Finally, after a long 3 month sabbatical, football returns this Saturday with the televised visit of recently relegated Burnley. It’s been the calmest summer in many years as Uwe Rosler was appointed early in the summer and we’ve recruited strategically and sensibly, bringing in the likes of Bamba, Wood and Dallas to strengthen the starting XI.

The 2015/16 season kicks off with a tough test against an organised Burnley side with a good manager in Sean Dyche, but with a good crowd expected and a wave of cautious optimism sweeping across Leeds, we’ve every chance of coming away with a win. Burnley come off the back of a season in the Premier League in which they comfortably had the smallest budget in the league, and Dyche spent his pre match press conference talking about the level of investment in the Championship, “I am absolutely amazed at some of the wage deals that people are now signing in the Championship – I’m stunned. They are way beyond what we were paying in the Premier League and we thought we were paying pretty well.” Middlesbrough have spent £7 million on Stewart Downing, and bid £14 million for Jordan Rhodes, while derby have spent in the region of £10 million this summer.

Burnley’s squad has changed since the end of last season, losing key players in Danny Ings and Kieran Trippier, replacing them with Jelle Vossen and Matt Lowton respectively, although Lowton is not expected to be fit for the opening day. During their promotion season 2 years ago, Burnley played with a lot of width and their full backs supported high up the pitch, while naming the same starting XI almost all the way through the season, so you’d expect Dyche to operate in much the same way. Leeds now have width themselves, with Uwe Rosler’s 4-3-3/4-5-1 (depending on how you look at it) operating with 2 wingers in Dallas and Byram, and two competent full backs in Taylor and Berardi, who could be busy on Saturday.

Leeds man to watch is Chris Wood, the New Zealand international is United’s first genuine Centre Forward since Luciano Becchio, and looks a big physical presence who will be keen to get off the mark early. Burnley’s man to watch is Jelle Vossen, a creative forward player who is technically proficient, he has made 12 appearances for Belguim, and he will be a key player for Burnley as Danny Ings replacement, and could cause Sol Bamba and Guisseppe Bellusci a few problems.

Previous meetings with Burnley have garnered positive results, at one point Leeds won 5 consecutive games against Burnley, often coming from behind, scoring late goals and generally winning in dramatic circumstances. But Burnley won the last two meetings 2-1 as they marched towards promotion, although much has changed since the two sides last met, Leeds have had 5 different managers since the two sides last met (McDermott, Hockaday, Milanic, Redfearn and Rosler) and the shape of the squad has changed drastically too. Signing players such as Sol Bamba, Chris Wood and Stuart Dallas has been a good summer of recruitment for Leeds, while Burnley have changed much too, although you’d expect their style will be similar as it’s worked for Dyche well, and they’ll be hard working and utilise the wings.

Previous meetings have generated good atmospheres, as a healthy rivalry has developed between the two sides, a rivalry which the Whites have tended to have the better of. With a crowd in the region of 29,000 expected and a decent away following from Burnley too, it should be a good game, and with the chance of winning early and gaining momentum for the next few games could be crucial, particularly with Cellino’s reputation for ‘manager-eating’. Cellino seems to have mellowed slightly this summer, though that is probably due to his absence and the presence of Executive Director Adam Pearson, either way it can only be good for the future of the club, and with Cook, Byram, Taylor and Mowatt all featuring in the side once again, things are looking positive. Burnley are slight favourites in the betting market, but home advantage and a competitive side should even out the odds, and a good atmosphere could boost our chances.

By Calum Archibald (@CalumArchie



  • Tare

    It will be great Saturday 8.8.2015 a race for the title begins. I have no qualms here v anyone but I have been supporting the whites for some time and will stick to my view. Reasoning is very simple we have a professional business structure, coaching management, positive club history, excellent 1st team roster inherited from last season, quiet owner. Good recruits from the market without destabilizing the current crop of players.

    Tare

  • chris

    whatever Leeds do tomorrow,it won’t tell us either way about
    their coming season .Unless they perform so well and win by about 2 goal
    margin,in which case,it will confirm my Prediction..

    if they lose,we should not be discouraged..but you can count
    on the fact that many will say,Leeds are not up for it, or won’t be able to
    finish top 6,there’s the proof they will say….well that wrong!

    but anyway, here’s my prediction.

    firstly,we will know after about 6 games if Leeds can
    challenge or not..if they are top 6 after the first 6 games,they will be in a
    good position to challenge this season. if they are near the bottom,then there
    will be reasons for concern but not to panic even if.but if Leeds Lose 4 of
    their first opening 6 games,we can perhaps say forget the top 6 spot. Leeds will
    have to get about 10 Point in their opening 6 games to be real Contenders. 3
    wins,one draw,and two defeat will just about be acceptable. (but as long they do
    not lose their next couple of Matches,otherwise,it will not look so
    promising) . ..or 2 wins and 4 draws will just about be enough. but let avoid
    too many Draws please…

    if Leeds lose 4 of their first opening 6 games,it a bad
    sign to a bad season. that the time they will start to panic.but I don’t believe
    this will happen.

    I think Leeds will win 3,draw 2 and lose 1 of their
    first 6 games. 11 Point from a possible 18..that will leaves
    them in a comfortable Position in about 7th or 8th place..

    if Leeds beat Burnley Tomorrow,it could set them up for 4
    wins from 6

    ————————————————–

    at least 4 teams will Win 4 to 5 of their opening 6.. let
    hope Leeds is one of them..you can bet also that one team will win 5 from 6…
    it doesn’t mean that this team will Necessarily be the Top Finisher. BUT IT DOES
    MEAN THIS, THAT TEAM WILL END UP TOP 6.

