As the Championship promotion race heads towards its nerve-wracking climax, it is difficult to separate Leeds United and West Brom as third meet fourth at Elland Road on Friday night.
Both of these sides have been strongly fancied to make the step up to the Premier League this season, with West Brom keeping a core nucleus of players who dropped down from the top flight almost 12 months ago.
Rivals Leeds have spent the majority of the season in and around the automatic promotion places, having been revitalised under the guidance of master tactician Marcelo Bielsa.
However, the pair have both succumbed to the unpredictability of the Championship in the past week after West Brom lost ground on second-placed Sheffield United when losing 1-0 to the Blades at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
Leeds could have moved back up to the top had they won at QPR on Tuesday, only for Steve McClaren‘s men to end a run of seven successive defeats with a surprise 1-0 victory at Loftus Road.
Friday’s game is one neither will want to lose. Leeds know a win would take them to top spot and put pressure on Norwich and Sheffield United to win their games while West Brom will stay fourth win a win, but would move to within a point of second place.
It’s an intriguing fixture in that Leeds boast the joint best home record while the Baggies sit top of the away-day table, with 10 wins and 33 points on their travels to date.
West Brom have the edge in the head-to-heads and are best priced at 12/5 to emerge the victors from this latest meeting.
The visitors have won and scored at least three times in their last four meetings with Leeds, including the 4-1 home win earlier in the season, while they have scored in each of their last nine away fixtures.
Leeds have scored in almost 90% of their home games but have also conceded in seven successive games ,so both teams to score looks a good shout at 14/19.
As for the outcome, the game sees a collision of strong home and away records, so the chances are they will cancel each other out, with a draw at 5/2 appearing to be the likely result.