Southampton face Leeds in Championship opener on Sky Sports
Leeds travel to Southampton for one of the most interesting ties of the opening Championship weekend.
Southampton will be buzzing and full of expectation having just been promoted from League Two where they spent a long time out of the limelight.
Nigel Adkins side are a big enough club to cope easily at Championship level and they will be hoping that a successful season can get them back to the Premier League, although its interesting to note that they have only won once in their previous 22 opening day fixtures!
Nigel Adkins has not exactly set the transfer window alight, but has brought in Jack Cork from Chelsea and has managed to keep hold of top goalscorer Rickie Lambert, who bagged 21 goals for the Saints last season.
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Leeds were playing in the semi-final of the Champions League under a decade ago before the money problems hit and they went down through the divisions.
They have come close to promotion back to the Premier League in recent years and the Elland Road faithful will be hoping the departure of key players Neil Kilkenny, Bradley Johnson and Kasper Schmeichel will not effect their performance too much. Manger Simon Grayson has been quick to bring in goalkeeper Andy Lonergan, signed from Preston this week.
Leeds have a good enough defence to cope with the long spells of pressure, however going forward they have been dealt a big low with the injuries to key attacking players in Davide Somma and Luciano Becchio, who could face a few months on the sidelines.
For the Saints, Lee Barnard could make the difference – Barnard was prolific in League One last season and has played in the Championship before with Southend United, now in League Two, a few seasons ago, and should see Nigel Adkins’s side off to a winning start.