'Upper hand': Paul Merson predicts five-goal thriller as Leeds face Bournemouth
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

'Upper hand': Paul Merson predicts five-goal thriller as Leeds face Bournemouth

Paul Merson has told his Sports Keeda column that he thinks Leeds United will beat Bournemouth 3-2 at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon – branding Gary O’Neil’s side a “bag of nerves” after their defeat to Tottenham.

Bournemouth come into the game having lost 3-2 last time out. That is, despite Kieffer Moore’s brace for the Cherries against Antonio Conte’s side. Bournemouth were winning 2-0 just before the hour mark. Spurs won 3-2.

Leeds, meanwhile, are feeling a lot more confident after a stunning win over Liverpool at Anfield. Leeds come into the match with the pressure still on, but their tails up. We will be without Luis Sinisterra for Saturday’s outing.

Jesse Marsch told his press conference on Thursday that he has a tear in his foot and while it will keep him out until after the World Cup, the Colombian has not ruptured it. Hopefully, it means Sini will return soon after Qatar.

Predicting Saturday’s result, Merson spoke of how the win at Anfield shocked everybody. He thinks Leeds will have the “upper hand”, and win 3-2. An exciting prospect, in a game that Merson believes is winnable for both sides.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

“No one – not even the Leeds manager – would’ve seen that coming. Bournemouth are on a slippery slope, and they’ll start sliding if they lose this match as well. Bournemouth were 2-0 up against Tottenham but threw it away.

“They’re a bag of nerves at the moment. There will be a lot of goals in this match, because both teams will have to give it a go. This is a winnable match for both teams, but I think Leeds have the upper hand going into this game.”

Merson: Leeds will beat bag of nerves Bournemouth

While the pressure will have been lifted somewhat off Marsch’s shoulders, a loss against Bournemouth would re-open those scares – and then some. But you would have to make Leeds favourites at Elland Road on Saturday.

Given Bournemouth have lost three on the bounce, albeit impressive at times. But purely because Leeds have not played badly in the games we have lost. In that eight-game run, there were some good displays, without the results.

So, if they take even 70% of what they took to Anfield, you would expect Leeds to win on Saturday. However, there is a goal threat in this Bournemouth side. A Bournemouth side that will see Lewis Cook return to Elland Road.

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images
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