Man Utd: The Red Devils prove to be clinical and ruthless against old rivals Leeds United

With the likes of Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur dropping points in their respective games in gameweek 14, it allows Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United to make full use out of this advantage should they beat rivals Leeds United. Marcelo Bielsa’s men have proven to be an exciting and thrilling team so far this season, as his side play with pure energy and incredible intensity.

Looking at the match as a whole, the visitors had unsurprisingly dominated 60% possession of the ball but had only went onto to create three big chances and complete three shots on target. On the other hand, the Red Devils proceeded forward with 26 shots, 14 shots on target and seven big chances being created, something that hasn’t happened at Old Trafford for a really long time.

Manchester United started the match off in quick fashion, catching the Leeds United midfield high up the pitch and scoring twice through Scott McTominay in the first few minutes of the games. The hosts continued to pile on the misery, with a well-taken goal from Bruno Fernandes in the penalty box and a headed attempt from Victor Lindelof in the 37th minute of the match. Even after being down by four goals, Leeds continued to attack and attack in their usual manner, which rewarded them with a late consolation goal by Liam Cooper just before the half-time break.

The second half consisted of the same intensity and creativity that was seen by both sides in the first half, however, a number of chances were missed by the two teams. Nevertheless, Daniel James scored the side’s fifth goal of the evening in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper, before Bruno Fernandes added another goal from the penalty spot at the 70th minute mark. The Whites were able to get a goal back through Stuart Dallas, but a comeback was impossible for Bielsa’s men.

Overall, with Manchester United thrashing Leeds United, it allows the team to move into third place and with a game in hand. Meanwhile, for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, they continue to remain in 14th place, seven points above the relegation zone and with a goal difference of minus six.

Here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league game…

Manchester United’s home form has finally been turned around

The Red Devils have had issues time and time again at Old Trafford this season, where they have conceded cheap goals, failed to control the match for majority of the game and had problems with not taking their chances. However, it looks like the side are starting to turn a new page with their home, as they managed to raise the bar of their energy, intensity and urgency on and off the ball.

Following the side’s huge victory over Leeds United, the team’s results at home in the league so far this season are as followed; two wins, two draws and three losses. In order for Solskjaer and his men to put forward a potential race for the league title, they will have to keep the consistency up in the energy levels, the performances and most importantly, the results at home, as they did so today.

Scott McTominay came to Old Trafford with his shooting boots on

With Kalvin Phillips expected to mark Bruno Fernandes very closely in the early moments of the game, the instructions looked quite clear from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, for both Fred and Scott McTominay to be high up the pitch to help the team attack effectively. On that note, the Scottish international made some good late runs into the penalty box, which was rewarded in full, as he went on to become the first player in Premier League history to score two goals in first three minutes.

When growing up as a teenager, McTominay used to play as a striker before he became a central midfielder, which should not been seen as a surprise as he took both of his goals with excellent composure. Along with his goals, he provided the much needed presence on both sides of the pitch, especially with the team proving to have a leaky defence and not enough numbers in the final third.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got it spot on with his setup and line-up selection

A lot of questions were raised by the Manchester United supporters on social media ahead of the match, in relation to Daniel James starting, Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba on the bench as well as what formation would be used against Leeds United. However, any doubts or overthinking of the manager’s setup and line-up selection were forgotten by the half-time break, as the Red Devils had a 4-1 lead over the Whites, leaving the visitors with absolutely no chance of making a comeback.

Along with having the setup and the line-up selection spot on, it does seem like Solskjaer’s pre-match talk with the team made a huge difference, as many individuals barring the English players in the first XI would not know about the rivalry between Manchester United and Leeds United. If the manager and the players can build on from this performance and result, it can allow the side to confidently finish in the top four positions, or even go on to putting on a potential title challenge.

Man Utd: Three key battles to look out for as the Red Devils take on old time rivals Leeds United

Going into gameweek 14, one of the key fixtures to look out for is Manchester United against Leeds United on Sunday evening, two teams who have constantly been at each other’s throats since 1926.

