Although Leeds United missed out on the Championship top-six last season after a late dip in form, 2016-17 was largely regarded as a positive campaign for the Elland Road club.

However, fast forward a couple of months and there have been major changes at the Yorkshire outfit.

Andrea Radrizzani has completed his takeover of the club, Leeds have said goodbye to Garry Monk and hello to Thomas Christiansen, while a host of new players have joined the Championship outfit.

The starting XI that takes to the pitch to face Bolton Wanderers on Sunday is expected to be significantly different to the one that finished last season, with reason for optimism at the Yorkshire side.

Despite missing out on the play-offs last season and Monk having since left the club, Leeds are one of the favourites with the bookmakers to be promoted to the Premier League in 2017-18.

Those looking to use a William Hill free bet – Bet £10 get £30 could well be tempted into a punt on Christiansen’s men to be promoted at odds of 6/1.

Much will depend on how the array of new faces settle in at the Championship club, but there is reason to believe the majority will be a success.

Matthew Pennington brings Premier League experience to Leeds at the back, while Vurnon Anita is a seasoned and versatile option in midfield.

A lot of the new signings in the final third are largely unknown in England, but high hopes remain that the likes of Samu Saiz, Caleb Ekuban and Ezgjan Alioski can make a telling difference.

Leeds will still rely on their attacking talisman Chris Wood to fire them towards English football’s elite, with the New Zealand international undoubtedly one of the Championship’s most-lethal marksmen.

The former Leicester City man finished top of the division’s scoring charts last season and is favoured at odds of 12/1 to replicate the feat in 2017-18.

Christiansen has a solid managerial record in Eastern Europe but just how that will relate to English football also remains to be seen.

The bookmakers seem unsure of just how the new manager will fare at Elland Road, with the relatively short odds of 18/1 for Leeds to be unexpectedly relegated in the upcoming campaign.

The most important thing for the Elland Road side this summer has been to add strength in depth to the squad – which has happened.

With Leeds also keeping hold of key men such as Wood, Ronaldo Vieira and Pontus Jansson, there is rightly optimism ahead of 2017-18 but the fans may need to be patient with their new manager and players initially.

  • Mick Dyson

    Seems forever since we saw a Championship game. Bring it on! I’m optimistic Alioski and Saiz will back up Wood to get the goals we need MOT!
    Ps. Come on Sacko use the speed to score not run into blind alleys.