This new season promises to be another rollercoaster ride for Leeds United fans after coming so close to securing promotion in the 2018-19 season under former Marseille boss, Marcelo Bielsa. After losing several first-team players and bringing in a handful of new additions, there is still reason to believe that Leeds have more than enough within their ranks to be able to compete once again.

Now with 12 months of experience in English football under his belt, Marcelo Bielsa is better prepared to ensure that Leeds secure promotion at the second time of asking. As a result of that, we’re going to consider how likely promotion is, along with also looking at how the new signings could impact the upcoming season.

A New Season Filled with Fresh Hope

“Elland Road stadium” (CC BY 2.0) by stillunusual

After finishing third in the league behind both Norwich City and Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds looked to be the favourites to reach the Premier League through the play-offs after finishing three points above fourth-placed West Bromwich Albion. However, despite winning the first leg against Derby County through a Kemar Roofe goal, the Whites would later lose the second leg 4-2 and find themselves battling it out in the Championship for another season.

Despite that though, Leeds supporters have been full of optimism ahead of the new season, with most of them believing that this could be the year where they reclaim their spot in the Premier League during Bielsa’s second season in English football. Leeds are 3/1 to win the league according to Championship betting, and thanks to goals from Pablo Hernandez, Patrick Bamford and Jack Harrison, the Whites got off to a flawless start in the new campaign after emphatically beating Bristol City 3-1.

New Signings

The 1991-92 English First Division champions sold Pontus Jansson to Brentford and have sold Kemar Roofe amidst interest from Vincent Kompany’s Anderlecht. Leeds have also done some sensible business, which is one of the reasons for them being considered as favourites this season. Bielsa has managed to secure the loan signings of Ben White, Helder Costa and Jack Clarke ahead of the new season, along with also bringing in Liam McCarron from Carlisle United.

After signing for Tottenham Hotspur on a permanent deal earlier in the window, Leeds were able to get Clarke back on loan for the duration of the season to provide extra attacking depth. Additionally, Costa, who made 30 appearances in all competitions for Wolves last season, could provide that much-needed spark in attack. In his previous 71 Championship matches, the Portuguese winger has scored 15 goals and provided 14 assists which, along with potentially firing Leeds to promotion, could help in getting the best out of Patrick Bamford.

An Intense Season is in Store

With the Leeds starting side potentially looking much changed from last season, Bielsa may have to adapt his style to give Leeds the best chance of success during the new season. As is always the case with new additions, it will take time for them to fully settle and learn the philosophies of both the manager and the club. Although, if the victory over Bristol City is anything to go by, then the current Leeds squad have more than enough to enjoy a successful year in what is a very intense league.

Norwich City grabbed promotion to the Premier League for the third time in a decade this season, very much asserting themselves as a yo-yo club in the process.
Norwich, who enjoyed their best ever finish in the top flight during the first year of the Premier League, surprisingly won the Championship despite not being tipped at the beginning of the season.

Manager Daniel Farke has built a robust side, slick on the ball but effective without it. Having lost James Maddison last summer, it was widely believed they’d struggle to become a force in the Championship, but stormed to the title clinching it on the final day.

Daniel Farke – By ZakNelson1995 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The fact they beat Aston Villa, the division’s form side, on the final day will give them some hope of being amongst the favourites to simply avoid the drop in next season’s Premier League betting.

There’s no reason why they should be immediately relegated. This year two of the promoted sides came straight back down, along with Huddersfield who went up two years ago, but Wolves have established themselves as a top ten side. They’ve had money to spend, but Farke will hope to stay up with know-how.
Norwich are no strangers to the level and in Farke they have the ‘new breed’ of German manager looking to influence the English game. David Wagner got Huddersfield promoted, Daniel Stendel has impressed at Barnsley and in Farke, Norwich have a new saviour.

His signings have been excellent, low key but effective. Tim Trybull has been the beating heart of the side, whilst former Celtic striker Teemu Pukki defied all expectation to finish as the division’s leading scorer. Pukki struggled in the SPFL with the Hoops and wasn’t seen as a big signing when he arrived in the summer, but he’s kept former £10m man Jordan Rhodes out of the limelight.

