A dramatic late equaliser from Sonny Perkins spared the blushes of Leeds in the original tie which ended 2-2. A replay now takes place at Elland Road and the winners will face either Boreham Wood or Accrington Stanley in the next round. The pressure is very much on both teams. Jesse Marsch has just 2 wins in his last 18 matches for Leeds, whilst Cardiff are currently managerless following the sacking of Mark Hudson.
As per the usual routine, you can find my stats pack for this evening’s clash below which has the scoop on numerous statistical angles, all of which can be used to add some polish to your bet builders for the game. If you need some pointers on how to get the most value from the info, give my Stats Pack Guide a read.
The Leeds lineup is difficult to predict. Jesse Marsch needs a win but at the same time will want to freshen up the squad and try out a few players. New signing from Red Bull Salzburg Max Wober will almost certainly make his first start for the club, the question is in what position?
There is a possibility that Patrick Bamford might be given a start upfront in order to aid his return to match fitness. Joe Gelhardt could also be an option but is currently linked with a loan move away from the club. Junior Firpo and Rasmus Kristensen are in line to feature in the full back positions.
Cardiff have just sacked manager Mark Hudson so there is a strong element of uncertainty surrounding their lineups and tactics here. There are several names linked with the job, not least veteran Neil Warnock.
It would’ve been very spicy if Warnock were in charge at Elland Road, but first team coach Dean Whitehead will be in the dugout. Joel Bagan was sent off in the previous tie for a blatant handball. He’s now served his suspension, but the left back might not get back in the side ahead of O’Dowda. Mahlon Romeo and Jamilu Collins are ruled out through injury. The Welsh outfit have lined up in a 4-2-3-1 a lot recently but the interim boss might mix things up.
Leeds xG and xGA metrics correlate quite closely to their actual goalscoring numbers. They have scored an average of 1.44 goals per game but have a leaky defence, shipping in 1.83 in each fixture. Leeds matches can often be quite frantic, fast paced with lots of action at both ends of the field. They fire in 12.60 shots in each fixture but average a large 13.60 shots against. Their opponents average close to five SOT in each game which is one of the main reasons why they concede so many goals.
Corners are something to watch out for in Leeds games. They obtain an average of 5.61 themselves, but also concede 4.83. It is worth nothing that the Mighty Whites didn’t concede a single corner vs Villa on Friday, and just two in the previous FA Cup meeting. Leeds are one of the most ill-disciplined teams around, amassing 2.33 cards per game. They can get involved in several dirty contests and their opponents also average a high number of cards in each fixture (1.83).
Cardiff are not a high scoring team and average just 0.78 goals per game. They have been underachieving their xG of 1.31. At the other end their defence has been mostly decent, conceding only 1.11 goals per game. The Bluebirds only average 10.60 shots against in each fixture but Leeds did rack up a mammoth 26 attempts in the original tie.
Corners tend to be on the mid-range side in Cardiff games. They average 4.78 themselves and 4.63 against. Leeds obtained 9 corners against them in Wales 10 days ago though. As a club, Cardiff have always had a reputation of being quite physical and it’s no surprise to see their matches averaging over 4.5 cards per game.
They have picked up 2.15 cards in each contest and their opponents 2.44. The original tie contained 7 yellow cards and 1 red card. There is plenty of spicy history and bad blood between these two sides.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Joe Gelhardt averages the most shots per 90 mins of any Leeds player on this list (4.17) but could be out on loan in the Championship somewhere by the time this match starts. Top scorer Rodrigo is next, firing in 3.70 shots per 90, but only 1.26 of those have been on target. Rodrigo has a decent scoring record but it’s mostly by a scattergun style approach.
Summer signing Willy Gnonto has been catching the eye recently and averages 1.80 shots, with roughly a third of those efforts on target. Patrick Bamford scored off the bench vs Aston Villa and might be given a start here to improve his match fitness. He averages 3.60 shots per 90 at a surprisingly accurate 50% rate.
Winger Philogene-Bidace averages 2.60 shots per 90 mins for Cardiff. His accuracy is very poor though (0.50). This is not a particularly accurate side overall and midfielder Ojo manages just 0.38 on target from 2.05 attempts.