The match is expected to be filled with a number of goals, especially with Leeds playing a high line, which will be exposed by the creativity and burst of pace of Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford. On the other hand, Marcelo Bielsa’s style of play is proving to be dominant and ruthless, as his team will aim to run rings around Manchester United’s midfield and get in behind their full-backs.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping to turn the side’s home form around, as the Red Devils have only won one league game so far this season at Old Trafford, picking up five points out of a potential 15. And looking at the Whites’ results away from home, it is fairly balance, as they have won three games and lost three games, scoring on ten occasions whilst conceding 11 times in six games.

With no further ado, here are the three key battles to look out for ahead of the match…

Marcus Rashford vs Luke Ayling

With five goals and four assists to his name in 12 league appearances, Marcus Rashford will be aiming to improve on his consistency and efficiency in the final third as the neutrals and the Old Trafford faithful are expecting him to reach 20 league goals by the end of the season. Despite some poor and unconvincing moments, he has had in front of goal, the 23-year-old is starting to get back to his best, where he glides past players with pure ease and does not overthink his shots in the box.

Rashford will be in for an exciting and tight battle with Luke Ayling, who is Leeds’ main option in the right-back position and is a player that is not afraid to run up and down the flank, as he has completed the second most dribbles and fourth most key passes, when compared to his team-mates. Depending on how much possession Leeds go onto to dominate at Old Trafford on Sunday evening, Ayling has to keep close tabs on Rashford, as he can make an impact in a matter of seconds.

Jack Harrison vs Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Leeds have been able to attack and conquer through the likes of Helder Costa, Mateusz Klich, Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo, but it’s the key individual in Jack Harrison that has the team ticking from midfield to attack and he is someone that really gets the best out of the players inside the penalty box. The 24-year-old has an interesting background ahead of the game, as he has previously spent time in the youth academy at both Liverpool and Manchester United, seven years in the latter’s academy system, and is currently a Leeds United player on loan from parent club Manchester City.

Harrison will have to be closely marked and watched by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who has had great difficulties in kicking off to a good start this campaign and has had ongoing problems on both sides of the pitch. The former Crystal Palace defender has made a name for himself with the types of interceptions and tackles he has produced over the last 18-24 months, though, he has not been able to get replicate it this campaign, as he is mistiming his defensive output and is seen as a weak link.

Bruno Fernandes vs Kalvin Phillips

Although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has constantly changed the selection around in midfield, there will be no doubts over Bruno Fernandes starting for one single moment, who will be the leading the team through his creativity and decision-making. The Portuguese international continues to show his influence and importance in the middle of the pitch, as he is able to get the best out of key attackers in Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashfords whilst he proceeds to rack up the goals and assists himself.

Meanwhile for Leeds United, Kalvin Phillips is expected to continue to play in the lone defensive-midfield role, where he will be sitting in front of the defence, providing the much needed balance and stability to the midfield. The 25-year-old will be looking to nullify the threat of Bruno Fernandes, along with helping his own team in the build-up to their attack, something he is already well-known for.

Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 10

The three top clubs, Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea all drew and there is just 2 points between them. Wolves are back in the mix with  a terrific 2-1 win away to Arsenal and the Gunners have fallen to 14th.

Manchester City who have had a slow start to the campaign by their standards thumped Burnley 5-0 and they are now 10th. Manchester United also recorded a brilliant comeback against Southampton and are now in the top 8.

It was another exciting weekend of football where we witnessed 19 goals from 8 games, but did any of your players make the team of the week, let’s have a look.

Goalkeeper: Illan Meslier- Leeds United 7pts

Illan Mesier kept a clean sheet even though Everton had seven good shots on target as Leeds beat Everton away from home 1-0. It was a tough afternoon for the goalkeeper who had to keep 100% alert. It was Meslier’s 4th clean sheet of the season so far.

Defender: Kyle Walker- Manchester City 7pts

Manchester City romped home to a 5-0 win over Burnley and that means that on top of getting a great win Kyle Walker in defence kept his 3rd clean sheet of the season. Walker also assisted in the clubs 2nd goal to wrap up a brilliant match for him.

