Aitor Karanka returns to the scene of his first match in English football, though the improved fortunes of his Middlesbrough side means he’ll be anticipating a better result this time.
Leeds bested their next adversaries by a 2-1 scoreline in the corresponding fixture last term, but the winds of change have almost ripped the roof off Elland Road in the time that’s elapsed and a much-altered Whites team will do well to upturn a Boro bandwagon that’s gradually gathering pace.
The visitors assume 13/10 favouritism as Dave Hockaday’s charges bid to usurp 39/20 underdog status, while those perched on the fence have 9/4 about the draw to entertain themselves with.
Given the drastically contrasting fortunes of both clubs on the opening weekend, it’s difficult to dispute the Teessiders’ short price here.
While Karanka’s troops cruised to a 2-0 win over Birmingham, Leeds were being felled by the same scoreline at Millwall.
Their deplorable performance embodied all the hallmarks of a side held together with hairpins and sticky tape and Boro are primed to exploit their lack of cohesion, or so a record of eight wins from their last ten would argue.
Five of these victories came with accompanying clean sheet and no side has been able to beat Tomas Mejias in the fledgling stages of 2014/15 as of yet.
The north-easterners backline was one of the most stringent in the division last time around; conceding just 50 goals all season means that only five factions can claim to have been more frugal and only two of these remain in the second tier.
Ruthlessness was definitely absent from United’s attack last term, with only eight sides unable to at least match the 59 strikes they mustered.
Both trends threatened to continue in their respective curtain-raisers, which suggests the away win to nil is worth a flutter at 29/10.