Leeds v Burnley
Saturday 8 August
Sky Sports 1
The summer has actually been fairly quiet at Elland Road following the appointment of Uwe Rosler as manager back at the start of June. Fans favourite Neil Redfearn quite understandably couldn't bring himself to accept the demotion back to his old job as youth team manger and left the club. The major piece of transfer business has been the £3 million capture of Chris Wood from Leicester. Although he hasn't quite managed to set the Championship alight in the last two seasons the New Zealand international is still only 23 and has the potential to score 20 goals this season for United.
Wood scored in the 2-0 win over an Everton side containing Ross Barkley and Steven Naismith among others, and is sure to play every week injuries permitting. With the team's attacking approach to be built around him, he merits a definite each-way interest in the Championship top goal scorer market at 3433/1 over at the Sportsbook. The word around Elland Road is that Rosler is the most impressive of the five managers who have enjoyed the dubious pleasure of working for Massimo Cellino so it may be that Leeds surprise a few people with their performances and results over the coming months.
The 'Ginger Mourinho' Sean Dyche received plenty of plaudits for his side's efforts last season but the bare facts are they finished above only QPR and scored fewer goals (28) than anybody else. Their main man up front Danny Ings has departed for Liverpool with defenders Kieran Trippier and Jason Shackell also leaving Turf Moor. Matthew Lowton was snapped up from Aston Villa to replace Trippier and striker Jelle Vossen (Middlesbrough) could be a decent enough replacement for Ings. Lowton and midfielder Fredrik Ulvestad are both doubtful for this one, though, after picking up knocks during pre-season friendlies.
Dyche will be hoping his men can follow the example of Norwich and QPR, who bounced straight back up via the play-offs in the last two seasons but it's worth noting that no relegated sides have finished in the top two since Newcastle and West Brom came 1st and 2nd six years ago.
The visitors' are favourites here at 2.588/5, while Leeds can be backed to get their season off to the perfect start at 2.9215/8 with the draw priced up at 3.45. This looks a tough market to get involved with as the home side will be keen to impress the new boss Rosler but Burnley probably possess a bit of extra-quality so I'm going to focus on the goal markets instead.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Leeds scored less than all bar Sheffield Wednesday and the bottom three in front of their own fans last season and though Wood will give them a real threat up front this season, they are still short of midfield creativity and spark. Two seasons ago, Dyche built Burnley's promotion side on the league's best defence (37 conceded) and you would expect him to adopt a similar strategy this time as he looks to mastermind promotion back to the Premier League.
Their last 13 games in the Premier League last season all featured two goals or less and the final eight finished either 0-0 or 1-0 so we know the Clarets can defend properly. We also know there are strong trends in these Saturday lunchtime kick-offs and last season 17/23 went under the 2.5 line so unders at 1.748/11 is the recommended best best bet here.
As you'll gather from above, I'm not expecting a goalfest here and it's quite likely that just the one will be enough to nick it. However, that goal could go to either side so I'm going to cover both bases by backing the 1-0 scoreline in favour of both sides to half-stakes at 76/1 and 65/1 respectively.
Back under 2.5 goals at 1.748/11 *Best bet
Back 1-0 and 0-1 correct scores at 76/1 and 65/1 to half stakes