A lot will depend on the lineups but right winger Mark Harris is one of their more reliable players. He averages 1.90 shots per 90 mins at a respectable 0.82 accuracy ratio. Striker Callum Robinson is an obvious candidate for shots, should he start.
Player Goals and Assists
Rodrigo is the leading scorer for the White Rose outfit. He is normally on penalty taking duty although did miss a spot kick in the first fixture vs Cardiff. The Spaniard has 10 goals this season and came off the bench to score in Wales last week.
Both Jack Harrison and Brendan Aaronson top the assist charts for Leeds with 4 and 2 respectively. Midfielder Sam Greenwood will be on set piece duty so could be a potential assist man should he start.
The leading scorer for Cardiff is striker Callum Robinson with 4 goals. He also has five assists but might not be a guaranteed starter here. Left back O’Dowda has three goals and three assists, whilst right winger Mark Harris has bagged three goals this season. As aforementioned, Cardiff are not a free scoring team so it probably makes sense to focus on whoever starts upfront, either Callum Robinson or Isaak Davies.
Leeds are a very mixed possession team and their numbers can vary from game to game. They only had 46% vs Villa on Friday but amassed a whopping 73% of the ball in the first match vs Cardiff.
No player of significant minutes averages more than 60 passes per 90 mins but the two probably worth considering in this market are midfielder Tyler Adams and defender Pascal Struijk. A lot will depend on the starting lineup here but with Leeds expected to have a lot of the ball then their centre backs and midfielders could be of interest in the passing market.
Cardiff have averaged 49% possession but that is mostly in Championship managers and under a now ex manager. They had very little of the ball in the original tie and are unlikely to have any more than 40% in this encounter, most likely a lot less. Nobody really stands out for them in this market although right back Perry Ng does average 53.2 passes per 90 mins off a high minute ratio and should start here.
Leeds are a strong pressing team which in itself naturally leads to a lot of fouls. Midfielder Tyler Adams leads them in this category with 1.88 fouls per 90 mins. He also has five cards and regularly gets stuck in.
Right back Rasmus Kristensen is another who won’t shy away from a tackle, in addition to Marc Roca. This whole team is capable of fouling regularly. The centre backs Pascal Struijk, Liam Cooper or Robin Koch all average at least 1.20 fouls per 90 mins and have each picked up several cards.
Midfielder Sheyi Ojo will highly start for Cardiff here and a tussle with Tyler Adams potentially awaits. He is fouled on average 2.27 times per 90 mins and racks up nearly 4 dribbles. Winger Philogene-Bidace averages nearly 5 dribbles per 90 mins and could be an obvious foul magnet for any Leeds right back. Left back Callum O’Dowda also stands out as someone who dribbles a fair bit (1.90 per 90 mins) and is usually fouled at least once per game.
Match-Ups to watch
Tyler Adams vs Sheyi Ojo
Rasmus Kristensen vs Philogene-Bidace
Brandan Aaronson vs Callum O’Dowda
Right back Perry Ng only fouls on average 0.50 times per 90 mins but has picked up 7 cards. He is an obvious candidate to have problems facing whoever Leeds field on the left wing, potentially Willy Gnonto.
Right winger Mark Harris fouls on average 2.03 times per 90 mins, which is a lot. He has 5 cards and could get into some scuffles with Junior Firpo. Defensive midfielder Ryan Wintle has 6 cards and will likely go up against either Tyler Adams or Brendan Aaronson in the middle of the park.
Jesse Marsch’s men have a lot of pacey and technical players who press a lot. There are also some significant dribblers in the team such as Willy Gnonto and Jack Harrison. Whoever plays out wide for Leeds will give Cardiff some major problems.
In midfield Brendan Aaronson regularly gets stuck in but can also be a potential foul magnet with his style of play. He has an average of 3.65 dribbles per 90 mins and is fouled on 2.22 occasions.
Match-Ups to watch
Perry Ng vs Willy Gnonto
Mark Harris vs Junior Firpo
Ryan Wintle vs Tyler Adams/Brendan Aaronson