It’s fair to say Leeds fans have been through a lot of emotional trauma. Almost to the point where they should be donating the mass collections to their support group.
But times are changing, and Marcelo Bielsa’s new crop are honestly one of the best Championship teams we’ve ever seen.
Make no mistake, you need quality on the pitch, but the surest way to gaining passage back to the top tier is by appointing someone too good for the division.
Bielsa would probably be a top-five manager in the Premier League, but he finds himself strolling around Harewood House on his days off.
Their next victims? Derby County.
Leeds (-1) – Evens
Leeds have taken maximum points away from home this year. Largely due to the fact that they come up against sides who expect to have a bit more of the ball at home.
The Whites are the masters of winning the ball back off a bad touch and punishing you within seconds, so that might explain it.
Getting patterns of play up and running takes some time, and that comes with playing at home – as it’s the only way you can possibly break teams down in a low block.
They’re now into stride, against a team falling all over themselves, at home. That formline is going to correct itself – and in a big way.
Eddie Nketiah to Score First – 7/2
It’s come as a real surprise to me that Nketiah hasn’t gotten more game time. He’s looked every bit a superstar in his Carabao Cup cameos to date.
Now, there’s a theory that his style of play is more suited to coming off the bench and sprinting past leggy defenders, but he’s scored a goal every 62 minutes of his Leeds career to date.
When Arsenal are forced to sell Aubameyang, he’ll likely be back there underachieving like the rest of that club.
Both Teams to Score (No) – 19/20
I don’t know if you’ve seen Derby lately, but there’s no side who are in a bigger mess.
Waghorn is dropping too deep to link up play. He’s nowhere near big enough to handle some of the Championship’s larger holding midfielders and from there, the only hope they have is by crossing the ball and looking for scraps from second balls.
That’s pretty much been the case in all of their games to date, and this could be the one that sees Cocu issued with his marching orders.
A Penalty to be Awarded – 13/8
The edge between these players is still very prominent. It leads to a lot of provocation and Bielsa isn’t one to tell his players to back down.
While Lampard may be gone to Chelsea where Tammy Abraham is making him look good, there’s plenty of overlap between the players who played in the playoff semi-final and now.
This lends itself to a Leeds win as well as a kick out. You can almost guarantee someone’s going to stick out a leg inside the box in this one.
Leeds to Score in Both Halves – Evens
They will be relentless. From the first minute, Bielsa will send them out to attack and he’ll apply more pressure to the hypothetical Derby County neck that Leeds are standing on until full time.
All the mocking from the improbable playoff defeat, to the singing of the ‘Stop Crying Frank Lampard’ tune, will infuriate Bielsa.
Derby won’t be leaving Elland Road with anything, and I’m including their dignity in that.
* All odds correct at time of posting.