Leeds United vs Derby County – Grayson wants winning start
It was a final-day defeat at Pride Park that sent Leeds down from the second tier in 2007, so it is fitting that the Rams provide the opposition as Championship football returns to Elland Road (kick-off 5.15pm).
Derby have won their last three games against Leeds but another one here is a lengthy 11/4 chance. That’s unlikely given Leeds’ summer strengthening and the fact Simon Grayson’s side have won all six opening day encounters since relegation from the Premier League.
A home victory is Evens, while a 3-1 scoreline (the same as when Leeds last beat Derby in 2005) is a tempting 14/1.
Arsenal loanee Sanchez Watt could play and is a 7/1 shot to score first, while ex Leeds striker Rob Hulse (who scored a hat-trick for the Whites in that 2005 game) is 7/1 to get the opening goal.
Middlesbrough vs Ipswich, kick-off 3pm
6/1 title favourites Boro get their campaign started against Roy Keane’s Tractor Boys as the strong favourites to win (5/6).
Summer signing Kris Boyd is the frontrunner for the division’s Golden Boot and he’s 7/2 to opening the scoring at the Riverside – a good bet considering his goal exploits in Scotland.
Ipswich’s new keeper from Sunderland Marton Fulop will be charged with stopping Gordon Strachan’s Scottish army and such is his shot-stopping ability Boro could draw a blank up till half-time.
Their depth of talent should eventually win out, though, so a half-time/full-time bet on draw/home, looks tempting at 7/2.
However, of the 50 meetings between the sides, Ipswich have won 24, compared to 15 for Boro so taking Keane’s charges to win at 10/3 may not be so crazy.
Crystal Palace host Leicester City at Selhurst park in another 3pm Saturday kick-off. The Foxes made the play-offs last year and are 6/4 favourites to win. Palace can be backed at 7/4.