Teemu Pukki – By Вячеслав Евдокимов – fc-zenit.ru, CC BY-SA 3.0

The ability to bring through real talent has also helped at Carrow Road. Whilst the Murphy twins moved on to pastures new and Maddison soon followed, their remaining youngsters have been incredible. Max Aarons, in his first full season as a first team player, has really caught the eye. Ben Godfrey, on loan with Shrewsbury last season, is already a target for big clubs this summer.

There’s a big jump from the second tier to the top flight and perhaps an insistence on sticking with the same philosophy might come back to haunt them. There are no prizes for playing good football and Watford have proven being tough to beat is a viable route to establishing yourselves, but that’s not Daniel Farke’s way.

If they’re going to become a Premier League club for longer than three seasons, their current record run, then they’ll need a plan B. They’ll need a more defensive approach at times.

However, if they turn on the Norwich style against teams outside the big six, then there’s every chance that they might be significantly better than Wagner’s Huddersfield and become a top ten side.

They’ve got the players, the momentum and the manager. All they need now is savvy tactics and a flexible approach and they could well break their twenty years cycle of flitting between the two divisions.

Crystal Palace cooly marched into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a very professional performance at the Keepmoat Stadium as Doncaster saw their dream of reaching the last eight for the time first time in their history denied. It never looked for one moment as though South Yorkshire would be the venue for an FA Cup giant-killing, with Roy Hodgson’s men bossing proceedings from the first whistle.

In actual fact, Palace look like a team prioritising the FA Cup despite Roy Hodgson saying the Premier League is still their main concern this season. A look at the Premier League table shows the Eagles in 13th with 27 points, but only three points from safety and higher than 18th-placed Southampton, on 24 points.

That is far too close for comfort and at any stage, Palace could be swept up in the backwash of a few bad results and drawn back into the scrap for Premier League survival. This could especially be the case if say, Palace took their eye off the ball and had the distraction of an FA quarter-final looming enticingly over them.

There could only be one team in the top four in the draw for the last eight with two Championship clubs also making up the mix. If ever the opportunity presented itself to win an FA Cup it is now and Palace have the squad to make it to Wembley.

The question is, can the Eagles successfully balance survival and the FA Cup? When Wigan beat Man City in the FA Cup final in 2013, they ended up being relegated after throwing their weight behind the cup competition. Had Roberto Martinez’ troops played as they did against Mancini’s Man City for the entire season they would have finished in the top half.

With that in mind, there can’t really be any comparisons of the strength of the Wigan side of 2013 and Palace’s team now. The Eagles have a stronger squad and are led by match winners like Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend. Townsend, in particular, has come on leaps and bounds this season and there’s every reason to believe that Gareth Southgate will call him up to help England win the UEFA Nations League. The Three Lions are at 7/4 in international football betting to win and should they do so, it may be Townsend’s second trophy of the season.

Would Andros Townsend take winning the FA Cup and UEFA Nations League at the expense of relegation to the Championship? Palace will need to tread carefully and not become totally blinded by the bright lights of Wembley.

In the blink of an eye, the clubs languishing at the bottom of the Premier League table can surge up the league and cause mass panic above as clubs that thought they were out of any danger hit the implode button. Based on last season’s table, three wins would secure Palace their top-flight safety but then again, three FA Cup wins would win them the world’s oldest cup competition. We will soon see what the Eagles want more as they circle around two very different rewards.

Source: Arsenal FC via Twitter
After a slow start to the season Arsenal are hitting their stride to announce their arrival in the Premier League title race, sitting just two points off the pace of the leading three teams. Unai Emery was handed a tough opening fortnight to his reign, facing the reigning champions Manchester City and then on the road to Chelsea. Both matches ended in defeats, although their loss at Stamford Bridge was a fascinating contest that could have gone either way. Since then the Gunners have reeled off six wins on the bounce, making up the lost ground on their rivals at the top of the table.

Emery’s men were not considered one of the leading contenders for the Premier League crown given their struggles under Arsene Wenger last term. However, there is optimism that the club have found their stride with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang providing a potent goal threat in the final third. Arsenal are backed in the latest Premier League betting odds at 40/1 to win the crown, which is good value, although the Gunners are yet to prove their calibre against the elite teams in the division.