Defender: Benjamin Mendy- Manchester City 9pts

Benjamin Mendy was the stand out performer in defence for the 2019 champions, keeping a clean sheet as City thrashed Burnley 5-0 and scoring the clubs third goal effectively killing the game off at that point.

Defender: Robin Koch- Leeds United 5pts

Robin Koch put in a stellar performance at the back to give Leeds a rare away win and a good one as it was against Everton. Koch had to make some brilliant interventions and decisions during a tense victory for Leeds and kept a clean sheet in the process.

Defender: Thiago Silva- Chelsea 5pts

Thiago Silva played one of his most assured games for Chelsea in the back four since his move from PSG in the summer. His quality and experience held his defence line firm as Chelsea drew 0-0 against Tottenham the current league leaders.

Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne- Manchester City 6pts

Kevin De Bruyne has had better seasons but when everything clicks he is still one of the best midfielders in the world. At the weekend it wasn’t about goals for De Bruyne but about assists and he set up 2 of Citys five goals.

Midfielder: Riyad Mahrez- Manchester City 16pts

Riyad Mahrez always seems to do well against Burnley but he did exceptionally well at the weekend as City ran out 5-0 winners and Mahrez grabbed an incredible 16 fantasy points to boot. Mahrez scored a hat trick and now has four goals for this season overall.

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse- Southampton 5pts

Though his team Southampton let a 2 goal lead slip against Manchester United to lose the game James Ward-Prowse had another eventual weekend. He assisted in the clubs first goal and scored the second, though he did some points as he was also booked during the match.

Midfielder: Daniel Podence- Wolves 4pts

And step up Daniel Podencenewcast who has really come to light for Wolves this season when they have neeed a goal. Podence scored what would turn out to be the winner as Wolves stunned Arsenal at the Emirates to win the game 2-1.

Striker: Edinson Cavani- Manchester United 10pts

Edinson Cavani had scored for Manchester United before of course but perhaps this was the weekend when the player truly arrived. Cavani scored 2 goals and also assisted in United’s opener as they came back from 2-0 down to beat Southampton 3-2.

Striker: Callum Wilson- Newcastle United 6pts

On Friday Callum Wilson was the hero for Newcastle as they pulled off an excellent away win beating Crystal Palace 2-0. Wilson assisted in one goal and scored the other and the striker now has seven goals overall.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Aston Villa 0-3 Leeds United

Aston Villa came into this encounter with Leeds United as the only team in the Premier League that held a 100% record. This was an incredible fact given that Dean Smith’s side had only just escaped the clutches of relegation last season.

Villa also came into this game with wins over Liverpool by an incredible 7-2 that will never be forgotten in the clubs history and then beating Leicester 1-0 at King Power Stadium. Shades of their 1980s greatness were being talked about and so this game at home to newly promoted Leeds United looked like another three points. But then again Villa were not counting on Patrick Bamford.

Bamford was brilliant in the Championship for Leeds and the worry was always going to be if the player could carry that over to such a higher level as the Premier League? But after scoring 6 goals and assisting in another those doubts should be laid to rest. He was by far the man of the match in this game as he scored a hat trick in a brilliant 3-0 victory for Leeds United.

Bamford pounced on a goal keeping error to open the scoring, and if that was seen as scrappy then his 2nd goal was a beauty. On the edge of the area he seemed to lift and simply place the ball into the top corner which left everyone stunned even his team mates. That could well be contender for goal of the season.

For his 3rd goal he danced around the Villa defence as if they weren’t there and slotted home a neat goal. Had this been Lionel Messi the plaudits would be out and the headlines would be all about those 2 goals. Bamford looks like a real talent and Leeds are lucky to have him.

Leeds dominated the game and had an incredible 27 attempts on goal with 9 on those o target. Villa were not quiet themselves as they had 4 shots on target in an enjoyable game. But this was an off day for the club who later on saw the impressive Jack Grealish booked which summed up his and Villa’s day- they simply were not at the races.

