Both Derby and Leeds made winning starts to their 2018/19 Championship campaigns and they lock horns at Pride Park on Saturday evening. Mark O'Haire previews the encounter...
"The match promises to be a fascinating contest that pits novice Frank Lampard’s wits against veteran Marcelo Bielsa’s unwavering philosophy for high-intensity pressing and attacking football"
Derby v Leeds
Saturday August 11, 17:30
Live on Sky Sports
Derby will need to improve
Frank Lampard said it was "an incredible feeling" to make a winning start in football management as his Derby side dramatically snatched victory at Reading on the opening night of the new season. Tom Lawrence's exquisite header in the dying seconds of injury time saw the Rams come from behind in the second half.
County's new boss conceded that Reading "didn't deserve to lose" but praised his side's character in coming from a goal down to take all three points. The result masked what was largely a poor Derby performance, particularly in the opening 45 minutes where possession was ponderous and over-elaborate at times.
Lampard will be expecting more from Richard Keogh after the Irishman needlessly gave away possession in dangerous areas, while winger Florian Jozefzoon could be handed a start after being left on the bench. Elsewhere, Jack Marriott may feature and fellow new signings Scott Malone and Martyn Waghorn could also be included.
Leeds start strongly
Nobody quite knew what to expect from Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa's tutelage as they took on Stoke last Sunday, but the Whites exceeded expectations with a 3-1 dismantling of the pre-season promotion favourites. Mateusz Klich, Pablo Hernandez and Liam Cooper all scored in an impressive Elland Road display.
Leeds, starting the season with a new boss for the eighth successive year, dominated the opening 45 minutes as the Potters struggled to come to terms with Leeds' pressing and incisive passing. The hosts could and should have scored more than twice before the interval and the result never looked in doubt.
The Whites gave up just 0.69 Expected Goals from open play and few changes are expected to the starting XI for Saturday night's match-up. Centre-half Pontus Jansson wasn't fit enough to start last weekend, but could replace Gaetano Berardi at the back, while Patrick Bamford may make his debut up top.
Whites make Asian Handicap appeal
Derby [2.18] are undefeated in 11 of their past 12 home fixtures with Leeds [3.65] since 2002 but the Rams will need to improve upon their efforts last weekend if they're to justify their pre-match price at Pride Park on Saturday evening.
The match promises to be a fascinating contest that pits novice Frank Lampard's wits against veteran Marcelo Bielsa's unwavering philosophy for high-intensity pressing and attacking football.
Leeds looked good in trademark Bielsa style on Sunday against Stoke and are fancied at odds-against [2.1] when given a +0/0.5 start on the Asian Handicap line. This selection will see us make a half-stakes profit if the game concludes all-square, or a full-stakes profit should the Whites leave with a victory.
Entertainment anticipated at Pride Park
Matches involving Marcelo Bielsa-coached teams are rarely dull affairs and neutrals could be in for a treat with Leeds unlikely to sit back. As hosts, Derby will be expected to make the running and so a pulsating, end-to-end affair could be on the cards at Pride Park.
Over 2.5 Goals is available to support at [2.06] and copped in both of these two teams' opening encounters last weekend. Although both were under different management, the pair saw their respective home/away league outings in 2017/18 both surpass 2.70 goals per-game on average.
Mark's 2018/19 Profit/Loss
Staked: 5.00 pts
Returned: 7.28 pts
P/L: +2.28 pts
Back Leeds +0/0.50 Asian Handicap @ [2.1] or bigger in Derby v Leeds
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ [2.06] in Derby v Leeds