The appointment of Marcelo Bielsa as manager is the primary reason that Leeds United have been installed as fifth favourites to win the Championship by Tipbet. The Argentine is revered for his tactical ingenuity by his contemporaries, which include Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino, and could easily have got a higher-level job should he have so desired. He is also seen as a maverick having left his role at Lazio after just two days following a disagreement over transfer targets, while he favours the 3-3-1-3 formation, which will be fascinating to watch in England’s second tier.
The Whites have not been in the Premier League since their 2004 relegation, but with Andrea Radrizzani having taken over from the shambolic Massimo Cellino era of ownership there is a real chance of pushing for promotion this year. Bielsa has made five transfers ahead of the season opener this weekend against Stoke City at Elland Road, with Patrick Bamford and Jack Harrison the most exciting of those.
Their opponents were relegated from the top-tier at the end of last season, though they still boast several players that are still of Premier League standard, including England’s number two goalkeeper Jack Butland. It is for this reason that they are favourites in Tipbet’s season bets to gain promotion back at the first opportunity by winning the title.
New manager Gary Rowett has made several additions himself, including Benik Afobe from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Ashley Williams from Everton – two players that know the Championship well and should be able to make an immediate impact.
A win for either team, then, could well set the tone for their campaign and help them to be near the summit among the early pace-setters. Tipbet offer 96 markets for the clash and it is shaping up to be a close one – Leeds are 2.75 to start off with a home win, while City are at 2.65 and a draw is 3.25. There are plenty of other options to back, including the total number of goals that will be scored.