2018-19 Championship preview: Leeds United

NEWSATDEN looks at all of Millwall's 23 opponents ahead of the 2018-19 Championship season.

Next up, Lucas Ball casts an eye over an intriguing project at Leeds United.

Name: Leeds United

Nickname: The Whites

Manager: Marcelo Bielsa

Stadium: Elland Road [37,890]

Postcode: LS11 0ES

Club website: www.leedsunited.com

Nearest train station: Leeds or Cottingley

Match-day directions: footballgroundguide.com

Promotion odds (Sky Bet): 7/2

Last meeting: Sky Bet Championship – Leeds 3-4 Millwall [Pierre-Michel Lasogga 46', 62', Kemar Roofe 55'; Aiden O'Brien 18', Lee Gregory 42', Tom Elliott 87', Jed Wallace 92']; January 20, 2018

Last season: 13th in Sky Bet Championship

Goals for: 59

Goals against: 64

Top league goal scorer: Kemar Roofe (11)

First-team 2018-19 transfers

Ins: Lewis Baker; Jamal Blackman [both on loan from Chelsea]

Outs: Paudie O'Connor [loan to Blackpool]; Pawel Cibicki [loan to Molde]; Tyler Denton [loan to Peterborough]; Felix Wiedwald [undisclosed to Frankfurt]; Jay-Roy Grot [loan to VVV-Venlo]; Marcus Antonsson [undisclosed to Malmo]; Madger Gomes [undisclosed to Sochaux]; Andy Lonergan [released]

After self-destructing last season – they were top and unbeaten when they came to The Den last September before losing 1-0 – Leeds will be hoping for less of a capitulation after they face the Lions almost a year to the day in south London this season.

Many pundits were saying that the Whites already looked destined for promotion when they rocked up to South Bermondsey on September 16, before they lost to a rampant side for whom Aiden O'Brien scored the winner in a superb Den atmosphere.

With the appointment of Marcelo Bielsa – who is expected to take Leeds to far greater heights this season than first Thomas Christiansen and then Paul Heckingbottom could manage last campaign – the Yorkshire side's fans will be anticipating a proper promotion challenge if not a top-two challenge.

But Bielsa has had a chequered career and given he left Lazio after two days in the job and then Lille after a few months – his last two posts prior to Leeds – you couldn't guarantee he will still be in charge of the Yorkshire side by the time they visit Millwall in the second month of the season.

Leeds have signed just two players so far, both on loan, with fans a little concerned at the lack of transfer activity. Lewis Baker and Jamal Blackman are very good players, but they aren't enough to improve last season's relatively average squad from mid-table hopefuls to genuine promotion contenders.

Already, a number of Leeds' games have been selected for TV coverage, which is no surprise given they are now managed by one of the most fascinating people in the game whose sides play a unique brand of football.

Prediction: Mid-table

After a huge disappointment last season, this year is unlikely to be any different unless some signings are made swiftly before the transfer deadline on August 31.

Bielsa's famous 3-3-1-3 system, if he chooses to use it, requires very specific players in certain roles and extremely high levels of fitness, meaning Leeds must add to their squad.

This could be one of the most unpredictable seasons in their history.

This season's fixtures: 

Millwall vs Leeds – Saturday 15 September, 2018 [Kick-off: 3pm]

Leeds vs Millwall – Saturday 30 March, 2019 [Kick-off: 3pm]

Image: Millwall FC