Thursday June 21 2018

Lampard and Bielsa set for early showdown

Derby County's rookie manager Frank Lampard

Derby County's rookie manager Frank Lampard 


Derby County's rookie manager Frank Lampard will pit his wits against Leeds United's experienced former Argentina boss Marcelo Bielsa in his second league game after the Championship fixtures were unveiled on Thursday.
The duo will clash on August 11 with both Derby and Leeds, former champions fallen on fallow times, having taken risks in appointing them.

Former Chelsea and England midfielder Lampard is untested at managerial level and the mercurial Bielsa has become increasingly unpredictable.
The 62-year-old Argentinian, who is being paid a reported £2.5million ($3.3million) a year, walked away from Serie A side Lazio after just two days and only lasted a few months with French Ligue 1 outfit Lille.

Lampard's Derby open their campaign against Reading, managed by Paul Clement, a man the 40-year-old knows well as he was assistant manager to Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea for two years.
Bielsa, who reportedly has eyes on prising away Czech international striker Matej Vydra from Derby for £12million, starts with a home game against relegated Stoke City.

The other two relegated sides West Bromwich Albion and Swansea host Bolton Wanderers and travel to Sheffield United respectively.
Former England manager Steve McClaren, who could provide Lampard with plenty of insight into the Derby set up as he has had two spells as manager there, faces a tricky trip to Preston North End with his new club Queens Park Rangers.