Well, that was bloody good wasn’t it?
A Saturday of coupon busters and you enjoy every angst-filled second of it. There’s nothing quite like the rollercoaster you feel for those two hours on Saturday.
Well, that is of course, unless you’re a Leeds fan.
A lot has happened in a Leeds fan’s life, and that’s true even if you’re 20 years of age. So many lofting highs to a barren spell of crippling lows.
Almost to the point that the anxiety before a season has become a part of their identity. Maybe the fear that is only compromised by idiotic hope is part and parcel of it.
What does this year hold for one of the smallest big clubs in England?
Here’s three bets to follow for their opener.
Bristol City to Win (2/1)
Being 2/1 to win your home opener seems a bizarre price. I could now list off a number of reasons why, in a footballing sense, Bristol City will win this game.
But, to Leeds fans, footballing eventualities actually revolve around them and their misfortune. I used to laugh it off until my Leeds mates became so convinced of mishap that they didn’t even get disappointed anymore.
Here’s the rub.
Leeds had one chance at not being Leeds. They brought in the best coach to ever manage in the second tier of English football. They signed a whole host of players to complement that.
They installed a sophisticated footballing approach. They were easily the best team in the Championship by a distance. Then their fans sang a song about Frank Lampard.
You know the rest.
Both Teams to Score – Yes (8/11)
Leeds may be hurt by the departure of Saiz, but they’ve done well to add pieces, despite clearly losing a fan favourite in Pontus Jansson. They also get Jack Clarke back from Spurs, so they’re not handicapped there too.
Helder Costa should be scoring goals for them. Jack Harrison could comfortably take a step up again. Rafa Mujica could be the best player in the Championship.
But one way or another, Bielsa’s style of play is enough to break down a Bristol City side who just don’t sit back.
It’s probably why this outcome is 8/11 rather than closer to even money – because both sides typically don’t focus on keeping clean sheets.
And neither will here, either.
Win and Both Teams to Score – Bristol City (9/2)
I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to this point.
If you have, fair play. If you haven’t, why did you click on this link in the first place?
But I do fancy Bristol City to win this tie.
I also fancy both teams to score. A few years ago, our shrewdies on the trading floor of Power Tower concocted a clever way for you to combine those fancies for a big price.
Happy Championship Sunday, my dearest friends – it’s good to be back.
*All odds correct at time of posting