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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Early Fantasy trends in the English Premier League

Between no fans, an explosion of offence, and a condensed offseason, there are some interesting early-season trends taking place in the English Premier League. We look at the ones impacting English Premier League fantasy football after the first three weeks of matches.

Highest Scoring Week Ever 

Week 2 of the 2020/21 Premier League season witnessed record scoring. The ten games combined for 44 goals in Matchday 2, topping the previous record of 43 goals set during the 2010/11 EPL season.

Matchday 3 saw offences continue to pour in goals, with five teams topping the three-goal mark, helping the week reach 29 goals with two games left to play on Monday.

Excluding Sheffield United, every single EPL team enters Monday, averaging at least one goal per match.

Clean sheets are challenging to come by early in the season, meaning a top-tier goaltender is more valuable than normal this early in the season. Everton’s keeper Jordan Pickford has been one of the few to shine early in the season.

Knowing whether record goals will continue to pour in is unpredictable. However, grabbing a quality keeper could help your team weather the storm if scoring continues in the EPL continues at a record pace.

Away Teams Dominate Early

Early in the EPL season, the term “playing the matchups” seems to have taken on a new aspect – and that is playing the away players.

Week 3 saw the first seven away teams get a result – after Newcastle scored at 90+7 to tie the Hotspurs and Leicester knocked in five goals against Man City to move atop the table. These outcomes make it three straight weeks where the away teams have looked superior – with 18 results in 26 games, compared to 10 results for home teams through as many games.

The lack of fans is the one glaring factor this season. Typically, a visit to Man City means a hostile environment. However, without any real fans in the stands, Jamie Vardy could just waltz his way to a hattrick in Matchday 3.

If you need to make a roster adjustment for the upcoming week, players on road clubs are outperforming home players early in the 2020/21 EPL season.

The Stars Scoring Early in the Season

Early draft predictions are looking pretty smart to start the EPL fantasy season, as top-rated players are lighting up the stat sheet. Mohamad Salah, Danny Ings, Jamie Vardy, and Son Heung-Min are off to strong starts, while Harry Kane has four helpers to lead the league early.

The strong starts from the stars coincide with the offensive explosive occurring early in the season. While the top guys should continue to produce throughout the year, some of the early season surprises – such as Neal Maupay and Patrick Bamford – may be worth shopping early with their value at an all-time high, especially if your team needs a keeper or defence.

“Manchester United Nani goal” by gordon2208 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Big Club Fantasy Disappointments so Buy Low

While some stars are producing early in the year, the big names on Man City, Man United, Arsenal, and Chelsea have yet to live up to expectations.

Both Manchester teams came into the year without much of an offseason. Still, Kevin De Bruyne – star of Man City – should not be outperformed by Jarrod Bowen on West Ham United.

The slow starts mean someone could be shopping one of these players for a low return. Even if Kevin De Bruyne is off to a slow start, he is still a fantasy stud. If you can survive his lower production now, you should see significant returns on your fantasy team later in the season.

Fantasy Trends and Soccer Betting

Much of the information above is useful for betting on soccer as well as playing EPL fantasy. Knowing that road teams are having early success and unusually high offensive production from just about every club can help you make better wagers.

Knowing where to bet is essential as well. The best Canadian sportsbooks for EPL odds offer a wide selection of quality markets on every single match.

Look for away underdogs and overs on the goal totals to offer the best soccer betting value as the 2020-21 EPL season heads into Matchday 4.