Liverpool vs Leeds – Match Preview
Although the Premier League may be starting a month later than usual, the anticipation levels have certainly not diminished and although Liverpool and Leeds may not be competing in Saturday’s curtain raiser, they are undoubtedly squaring off in the main event.
The champions versus the winners of last season’s EFL Championship and if that is not enough to pique your interest, it is also a fixture that will unleash the legendary Marcelo Bielsa on the Premier League.
After failing to earn promotion in his first season at Elland Road, the former Athletic Bilbao manager was ready for another crack at English football’s second tier and armed with the experience of how tough the division can be, it was a sense of second time lucky for Leeds.
Then again, to say they were lucky last season, would be doing them a huge disservice and with them being the clear dominant force in the Championship, now a sterner test awaits them over the next eight months.
The club will certainly look to take inspiration from fellow Yorkshire outfit Sheffield United and with the Blades securing a top half finish in last season’s Premier League, there is no reason to suggest that Leeds cannot follow suit.
If that proves to be the case, it will be considered a very successful campaign and when we talk about the yardstick of success, Liverpool know that after finally winning the Premier League title and ending a 30-year wait for an English championship crown, the hunter has now become the hunted.
The past two seasons have nothing short of incredulous for Liverpool and after lifting both the Champions League and Premier League in respective years, many are wondering if there is still anything left in the tank.
Can another herculean effort be exuded over the next eight months? That is the question that pundits and punters are asking themselves and with a largely unchanged group of players, it might prove to be just a step too far.
This is the mindset that is currently shared by the bookmakers and when you look at the Premier League outright market, Jurgen Klopp’s men find themselves currently second favourites behind Manchester City.
Why are the champions second favourites? Because when it comes to this competition, it is difficult to win it but even harder to defend it and with that in mind, the logic dictates that the trophy will eventually end up back at the Etihad.
While although that mean overall disappointment for all involved with Liverpool, there should be reason for cheer this weekend and when you consider that the club have won 25 of their last 26 home league matches, this has all the hallmarks of an early banker.
A look at the moneyline odds reinforces this and at -345, this could be as close to buying money as you’ll get over the next couple of days. Then again, if you are feeling devious and think Marcelo Bielsa will plot something devious, the draw is +525 and a Leeds win is +908.