The defeat leaves Aston Villa in 3rd place with 12 points but Leicester and Tottenham are right behind them. Villa next play Southampton at home. As for Leeds they have risen up to sixth position and have 10 points and that was the clubs 3rd win of the season and Marcelo Bielsa’s team will play Leicester at home next.

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How Andrea Radrizzani brought a new era to Leeds United

In May of this year Andrea Radrizzani was celebrating being in charge of Leeds United for 3 years, and what a time it has been for the club and the Italian owner.

There have been highs and lows but compared to the past 14 years that preceded him coming in the last 36 months have mostly been bliss for the club and the fans. Winning the Championship and gaining promotion back to the Premier League, the first time in 16 years is obviously the highlight, but after a few possible naive mistakes all the cards are starting to fit for Radrizzani and the club.

Those mistakes were infuriating the fans when the club sold Ronaldo Vieira who looked like the most promising player that the club had on their books for some time. Then there was the controversial change of badge. Not many owners can mess with a clubs traditional badge and get away with it. And his plan fell short when over 77,000 fans signed a petition that they were less than impressed.

But compared to the good times at the club since he came in and then bought 100% of the shares the above feel like small stories. A few managers came and went until Leeds found their balance and then two key figures arrived and they would be head hunted by Radrizzani himself.

The first was bringing in Marcelo Bielsa the eccentric but brilliant and detailed coach. The Argentinian arriving at the club was seen as a big surprise, one would think if Bielsa was coming to England it would only be to manage in the Premier League. But Bielsa recognised quickly how the history of English football and Leeds were joined at the hip, history always counts in football. He also took it up as a challenge.

The second key in the puzzle was the signing of Patrick Bamford, the striker came in for £7m which was the most the club had spent on a player since Robbie Fowler in 2001. Bamford has been exceptional with the club scoring 29 goals in all competitions for them, including 16 league goals in the Championship. This season in the Premier League was his big step up and he has already scored 3 goals in just three games.

Leeds have started the season well too. With 2 wins from their opening three games, and even when they were defeated it was away to champions Liverpool in a 4-3 thriller. There is something about Leeds under Bielsa and with Radrizzani behind the scenes the club will be hoping to capture the beauty, toughness and essence of their glory days once again.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players for Matchday 3

Another 29 goals were scored at the weekend in the Premier League from 8 games, keeping a frantic and exciting goal average up since the beginning of the season. The stunning result was Leicester travelling to Manchester City and beating them 5-2, as a result Brendan Rodgers side are now top of the league.

Chelsea and Tottenham could only draw their games and West Ham finally put in a great performance to condemn Wolves to their 2nd defeat in a row.

So which players performed the best this past weekend, are they in your team, look below to find out.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Lukasz Fabianski- West Ham 7pts

Lukasz Fabianski didn’t have a lot to do but made some good saves and kept himself composed as he kept a clean sheet. He really got over his instructions to the back four also, and played his part in a fantastic win for the Hammers. He now has 3 points overall as was in the minus points after a poor start from the club.

Defender: Arthur  Masuaku- West Ham 7pts

With Masuaku earning 7 points at the weekend for his clean sheet in West Ham’s 4-0 win over Wolves he now has the most points for any defender at the club with an overall score of 6 points his value is 5.5m. Masuaku capped off a great match by assisting for the clubs 4th goal.

Defender: Jannick Vestergaard- Southampton 5pts

Not many clubs are keeping clean sheets in the league this season, but Southampton did and they won their first game by beating Burnley 1-0 away. Vestergaard was clearly the best defender for the Saints and earned the most with 5pts, in an important victory for the club.

Defender: Liam Cooper- Leeds United 5pts

Leeds had conceded 7 goals before this game and so it was a surprise to see the club keep a clean sheet. Liam Cooper really rose to the occasion to keep Sheffield United quiet and Leeds marched on with back to back wins. Cooper is valued at 6m.

Defender: Aaron Cresswell- West Ham 5pts

It’s been a nightmare time for West Ham, so beating Wolves 4-0 was very welcome. Cresswell was able to keep a clean sheet in the process and made some very daring tackles and set the play up well as the game went on.

