Next two games will show if Bielsa’s Leeds United are real deal

Patrick Bamford gets a shot in for Leeds United against Preston.
Patrick Bamford gets a shot in for Leeds United against Preston.

So far so good in the Sky Bet Championship, but the season really starts here for Leeds United.

With four wins and a draw from their first games in the Sky Bet Championship the Whites could hardly have wished for a better start. A tally of 14 goals and only four conceded tells its own tale – and the opponents have included several expected to challenge for promotion.

However, stiff tests now await either side of the first international break with the also unbeaten Middlesbrough providing the opposition at Elland Road on Friday night and then the usually daunting trip to Millwall following on Saturday, September 15.

Victories in both of these games and Leeds fans will certainly have every right to feel excited about the season ahead.

Early days maybe, but Friday’s game feels like a six-pointer already and can be accurately described as a top of the table clash with Middlesbrough also boasting the same 13 points from their first five league games as United.

Manager Tony Pulis may not have been lauded like Marcelo Bielsa, but he has quietly gone about the business of making Boro an ultra competitive side that has only conceded two goals so far this season.

Leeds can expect a more physical contest than they have faced so far so it will be interesting to see how they shape up to this challenge and whether they can impose their high pressing game on their visitors.

The United team of mostly fringe players struggled to impose themselves on a competitive, occasionally over the edge Preston side in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup tie at Elland Road and Bielsa met with his first disappointment in English football.

The 2-0 defeat will not ultimately have the head coach losing sleep, but it gave him food for thought and showed that maybe Leeds do not have the back-up players he was hoping they had.

It will be interesting to see whether with the first team back in place for Friday’s game whether the Bielsa way has been rumbled or whether the cup tie was just a forgivable blip with so many inexperienced players on show.

It will be played out in front of a massive game as despite it being a Friday night game more than 33,000 tickets had been sold by yesterday.