Leeds vs Middlesbrough predictions: Hosts to maintain pressure on top two
– Leeds have won their last six home league games
– The hosts have kept two clean sheets in their last 10 outings
- Recommended bet: Leeds to win and both teams to score
Leeds are in hot pursuit of Leicester and Ipswich at the Championship summit and they will hope to maintain the pressure on the top two with a weekend victory over Middlesbrough.
The Yorkshire club are unbeaten at Elland Road this season, winning their last six matches on home soil, and they have lost only twice since the start of September.
Visitors Middlesbrough have recovered well after a wretched start to the season which yielded just two points from their opening seven games, and they head for Leeds in 10th position and only three points adrift of the play-off places.
Long-term absentee Stuart Dallas remains sidelined but loanee Djed Spence returned to the Leeds bench for Wednesday's 3-1 win over Swansea.
Riley McGree, Marcus Forss, Darragh Lenihan, Thomas Smith and Lewis O'Brien are all sidelined for Middlesbrough and are likely to be joined on the treatment table by Dael Fry and Hayden Hackney.
Fry sustained a hamstring niggle in Tuesday's 4-0 win over Preston while Hackney is struggling with a groin injury.
Leeds boast the Championship's only unbeaten home record, winning their last six league games at Elland Road after drawing their first three home matches of the campaign.
The last four of those home victories have also seen Daniel Farke's men concede and a 1-0 win over QPR is the only time in Leeds's last six home league games in which there have not been at least three goals.
Goals have also been a recurring theme of Middlesbrough's away games in this season's Championship, with 37 scored in their nine league matches on the road at an average of 4.11 per game.
Just one of those nine outings has failed to surpass the 2.5 goals mark and both teams have scored in seven of Boro's away league games this season.
After winning three successive away games, Michael Carrick's visitors have taken only one point from their last two on the road, drawing 3-3 at Plymouth before suffering a 3-2 defeat at Bristol City.
Elland Road is fast becoming a fortress and Leeds can preserve the Championship's sole unbeaten home record with victory over Middlesbrough on Saturday.
There has been a noticable difference in Leeds's style, instensity and, more importantly, results since the summer transfer window shut.
The uncertainty of August has passed and Leeds boss Daniel Farke is now moulding an impressive side spearheaded by attacking stars Joel Piroe, Crysencio Summerville, Dan James and a revitalised Georginio Rutter.
Leeds can be guilty of not making the most of their chances from time to time — last week's 1-1 draw at Rotherham being a case in point — but they boast verve and quality in attack that few teams in the Championship can match.
Middlesbrough have also been among the goals recently, especially on their travels, and could get on the scoresheet at Elland Road given that the hosts' last four home wins have also seen them concede. But Boro have shipped 19 goals in nine away games this term and such a weakness could be ruthlessly exploited by Leeds.
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