Midfielder: Riyad Mahrez- Manchester City 6pts

Manchester City had a nightmare losing 5-2 against Leicester but one bright light was Mahrez’s performance. He scored the opener for the home side and assisted in the clubs 2nd goal, of course by then the game was over. Mahrez is valued at 9.5m.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 5pts

Bruno Fernandes was one of the best players for Manchester United last season. He has started this one slightly quiet but made up for it this past weekend as United beat Brighton 3-2. He scored an injury time penalty which was the winning goal, assisted in the clubs 2nd goal, and got booked though which lost him a few points.

Midfielder: Lucas Moura- Tottenham 4pts

A controversial game saw Tottenham draw 1-1 with Newcastle who were clearly the second best side. Lucas Moura got the goal to put Tottenham ahead and he will hope this is the first of many to come this season.

Midfielder: Jack Harrison -Leeds United 4pts

Jack Harrison had a solid game in midfield for Leeds and capped off his day by setting up Patrick Bamford to get the only goal and winning one for Marcelo Bielsa’s side in the 88th minute. Harrison now has 8 points overall and is valued at 5.5m.

Striker: Jamie Vardy -Leicester 14pts

Easily one of the best Premier League strikers of the decade, Jamie Vardy like a fine wine just keeps getting better and better defying his age. Vardy was remarkable as he scored a hat trick against the mighty Manchester City away from home. Two were penalties but he still had to put them away and then scored a cracking goal in between. Vardy earned a huge 14pts and now has 5 goals already this season.

Striker: Callum Robertson- West Bromwich Albion 8pts

Callum Robertson had a fantastic game as his side took on Chelsea and ended up drawing 3-3. He will feel disappointed given that he had given WBA a 2 goal lead, but the final result shouldn’t distract from his fantastic performance and he makes the team of the weekend. He is valued at just 3.5m.

Player of the weekend: Jamie Vardy- Leicester 14pts

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Premier League’s Game of the Week: Liverpool 4-3 Leeds United

There was no contest about Round 1′s match of the week in the Premier League. It was Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield- the two teams played out an epic 7 goal thriller, and all that was sadly missing were the fans.

Liverpool as champions were the red hot favourites to dispatch Leeds and make light work of the newly promoted team. However there were two things standing in Liverpool’s way. Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa’s XI and history. Before talking about the Leeds boss, it is important to highlight the return of Leeds to the English top division after years in the shadows. Without doubt Leeds is a club that belongs among the top teams in England and the neutrals should wait till fans are allowed back because the club’s boisterous following would make Elland Road an intimidating place to visit. Don’t forget to check out Leeds United tickets here.

Bielsa is a character, a very good coach and pays attention to detail. Despite the fact that he can’t speak English, which is obviously going to be highlighted in press conferences, he is someone who will impress you with his work ethic and attention to detail. After the game even Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was all smiles for Bielsa’s side, he appreciated that Leeds as a team had at last come to Anfield and tried to win the game.

Then there is the history. Liverpool and Leeds will remind older generations of the classic days of the 1960s and 1970s, Bill Shankly for Liverpool and Don Revie for Leeds, some games could get very hairy with several bookings for both sides. It was a very different era of course but you could feel and evoke that some of that had filtered down onto Anfield in the year 2020.

The first goal was scored inside the very early minutes after Leeds defender Robin Koch handled the ball. This decision split football fans and the media down the line though because the ball appeared to hit another part of his body before it hit his arm. The referee gave the penalty regardless but the new laws clearly state if the ball hits your body and then your arm then it’s not a penalty. Mohamed Salah (who else?) slotted the ball home and it was expected that Liverpool would run riot and Leeds would fall apart. Not so quick!

Leeds drew level 8 minutes later through a superb Jack Harrison goal and the game was on. Following the Leeds United goalkeeper’s mistake, Virgin van Dijk- so deadly from crosses- headed one in unmarked on the 20th minute and Liverpool had taken the lead once more. We were witnessing end to end attacking football and every minute was being savoured. Patrick Bamford brought Leeds level for the second time after half an hour! The game was crazy, and the lucky few inside the stadium were enjoying it.

