Fasten for a blood pressure boost. Revitalizing Leeds against the reigning champions is a great way to start a new Premier League season.
The points are in line ahead of the “L” Saturday, which begins the 2020/2021 season, along with, among other things, a London settlement earlier in the day.
One of the most interesting elements is what it means for such a history-heavy club as Leeds that a cruel desert trek is over.
In 2004, what had been a big team from the top division disappeared. 21 losses and only eight wins were the result on the embarrassing way down. But this was only the beginning of the nightmare. 16 years outside the good company has offered crises, cooking and chaos in Yorkshire.
If many among the Norwegian Leeds fans have not turned gray in their hair for natural reasons, it has been easy to become one out of sheer frustration.
But now life is smiling again, after what Leeds has achieved under one of football’s most prominent managers. Argentine Marcelo Bielsa will in itself be an attraction in the Premier League. The extreme systematist has inspired a shock of players who have become managers themselves, and Pep Guardiola is said to have described him as the best in the world. On a managerial trip with a double-digit number of employers, including two national teams, there has never been a lack of drama around Bielsa.
Until a few days ago, there was uncertainty about his contract situation in the newly promoted club. But now both Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds are on the long-awaited starting line.
There is another club waiting with a “slightly outside A4” boss at the helm, who is suddenly in a position where a league gold is to be defended. And although Liverpool is a clear title candidate this season as well, there are probably few who believe in a repeat of the parade march that was crowned with the unusually long-awaited gold. For that, the fiercest rivals look a little too exciting, where Manchester City are hungry for revenge and especially Chelsea have strengthened the stable significantly.
In the transfer market, Klopp has sat far quieter in the boat than the competitors, and mentally it is of course a transition to go from being a challenger to having a position to defend.
On paper, there should be a level difference between Liverpool and Leeds, and even without the usual move, the former also has the advantage of playing on their own turf. But there is always a banana peel danger against newly promoted teams, when the enthusiasm is at its peak and the top status is fresh, and something more glowing around a newcomer than is the case with Leeds in particular, it is difficult to find. Therefore, there is every reason to look forward wildly to the match on Saturday.
But no matter how much happens at Anfield, there will hardly be “pers” in entertainment value between the two clubs. In April 1991, there were no less than nine goals when Leeds and Liverpool met on Elland Road. It is not exactly everyday to score three goals at home, and then end up leaving the field with a loss, but that was the fate Lee Chapman suffered this spring evening almost 20 years ago. 4-5 was the result at that time.
Now “Wilkinson vs Moran” has been replaced by “Bielsa vs Klopp”, and it says a bit about the current managerial position that they are almost assigned a religious dimension.