Last season Leeds United started their Championship campaign in a sluggardly manner, with a disastrous opening month seeing them settle in 21st place with four points from a possible 15 on offer.
The following month was much better, despite a 1-0 home loss to Huddersfield Town dumping the Whites into the relegation places. At the end of September, after 10 games, Leeds United had bagged nine points from the available 15 and had climbed to 14th place. They had beaten Blackburn, Cardiff and Ipswich in a run of three successive wins before a narrow 1-0 loss against Bristol City.
The key to Leeds’ success next season, or to their failure, will be in the same two months of the year. Looking at their schedule, looking at what is predicted for the teams they play, barring a couple of high-profile games it is a quite easy start to their 2017/18 campaign. On paper that is, on paper.
The above graphic, used by kind permission of Ben Mayhew (Twitter @experimental361), shows a predicted finishing position for each club (Leeds are predicted to finish 11th for example) based on an aggregation of odds given by the bookmakers. It also gives you a month-by-month run through of each club’s schedule, showing not only when they play sides but also the perceived ‘difficulty’ of their fixtures based on where sides are predicted to finish.
A quick glance shows that Leeds United have, aside from fixtures against Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday, quite an appealing opening two months with four fixtures against sides predicted to finish in the bottom six of the table. After opening their campaign against promoted Bolton Wanderers, who are predicted to finish 21st, Leeds have September fixtures against Burton Albion (predicted 24th), Millwall (predicted 22nd) and Ipswich (predicted 20th).