FOOTBALL LEAGUE expert Ben Levene (@benlevene96) shares his views on Sunday afternoon’s televised clash between Leeds United and Stoke City.
Leeds United v Stoke City | Sunday 5th August 2018, 16:30 | Sky Sports
The infamous Marcelo Bielsa takes to English football this weekend. The Argentine is currently the oldest manager in the Football League, but you wouldn’t guess that when watching one of his sides. Bielsa demands an aggressive, intense, style of play.
However, the managerial mentor won’t find life easy against the pragmatic Gary Rowett who aims to open his Stoke City account this Sunday.
The 44-year-old has quickly become one of the second-tier’s most highly-rated managers. A phenomenal job at Burton was followed by great overachievement at Birmingham. Last season Rowett led Derby to play-off heartache, and this time around he finds himself in the hot-seat at the Bet365.
Stoke chairman Peter Coates is notorious for putting his trust in managers, and that’s duly been the case since the Bromsgrove-born-boss took charge.
The Potters have added the likes of Tom Ince, Benik Afobe, James McClean and most recently Ashley Williams this summer. Arguably just as importantly, key-cogs Joe Allen, Ryan Shawcross, and Jack Butland remain fixed.
Stoke are deemed the divisions most likely victors come May, and they can begin their quest in style this Sunday.
Biesla will no doubt have tortured his troops this summer but implementing his style of play may take time.
Barry Douglas, Jack Harrison, and Patrick Bamford all improve the squad but are yet to feature in a game for the Whites.
It can be argued Stoke are more prepared to cross the white-line on Sunday.
The Potters will be content to soak up pressure and in the 25 degree Elland Road heat we can back them with the draw on side at 97/100 Marathon. They will be difficult to beat.
Leeds v Stoke – Stoke draw no bet (97/100 Marathon)