• Ptolemy Horner

Everything you need to know, Predicted XI – Leeds United vs Manchester City Preview

Manchester City will take on Leeds United on Saturday 30th of April at Elland Road. The match will kick off at 17:30 (BST) and will be broadcast on Sky Sports Main Event. Pep Guardiola's men will be hoping for a similar game to the one they played in mid-December, where they came out on top 7-0 against Marcelo Bielsa's side.

As Liverpool are hot on their tail, City will need to take all three points against a Leeds side who have picked up a bit of form over their last five games under Jesse Marsch, winning three and drawing two. It appears the Premier League champions will have to win all of their remaining fixtures to retain their crown, as Liverpool fail to drop points.

 

Team News


In the press conference earlier this afternoon, Guardiola confirmed that both Kyle Walker and John Stones will be out for Saturday’s fixture. When asked about Stones, the Catalan said:

"For tomorrow he’s out and we’ll see for Wednesday [against Real Madrid]."

Cancelo was unavailable for Tuesday night's Champions League game due to a suspension for an accumulation of yellows but is once again available for selection. He is expected to feature both in Leeds and Madrid after not playing in midweek.


Predicted XI:


Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Ake, De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan, Sterling, Jesus, Grealish

 

Overview


Form: WWWLD

League position: 1st

Top scorer: De Bruyne & Mahrez (11)

Previous Result: W 4-3 Vs Real Madrid (H)


Despite scoring four goals against the 13-time European champions, City were not at their clinical best last time out. City created many goal scoring opportunities but were unable to put the game to bed, inviting the tedious ‘do City need an out and out number 9?’ debate. The Blues managed to go two up in a little over ten minutes, but they allowed Real Madrid back in the game with 33 minutes gone. The goalscorer, of course, was Karim Benzema, with his 13th goal in the competition.

Just a few minutes later, Stones had to be substituted off. The English international was shipped out to right-back for the game, a position he was used to playing back in his Everton days. Fernandinho, the 36-year-old defensive midfielder, was brought on to face one of the most in-form wingers in the world, Vinicius Junior.


Less than ten minutes after halftime, Foden increased City's lead, created by an excellent cross from the experienced Fernandinho. It wasn't long before Vinicius was able to show his bundle of talent as he skipped past Fernandinho with a perfect dummy, slipping through on goal with just Ederson to beat, which he did with ease. The Blues once again doubled their lead to two goals through Bernardo Silva, but a late Benzema penalty quickly halved it. Going into the next leg on Wednesday, it's all to play for.

Photo courtesy of PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

City dominated the ball having 60% possession and creating many chances – having 16 shots in total, six of them being on target. De Bruyne was the orchestrator throughout the game for the home side. The Belgian doubled his Champions League goal tally to two for the season, and his assist put him on three in the competition. Going forward, City looked brilliant with De Bruyne being at the heart of every attack – but despite scoring four, it should in truth have been a lot more.

Guardiola made four changes going into the Champions League tie. Cancelo was forced to miss Tuesday night's game due to a suspension. Grealish, Sterling and Fernandinho were held in reserve, although the Brazilian was used as an early substitute. Jesus kept his place in the side after putting four past Watford, putting any transfer speculation on hold.


Despite putting seven past Leeds earlier in the season, City will have to be wary of Leeds' recent run of good form. Unbeaten in their last five games, Leeds will be looking to upset the league leaders in front of their home support. Leeds have conceded 38 goals against the top 6 sides in the Premier League this season; the Blues will be looking to make the most of their opponent's leaky defence.

Photo courtesy of OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images
 

Opposition


Form: DWDWW

League position: 16th

Top scorer: Raphina (10)

Previous Result: D 0-0 Vs Crystal Palace (A)


Leeds held firm against a Crystal Palace side struggling to find any form in their last Premier League game. A fantastic double save from Illan Meslier denied Wilfried Zaha at the near post and earned Leeds a crucial point which now puts them five points ahead of the drop zone, although 18th placed Everton have a game in hand. Leeds' attack struggled to form any real goal scoring chances throughout the game. The Whites may have struggled when it came to scoring in the game but their defence stood strong and earned them a valuable point when it comes to the relegation battle.

After the game, Leeds' manager, Marsch, spoke very highly of City. 'It is an ultimate test, maybe the ultimate test', said the American, 'I think they're the best team in the world'. Marsch's first game in charge of Leeds didn't quite go to plan, losing 1-0 to Leicester back in early March but he has since picked up crucial wins against Norwich, Wolves and Watford, putting the Yorkshire side in a great position to stay in the division.

Photo courtesy of Alex Morton/Getty Images
 

Head-to-Head


Played: 107

Won: 46

Drawn: 18

Lost: 43


The first time the two sides met was back in December 1924 in the first division, with City running out 3-0 away winners. More recently, the sides met back in December 2021, with Guardiola's side winning 7-0. Last season saw the team struggle against newly-promoted Leeds. City were held to a 1-1 draw away at Elland Road and a late Stuart Dallas goal saw Leeds win 2-1 at the Etihad.

 

Officials


Referee: Paul Tierney

Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis & Neil Davies

Fourth Official: Robert Jones

VAR: Darren England

AVAR Assistant: Gary Beswick

Photo courtesy of Julian Finney/Getty Images
 

Written by: @Ptolemy04


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