Bristol City and Leeds to go toe-to-toe
Leeds start yet another league campaign outside the top flight when they take on Bristol City on Sunday. Can they get off to the perfect start at Ashton Gate? Have a read of our preview here:
Lee Johnson looking to go one further
For several seasons Bristol City have been knocking on the door of the Championship play-offs yet they have not been able to crack that particularly tough nut. Losing to Hull in the 2008 play-off final is about as close as they have come to reaching the Premier League but there is a feeling that with Johnson at the helm it is only a matter of time.
He gets them playing an attractive brand of football and is not afraid to sign players from the divisions below. This season will see both Sammie Szmodics and Tommy Rowe turn out for the Robins but they have also shown massive ambition.
Tomas Kalas has seen his loan move from Chelsea made permanent after an impressive loan spell with the club last season and the fee City paid saw them break their transfer record. The 26-year-old will be a key member at the back for Lee Johnson’s side and with the board clearly willing to back him it could be a good season for the Robins.
Bielsa looking to avoid burnout
The warning signs were always lingering in the background last season following Leeds’ blistering start to the campaign. Bielsa’s men went unbeaten in their opening eight games and only lost three of their first 24. It looked as though they would have enough quality and depth to secure a place in the top two but Norwich City and Sheffield United were relentless, slowly overtaking the Yorkshire club, who lost five of their final nine games, to doom them to the play-offs.
Derby put pay to United’s season but Bielsa signed a new deal which gives the Argentine and his squad a great chance of building on last season. The Whites have already signed Helder Costa on loan from Wolves while promising centre-back Ben White arrives from Brighton. These two on their own won’t be enough but it is a good start.
The worry, with time running out in the transfer window, is that Leeds will have another gruelling campaign without the necessary depth to pull off the style and pace of play required by Marcelo Bielsa.
Time will tell, but they have every chance of getting off to a positive start on Sunday. Let the games begin!
Bristol City v Leeds United betting tip
If you don’t fancy a double chance on Leeds at odds of 2/5 then the best way to go here is to back both teams to score at odds of 8/11 which has a great chance of landing.