The opening match of the season was Groundhog Day for Arsenal fans as their side were outplayed by a rival. Manchester City’s passing was slick, cutting the hosts open with relative ease, while the Gunners struggled to make headway themselves as Pep Guardiola’s men secured a comfortable 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium. A similar story unfolded in the opening 20 minutes of their clash away against Chelsea as Pedro and Alvaro Morata put the Blues into an early lead. Emery’s men issued a strong response to level the scores before half-time through Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi. Arsenal were unable to hold out for a draw with Marcos Alonso netting a late winner. Despite the defeat there were positives to take from the contest that would help the team develop over the next six weeks.

Source: Mail Sport via Twitter

After falling behind early to West Ham, Emery’s side bounced back into form to secure their first win of the campaign with a 3-1 triumph. Their next game against Cardiff on the road was a back-and-forth affair, but the Gunners produced the quality when they needed it to emerge with the three points courtesy of a fine goal from Lacazette. Following those victories, Arsenal began to find their form with straightforward wins over Newcastle, Everton and Watford. The strongest signal yet that the Gunners are working their way back into contention was their dismantling of Fulham at Craven Cottage. They should have been well clear of the Cottagers at half-time after Lacazette put his team ahead, only for Andre Schurrle to equalise before the interval.

Arsenal teams of the past may have cracked under the same pressure, but Emery’s men took control and played outstanding football to put Fulham to the sword, displaying ruthless efficiency in the final third. There are promising signs that the Gunners are working their way back towards being serious contenders for the Premier League title. They’ve shown resolve to bounce back and have the firepower to match their rivals at the top. Their back four remains a concern and that could be the main difference between them and sides of City, Liverpool and Chelsea’s ilk come the end of the term.

Overall, the 2017/18 campaign was a disappointment for Manchester United, who struggled to challenge their rivals for the season’s major honours. 

Jose Mourinho’s side had to sit back and watch Manchester City win the Premier League emphatically, with their city rivals smashing a number of records along the way. In Europe too, Man United had to sit back and watch Liverpool reach the Champions League final, and although the Reds weren’t victorious, they lit up the competition with their attractive style of attacking football. 

The Red Devils struggled to do what Liverpool did, with their style slated by many and Mourinho mocked for his negative style of football. Work is already underway at Old Trafford as they prepare for the new season, with Fred one player already signed ahead of next season. 

Another deal has been secured, with Marouane Fellaini committing his future to the club by signing a new two-year deal, which also has the option of a third. It’s safe to say that the Belgian’s decision to sign on again has divided Man United’s fanbase, and there is certainly a case for both sides of that argument. 

 

Currently, Man City remain overwhelming favourites to win the Premier League next season, with Pep Guardiola’s side priced at 4/7 with bet365’s Premier League betting market, whilst even Liverpool are shorter odds than Mourinho’s side at this stage of the summer. 

Of course, Fellaini committing to the Red Devils isn’t going to be something that swings the title race back in Man United’s favour, but he could be a useful weapon to have on board as Mourinho tries to topple Guardiola. 
Mourinho has refused to change his style despite City’s dominance, with Man United a very physical side – Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic are just a number of the powerful players favoured at Old Trafford. It is probably too late, with too much money spent, for Mourinho to overhaul his squad and style. If his side are to topple City, they will have to do it their own way. 

Fellaini has been key to that style, with his performances at the World Cup 2018 further highlighting how dangerous he can be. Like at Old Trafford, the 30-year-old midfielder isn’t a guaranteed starter, but he can offer so much. 

 

In Belgium’s 1-0 victory over England at the Group Stage, he was a constant threat to Gareth Southgate’s side, with his aerial strength and sheer awkwardness causing problems. 

That type of performance is what Fellaini is renowned for, particularly from during his days at Everton. 
Of course, playing to his strengths will help Man United, but it isn’t likely to be well received. However, it is certainly a different way Mourinho can try to overhaul City and their other rivals. 

There has been an edge at Old Trafford since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, with Mourinho, David Moyes and Louis van Gaal unable to lead Manchester United to a Premier League trophy. 

That unsettled environment has shone through with the announcement of Fellaini’s new deal. For now, supporters are going to have to trust Mourinho’s judgement and take the positives from what we’ve seen from Fellaini in Russia. 