    Leeds will be a much more Attacking side this season,so they
    will also concede some goals as a result. but they will Score more goal than
    concede because ,they offense is the best form of Defense.in some games,their
    plans will backfire because sometimes this will leave us open and if we do not
    score enough,we could lose games we shouldn’t lose. ..but we hope to win more
    than we lose..

    so here goes:

    providing Leeds get away with not having too many Injuries
    this season,they can make a strong challenge for the top 2.,or at least top
    6..but to do this,they will need to add another 3 to 4 players.. two More
    midfielder’s. they are blessed with Byram able to play in defense and also on
    the right side as a Forward midfielder.

    but this is what they need to do if they are going to
    challenge , they must buy another Forward striker as another Extra cover,two
    Midfielder’s. one defensive,one creative Playmaker who can also play on the
    right side wing. . and at least one Strong center back.

    Doukara isn’t going to score more than 7 goals as a striker,he
    should be used on the left side as a Cover for Dallas.

    Mowatt will score more goals because this season,he will play
    a more advanced forward role .I Predict that he will score up to 14 goals this
    season provided he will stay fit and not have any major Injury. . not as an
    extra striker though ,but will play as an Attacking Midfielder. but we still
    need another two Midfielder’s as cover for Mowatt and Cook and Adeymi
    respectively ..Adeyami is going to play a key role this season,that my
    prediction,but if he get injured,we need another cover. though Cook plays in
    that similar role,he is still young..so to sum up, 1 Central Defender,1
    Defensive Midfielder. 1 Playmaker,and One Striker.

    finally,we have Dawson and Phillips also,but I cannot say if
    they are ready to play as Cover..Sloth for me isn’t going to be good enough,But
    Murphy i think can be good enough. but he seems to go off form too easily. but
    who knows,i hope im proven wrong about that..perhaps Rosler can get the best out
    of him. if so,he will impress many Leeds fans this season. as for
    Bianchi,well,I think in patches he is excellent…but he’s not Consist enough
    .But will be an useful cover.

    We have a good quality Squad as it is,but lacking about 4 more
    players.

    we have not the biggest squad,but we have quality players in
    most areas..and it not all about numbers..but better to have 18 top Players,than
    25 not so good. and too many changes breaks consistency.

    • Tare

      Chris you are looking this issue at all angles for sure. Personally I do put any terms and conditions chapter here more likely I will point out that our destiny is not in EPL that is in UCL. Anyone who has worked in International Corporation in Business knows that if you stay put you are lost for the cause.

      You must have higher objectives in the business in order to keep the staff in good shape for the growth in the future.

      Tare

      • chris

        not with you Tare?

        • Tare

          You never know but my friendly advice is that lesser is better. Keep the focus and isolate the issue you are writing e.g. LUFC-10 first games analysis and possible outcome….

          Tare

          • chris

            ah,yes,,Rosler has just announced that he is looking at the first 7 games to be sort of a test to see where things are at that time before making any prediction…I said 6 games earlier but it the same sort of thing except i said first 6 days.what i said must have had some sense…Interesting! thanks

      • chris

        i miss your point,you write in riddles lol..what your point about my Post?

        • Tare

          Keep on fighting for the LUFC Chris, no grads anymore. Tare

  • Chareose

    Looking at Burnleys line up, its got to be one of the strongest sides in the Championship……… they are certainly not the faded, relegated premiership team that people were describing them as a few weeks ago. Id say on paper they are up there with Derby and Boro
    That said we have an advantage already because the media and also Dyche himself as effectively written Leeds off and assumed it will be a hard fought 3 points…….. Rossler needs to paint this picture to our squad to ease their nerves……… you are the under dogs boys, so go and surprise them and the stupid London based media
    Cant wait……….counting every minute till tomorrows game

    • Tare

      Chareose one can look for numbers against you but I have to disagree. Bigger the opposition harder they fall. This World’s burnleys, hull’s, dogbotherers, etc…. they have always a Cup game with us. TBH I do not mind of them at all. My concern is totally LUFC nothing less nothing more.

      Tare

    • spellz

      I think the win over Burnley is more than plausible, if you look at general opening day stats and Burnleys extremely poor form before relegation I would easily agree with the statements “people” described them as, I think the major boost for Burnley which will stand them in good stead for the season is Dyche, who in my opinion is an excellent manager.

      Having said that on paper I think we are easily are one of the teams in the Championship with incredible depth to our team, just need one more wide player as back up who can play both flanks and one more experienced head in the ranks and we will be up there for me.

      Some of the more important points from bbc pre-game analysis to consider.

      MATCH FACTS

      Leeds have won five of their last six home matches against the Clarets, though they lost the last meeting at Elland Road.

      There has not been a draw between these two sides in their last 18 meetings (five wins for Burnley).

      Burnley have not scored more than one goal in any of their last 14 league matches, failing to score on nine occasions.

      Leeds have lost only once on the last 16 occasions they’ve opened the season at home (W11 D4) – 2-1 v Derby in 2010-11.

      Roll on the opening day, I got us to win 2/1 at home, the bookies are giving away money.

  • spellz

    We have to believe people!!!!! Strong start, strong finish. Leeds 2 v Burnley 0.

  • PMH

    Predicting results here is like a maiden fillies race in early season. Neither of these two teams have really played serious football yet Anything could happen and that is what is good and frustrating about the Championship. Win or lose, Leeds fans should not get overexcited or desperate with the result. It is just one match. .

    • spellz

      We are strong at home on opening days, so you do have to remain positive though. Not so much over excited or desperate just fact based.
      We are generally strong on the first game but if we get the result, we need to start as we mean to go on.

      • PMH

        A win is always good. But, a few early season wins does not herald the second coming. I would be concerned about expectations going too high and then panic when the inevitable run of losses occurs. Steady as she goes!