quick look at the tables will reveal the fact that despite its otherwise mediocre performance in 2012, Leeds has been a consistent side in front of its fans.

Nine victories in 16 games might not be enough to help them promote to the top flight, but should be sufficient for granting them the favorites status tonight. As always, the first half is the most worrisome for Leeds, a team that has conceded a high number of goals in the first minutes. The last thing they need is to chase Blackpool after allowing the visitors to score an early goal, so it comes as no surprise that coach Warnock fields a team featuring just two strikers.

Diouf and McCormack have scored a combined seven goals so far, which is a terrible performance for offensive players who hope to play in the Premier League next season. The midfield can and must carry Leeds tonight, and fortunately for the hosts there are no defensive absentees tonight. For the visitors the situation is rather tricky, as they found it impossible to prevent opponents from scoring goals in the last eight games. Even when they’ve won all three points, they had to settle for a narrow margin victory with goals scored in the final minutes or in the overtime.

Punters need to choose between chasing higher odds and backing Leeds for a straight victory, or taking the cover of an Asian handicap. The advantage of choosing a 0:0 asian handicap that is that in case the match ends in a draw, the investment is returned. Naturally, the odds are decreased below evens but even so they are juicy enough to cover the risk and provide sufficient value to warrant such a wager.

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