Betting truly is appealing, and let’s not argue – it can have its positive effects on people. It may sound as a bit of a stretch but some find themselves to be thinking more analytically, performing better under pressure and being braver in their everyday lives. However, it’s time we discussed the negatives this favoured pastime bears.

Number one in our list is the financial strain this can pull on one’s budget. Betting on sports looks and is easy, but being good at it takes skill and knowledge. Those who occasionally try out their luck, or those daily bettors who never took the time to educate themselves on the different aspects of betting they should be aware of usually lose, rather than win money. While it’s never pleasant to waste cash and get nothing in return, it certainly is worse when not only you rely on this money.

Here comes our next point, which is the strain this can pull on your family and relationships. It’s no secret that gambling is looked down upon (more about that at Goalserve – Realtime football data api provider.). More often than not it’s perceived as a vice and as something people need to let go of. No matter the reasoning, rarely people are supportive of such a habit. This is especially valid when it directly affects them in one way or another. If the family budget goes down the drain, it won’t end up well for sure. Bettors often feel like they should keep their sports betting activities secret, because they don’t want to step up into confrontation with their loved ones.

We want to finish on a positive note, though. Remember that it’s not wrong, nor it indicates weakness in character to bet. It can be relaxing, it may win you some extra cash and generally – there’s no harm in trying. The only thing you should look out for is to not let it take over your everyday life. If you notice, it’s having more of a damaging, than a beneficial effect on you, reconsider your actions and stop doing it. It’s never too late to take control over your life.

There’s different speculations about how this oh so favourite pastime for many appeared and when exactly. Traces can be followed as back as to Roman times, where it was forbidden to gamble, but knowing human nature it’s not too difficult to imagine that many closed their eyes to this rule. It’s actually known that Emperor Augustus himself was fond of the games of chance.

Perhaps we can only guess when all of this came to be. Was it brought with the start of the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece? This sure sounds plausible, doesn’t it? We know that law appeared simultaneously with the foundation of the first countries, so it makes sense that these two would be connected, too.

However, the meaning and form of sports betting that we know today developed much later than that. Many point the event of pedestrianism that took place in 19 century England as the root of modern betting. This so-called sport quickly appealed to gamblers and the rest is history. This practice had its opponents, of course, just as it does today – an actual association (Amateur Athletic Association) was created to ward off its corruption.

This European event soon spread to the United States. Its decline was expected, and the fact that it was replaced came as a surprise to no one. Bettors turned to the new and exciting sport of baseball. It kept its high ground until the 1920s when other sports came to the attention of the public. This period is often referred to as the Golden age of sports.

It goes without saying that unlawful practices have been transforming the image of sports betting since forever. However, counteractions have been implemented, too. Those found guilty of corrupting betting are being punished for their deeds.

Today, sports betting takes a very substantial place in the world of gambling and it will surely do so for many years ahead!

In the last couple of years online betting has become the go-to option for bettors – it’s easily accessible and convenient. You can even follow all matches live on sites like Livescore.in. However, we should not forget that placing bets at your local sportsbook has its upsides. Today we’ll remind you of the reasons why you should pay you favourite bookmaker a visit.

Personal contact, friendships, even acquaintances will always be a plus in your life. Networking is something you should always build on, and that goes for betting, too. Knowing your bookmaker for a while will result in him having favourable attitude towards you. You can take advantage of the totals for example – if the bookie needs more bets on the under for example, you can negotiate going around the 11-to-10 rule so that you can bet whatever amount you want.

Another benefit of your local bookmaker knowing you well enough is him giving you better odds. Sooner or later, he’ll remember your point spreads all too well. In this day and age of digitalization, bookmakers fight for every single customer they can get. Therefore, it will be of mutual interest that he presents you numbers that you’ll like better than those online.

Of course, the scale of the bookie’s generosity differs – on his general character, whether his business is successful or not, on the time you two have known each other. The longer you’ve used his services, the more benevolent he’ll be.

Naturally, some people are sceptical when it comes to relying on someone with their money – they fear they’ll be lied to or straight up mugged. That’s why you should make sure you’re dealing with a trusted bookie. If you have done so, but are still a little anxious simply ask them to repeat your bets after you’re done to feel more secure.

Hopefully you’ll consider all of this and try out going back to the roots of sports betting – even for a little while.