Stoke City and Leeds United are clubs with enormous expectation coming from very different situations. Stoke, newly relegated and Leeds United the underachievers for years. They meet in a mouth-watering clash in two weeks time, and Stoke have sold their end out.
Now selling away ends out in the Championship isn’t a common occurrence anymore. High ticket prices and distances put fans off and that is especially relevant to Elland Road and Leeds United. The club sell tickets at a huge cost, last season only Norwich City had higher season ticket prices and that’s especially infuriating for the fans this summer as the club haven’t yet spent a penny on a player.
Away prices are expensive so you only see a full away end a handful of times a season. Last year a couple of the local teams sold out, as did some of the bigger sides in the division but many a time you looked over to see empty blue seats. Stoke have already sold their allocation out, and with the home fans selling more than a few before general sale commences it promises to be a very exciting occasion in front of the Sky cameras.
Both clubs have new coaches at the helm. The home side managed to convince ex-Argentina boss Marcelo Bielsa to the club after weeks of negotiations and Stoke snatched Derby County’s promising coach Gary Rowett. The away side will boast names such as Benin Afobe and James McLean as well as Joe Allan and currently Jack Butland. Leeds are desperate for business but will have the likes of Samu Saiz and Pontus Jansson in the ranks, as well as Pablo Hernandez. It promises to be a great occasion, let’s hope the football lives up to the atmosphere.