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EFL Championship 2019/20: Leeds United - set piece analysis - tactical analysis tactics

Premier League 2020/21: Can Leeds and West Brom compete in the top division following promotion?

Leeds United and West Brom secured promotion from the English Championship to the Premier League last season after the season restarted in June following the coronavirus enforced lockdown. The two teams enjoyed the glory of finishing first and second in the second tier but now must move quickly if they are to properly prepare for life in the big league.

A quick turnaround will see teams at every level dust themselves down and prepare for the kick-off of the 2020/21 campaign in September. That late start means organisers have been forced to cram fixtures in which ensures a hectic schedule in the months to come. It’s a demanding time for players but one they must rise to. This is an unforgiving sport and there will be no sympathy for tired legs in the most famous football league on the planet.

Our pundits make use of various tools to help with their analysis such as a bet calculator and odds comparison services.

Leeds finished as worthy winners

Leeds United finished last season as winners of the Championship with their stats for the season reading 28 wins and nine draws against nine defeats. They scored 77 goals and conceded 35 at the other end. The 93 points tally handed in at the end means Leeds finished 10 better than runners up West Brom and a dozen points safely inside the automatic promotion places.

The winners sped across the finishing line and recorded some of the best form in European football in the closing stages. Five wins in their last five games and 15 points from a possible 15 helped cement their place in the Premier League and ensure they went up as champions.

Doing so sends out a strong message of intent to teams in the higher division. Those who struggled to steer clear of relegation this summer know they have another ambitious opponent to deal with this season, one more than happy to roll up their sleeves and jump into the fight.

West Brom stumble across the line

West Brom meanwhile returned from lockdown with a strong chance of winning the league and being competitive in the title race, swapping places with Leeds United shortly after the re-start. The Baggies boast recent Premier League experience so knew exactly what was required of them, but they lacked the consistency of champions and as the fixtures came thick and fast the players struggled to keep up, seeing their challenge die out.

Not only did West Brom fail to trouble Leeds on the run in, they almost missed their chance at automatic promotion, coming extremely close to buckling under the pressure heaped on by Brentford in third. The London Bees finished strong and went into the final round within touching distance of second but failed to see it out. West Brom didn’t win any of their last four league games but scraped into second by two points after Brentford finished on two defeats.

Followers of the Baggies know just how lucky the team was but that’s all in the past for them now. West Brom and their support are back in the big time when the slate is wiped clean. It doesn’t matter how a team goes up; it’s how they perform once they are up that matters.

Relegation betting

How will Leeds United fare in the Premier League. This is a massive achievement for the club, but they can’t afford to waste it by being shy in the transfer market and sticking with last season’s squad. Leeds went up on merit but there’s a huge gap between the top of the Championship and the bottom of the Premier League.

The current Premier League relegation betting suggests Leeds fans have nothing to worry about with bet365 offering 7/2 on them being relegated next year. That quote means the bookies believe there are six teams who are more likely to go down. If the final league standings of next season are even close to the traders’ predictions, then Leeds United fans will have plenty to shout about.

Those loyal to the West Brom cause shouldn’t be as lucky and they are favourites in the betting to go straight back down again. Bet365 are offering 11/10 on that being the case, which is market best price, overshadowing the even money trading at most other sites. Crystal Palace are next in line at 5/2 with Aston Villa judged an 11/4 play.