The opening EFL weekend ends with last season’s 7th place finishers, Leeds United travelling to newly promoted Bolton Wanderers.
Will Bolton be celebrating their return in style or will Leeds be white trotting all over their euphoria?
Bolton are currently under a transfer embargo meaning that their squad is quite small. They however have Sammy Ameobi, Adam le Fondre and Gary Madine available for this match.
Leeds are expected to name a side similar to last season’s starting eleven. There could however be starts for Felix Wiedwald, Matthew Pennington, Ezgjan Alioski, Samuel Siez and Mateusz Klich.
Centre back, Pontus Jansson is however suspended for the Whites’ opening two games.
Championship experience matter?
This match will be a tough test for the managers as well as players.
Phil Parkinson hasn’t managed a second tier team since 2009 and a lot has changed since he was last in in the Championship. Bolton however have only been away for one season so could this prove pivotal in getting their season off to a bright start?
Leeds however are under new management for the seventh consecutive season. Denmark’s Thomas Christiansen is the latest man at the helm and faces a stern early test, having never experienced English football before.
One bonus advantage for Christiansen is that the vast majority of Leeds’ squad have been retained with extra reinforcements to boost.
Throw in his excellent managerial record at AEK Athens and APOEL FC of circa 60%, fans will be expecting that to not affect how they perform here.
The Trotters have won just one of their last opening day matches but the Macron Stadium is a hard place to visit. Leeds however haven’t won their last 12 away matches to be held on a Sunday.
For those reasons, I expect this match to be very open with both teams having chances to get a winner. A draw wouldn’t be a surprise but I expect Chris Wood to produce something magical that seals the match for Leeds.
Prediction: Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Leeds United
Result: Bolton Wanderers 2-3 Leeds United