The goals weren’t about to stop there though and the champions came back to 3-2 up just three minutes later and it was Salah again with a beautiful dipping shot. Half time ended 3-2 to the Reds. Midway through the second half though Leeds incredibly made it 3-3 through a fine Mateusz Klich goal. It looked like the game would end in a draw which Leeds would have deserved but there was one final sting in the game.

Leeds gave away a bad penalty through Rodrigo, who stuck his foot out in the challenge. Usually late penalties can be controversial but Leeds had nothing to complain about here and with just two minutes remaining for all their attacking play and excitement Leeds had made a naive error. Salah stepped up to score again and win the game for Liverpool 4-3 and in doing so scored a hat trick, a perfect start for the Egyptian. And an enjoyable start for Liverpool, 3 points already in the pocket and 4 goals scored. Let’s hope their other games this season are as half as exciting.

As for Leeds well done to them, they played great and without fear, so if they keep that up then they should be able to stay in the Premier League this season while making an impact.

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Could we see a new Premier League winner for 2020/21 season?

The Premier League is sadly over for another season, and we can probably all agree, this last one will go down in history. Unfortunately, it will go down in history largely for the wrong reasons. The COVID-19 pandemic caused disruption in every sport we love to watch throughout the world, and of course, this included the Premier League. The season only finished in July, which is usually when all of the teams are involved in pre-season training and the transfer window is going crazy.

However, the season also brought about many exciting developments. Some teams have started looking promising again, and we might just see someone new at the top for the 2020/2021 season. This is what we will be looking at in this article, so let’s jump right to it.

Leeds United

Leeds United will be competing in the Premier League next season, after dominating The Championship this season. Headed by Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds United have shown amazing form all season long, and the club seems to have that sparkle back. It’s been a long time since Leeds United packed out a stadium for a Premier League game, yet this reality is now just a few months away.

There is an awful lot of hype surrounding Leeds right now, although it is mainly down to the budget and how it is spent on how the club shapes its Premier League chances. There are already rumors surrounding potential signings for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, and other European superstars who are running towards the twilight of their careers.

Of course, it would be unusual for a recently promoted side to win the Premier League, but you could get some pretty huge sports odds by backing this market.

Sheffield United

Here we have another side that is a bit of a stranger to Premier League soccer. Sheffield United have just finished their first season since getting promoted to the league back in 2019, and they certainly announced themselves pretty well. Sheffield United finished 9th in the Premier League, which isn’t bad at all for a recently promoted team. They also managed to show that they can contend with the big boys of the league, having beaten teams like Chelsea and Wolves.

They might not have contended in a major way with the likes of Manchester City or Liverpool, but who knows what the transfer market might bring in the following months. One thing is for sure – Sheffield United is a passionate club, and the players they have right now all gel well together.

Arsenal

Some say that Arsenal hasn’t been the same since the departure of Arsene Wenger, and to be perfectly honest, we agree. The club has gone from a powerhouse of Premier League soccer into a club that now struggles to make Europe (top 5 finish). Even for the 2019/2020 season, Arsenal has only managed an 8th place finish. This is still a bit of a mystery considering the talented squad that they have. Players like Aubameyang, Ozil, Lacazette, and so many others can make real differences for Arsenal, yet they still aren’t performing as they should.

With that being said, there have been glimpses of hope during the past season. Most notably, Arsenal managed to grab wins against the champions Liverpool and Manchester City, and they did this back to back. They also have the FA Cup final to play, so it’s not like Arsenal has had a poor season by any means.

If some smart transfers are made over the next few weeks and months, we might just see a rise back to Premier League glory for The Gunners.

Conclusion

Given that the 2020/21 season is still not starting for a while, you can grab some unreal sporting odds for an outright winner outside of the big names. This is always worth a shot, and to make things even better, the Premier League is always more exciting when you have an invested interest in the games each week.

Of course, there is no guarantee that the teams we have listed will win by any means, and a large portion of it will depend on what transfers are made between now and the commencement of the season. We will definitely be watching this space closely!