Frank Lampard v Marcelo Bielsa: The most intriguing managerial duel of the new Championship season

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 09 August 2018, 14:48

Frank Lampard takes a seat in the Pride Park dugout for the first time on Saturday evening when he locks horns with Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, in the most intriguing managerial duel of the new Championship season.

Rookie boss Lampard has only one match under his managerial belt, albeit he does boast a 100% record. Meanwhile, the man he tests his credentials against is Leeds’ 10th boss in four years, Bielsa, a veteran of over 500 matches at a dozen clubs in seven countries spanning nearly 30 years. You get the picture.

Both bosses enjoyed wins in their first matches in charge of their respective clubs, which only fuelled excitement among both sets of supporters - the clubs have spent a combined 26 seasons outside of the Premier League (including the current campaign).

Rookie boss Lampard experienced the unmatchable high of a last-gasp winner on his debut as Derby overcame Reading 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium, while up in Yorkshire Bielsa treated the Leeds faithful to a superb 3-1 victory over the division's ante-post favourites, Gary Rowett’s Stoke.

We don’t yet know a whole lot about Lampard’s philosophy, but what he lacks in experience, he makes up for in buckets of determination, astuteness, a willingness to learn on the go, and he has the added benefit of playing under some of the biggest managerial names in the game.

Plus, something about the partnership between the former Chelsea star and Derby that just fits.

“When I first drove to Derby I was struck by the passion and intensity of the fan-base in this city, what it means to every fan here. It all added up.

“I took advice from everywhere that I could have done and it was a very quick answer for me."

Bielsa’s managerial methods and mantras have inspired a plethora of managers worldwide, including some of the top names in the world today - Pep Guardiola, Diego Simeone and Mauricio Pochettino to name a few.

The maverick manager is a sizzling fireball of passion whose been known to deliver four-hour press conferences, listen to tapes about tactics while out for late night jogs, and more recently he took his Leeds players out litter picking in order to make the players understand how hard supporters work in order to buy tickets.

Now Bielsa will be tasked with awakening the deepest of sleeping giants - it’s been 15 long and painful years since the Whites last graced the top flight of English football - but they can at least make it two wins from their opening two league games for the first time since 2010.

Bielsa’s men can be backed at 5/2 to carve out another three points, with Lampard’s Derby the 21/20 favourites, whereas a draw can be found at 12/5 (all via Bet Victor).

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