Leicester vs Coventry
I do believe that the 3 relegated sides will be largely too strong for the league this season.
We already saw Southampton break a championship record for most passes in a half on Friday, as they beat Sheff Wed.
Next up of those 3, is Leicester. The Foxes may have lost Maddison and Barnes, but this squad is still very strong, and should prove too much for Coventry.
Additions of Mavididi and Winks will support the likes of Daka, Ndidi, Dewsbury-Hall and Castagne.
Cov may have made the play-off final last season, but the loss of Victor Gyokeres will hit them hard.
KDH was a go-to for me last season in this market, where he was incredibly consistent.
He averaged 1.45 fouls/90.
In his last last 11 starts of the season, he made a foul in 10 games, in fact he made a total of 22.
He presses hard, and is desperate to get on the ball back and get playing, which often leads to silly trips and shoves.
Leeds vs Cardiff
Leeds will also be keen for an immediate bounce back, under a proven Championship manager in Daniel Farke.
Elland Road has every change of becoming a fortress for Leeds this season.
They’ve also retained a lot of star quality, most notably in the likes of Tyler Adams, Luis Sinnisterra and Wilfried Gnonto.
Cardiff have made a few decent additions, but none of the experts have particularly high expectations for the Bluebirds.
This new Leeds era needs to start positively, and they could’ve got a much harder opening day fixture and I’m confident they play to their short price.
A hero in these parts, 32 year old Ramsey has returned to the club where it all started, one where he became a favorite before moving on to Arsenal.
It’s been a tough few years for Rambo. A failed stint at Juventus saw a loan move to Rangers, where he then missed the decisive penalty in the Europa League final.
He averaged 1.31 fouls/90 for Nice last season.
There’s definitely still a player there, and Ramsey will be keen to prove it.
He averages 2.60 tackles, so expect him to get stuck in, in front of a raucous Leeds crowd.
The legs are fading slightly though, and Leeds are a very intense, mobile side. Something Ramsey can struggle with.
When he played against England at the World Cup, he racked up 3 fouls.
Sunderland vs Ipswich
Sunderland’s success last season was built more on their attacking play as opposed to defensive solidity. The 4th highest goal scorers but ranking just 11th in goals against.
Sunderland found the back of the net in 83% of Home fixtures and conceded in 74% of Home games too. The Black Cats were reliable for BTTS last season, 61% of league games saw BTTS, rising to 65% at The Stadium Of Light.
The top scorers in League One by far, there is no doubt The Tractor Boys pose an attacking threat to any side. Only failing to score in 7% of games last year.
Ipswich also held the best defensive record in the third tier last year however if there is a weakness, it would be their ability to defend on the road. A clean sheet record of 57% at home falling to 43% on the road with BTTS occurring in 52% of road games at the lower level.
Sunderland recorded 10.35 fouls per game last season and 2.02 yellows by themselves. Sunderland also drew 13.17 fouls which saw opposing players booked 2.5 times on average.
Ipswich recorded 11.17 fouls per game which yielded 1.74 yellows per game. ITFC also drew a high number of fouls on the road. ITFC’s foul count and cards stood at 12.61 and 2.26 respectively.
Cards and goals on the agenda in the closing game of matchday one.