Can Bielsa’s boys go all the way this season? Mark August 20, 2018 Leeds United 1 Comment The question on the lips of every Leeds fan as we head into the 2018-19 Championship season is whether this could be the year that sees the team finally making it back into the Premier League. The early signs are positive with three very strong victories as well as the real shot in the arm that the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa has given the team. So the signs are all there that we really could start daring to dream, although there are sure to be ups and downs along the way. In terms of the squad surely the most notable signing of the summer has been Patrick Bamford for a figure believed to be £7 million rising to £10 million dependent on results. This makes him the most expensive signing since Robbie Fowler 17 long years ago. He went on to score 12 goals in the season, helping Leeds to a qualifying place in the then UEFA Cup and, although that’s definitely not a possibility that’s on the table this season, hopes are high that he’ll have a similarly dynamic effect on the team. Another player who’s going to be key in Leeds’ title hopes is Bailey Peacock-Farell. The young Northern Ireland international has become the first choice keeper from almost nowhere having made his debut back in March against Wolves. While he’ll be responsible for keeping the ball out of the net there are a couple of players who promise to be regularly slotting it home – and they’ve already got off to a flyer with a total of five goals between them from the first three games against Stoke, Derby and Rotherham. Mateusz Kilch may be a midfielder at heart but has already shown his skills as a deep-lying playmaker and Kemar Roofe is even more versatile. He seems completely at home whether playing on the wing, as a striker or even an attacking midfielder. This, naturally, makes them both the perfect exponents of Bielsa’s distinctly idiosyncratic strategic vision. Using his now famous rotation system opponents can be forgiven for not being able to tell who’s playing in which position with midfielders playing like strikers and strikers hanging back almost in defence. It’s a system that has seen Atletico Bilbao under his leadership knock a very strong Manchester United side out of the Europa League in 2012 but whether it translates to the Championship remains to be seen. It could well be that, once opponents have seen the system in action against other teams, they may be able to adapt a more rigid and disciplined approach to overcome it. There’s also no doubt that there are a number of other teams who will be determined to press their own case for promotion. Because while according to 888 Championship betting, Leeds look to be a good bet at around 5/1 to win the Championship and 9/4 to be promoted, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Stoke and Nottingham Forest aren’t very far behind – although the 3-1 season opener against Stoke may give some indication of the way things are going to go. But it’s a long season and unexpected setbacks like injuries to key players are certain to occur. So hopes may be high but it’s far too early to be counting any chickens or even for betting fans to put all their eggs in one basket, however loyal they may be to Leeds!