Preview: Manchester City vs. Leeds United - prediction, team

sportsmole.co.uk, 8 April 2021, 13:57

Manchester City will be looking to continue their charge towards the Premier League title when they welcome Leeds United to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Citizens are currently top of the table, 14 points ahead of second-placed Manchester United, while Leeds occupy 11th position, level on points with 10th-placed Arsenal on the same number of games.

Match preview

© Reuters

Only an incredible turn of events will prevent Man City from winning this season's Premier League title, with 14 points currently separating the leaders from second-placed Man United.

The Citizens have won their last three in England's top flight since suffering a 2-0 loss to Man United on March 7, including a 2-0 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium last weekend, with Benjamin Mendy and Gabriel Jesus on the scoresheet against the Foxes.

Pep Guardiola 's side are chasing the quadruple this season, and they recorded a 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday evening, leaving the tie delicately poised ahead of the return fixture on April 14.

Man City will face Tottenham Hotspur in the final of the EFL Cup at the end of the month, meanwhile, and will take on Chelsea in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on April 14, meaning that Guardiola will need to rotate his squad in the coming weeks due to the volume of matches.

The Citizens have comfortably the best home record in the Premier League this season, picking up 38 points from their 16 matches, but Leeds have recorded seven away league victories this term, which is the same as Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

© Reuters

Leeds, meanwhile, will enter the contest off the back of successive Premier League victories over Fulham and Sheffield United, which has moved them into 11th position in the table.

The Whites have won 13, drawn three and lost 14 of their 30 league matches this term to collect 42 points, level with 10th-placed Arsenal and just two points behind ninth-placed Aston Villa.

Marcelo Bielsa 's side lost four of their five league games between February 14 and March 8, but it has been a strong few weeks for the promoted club, who have drawn with Chelsea, in addition to beating Fulham and Sheffield United, in their last three fixtures.

As mentioned, the Whites have won seven times on their travels in the Premier League this season, which is an impressive record considering their position in the table, while they held Man City to a 1-1 draw when the two teams locked horns at Elland Road back in October.

Manchester City Premier League form:

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Manchester City form (all competitions):

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Leeds United Premier League form:

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D

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Team News

© Reuters

Man City have no confirmed absentees heading into this weekend's contest, with the Citizens not suffering any fresh problems against Dortmund in the Champions League.

Guardiola will ring the changes for this weekend's clash, with Mendy, Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero all potentially returning to the side.

Gabriel Jesus could also feature in a wide area, with Joao Cancelo, Rodri, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden among those likely to be given a rest against the Whites.

As for Leeds, Adam Forshaw is still unavailable for selection, while Jack Harrison is not eligible against his parent club, but the visitors are otherwise in good shape.

Bielsa is expected to stick with the bulk of the side that started against Sheffield United, with Patrick Bamford and Raphinha certain to feature in the final third of the field.

There might be just the one change from the side that started last time out, with Helder Costa replacing Harrison, meaning that Rodrigo Moreno and Mateusz Klich might start on the bench once again.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:

Ederson ; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Mendy; B Silva, Fernandinho, Gundogan; Sterling, Aguero, Jesus

Leeds United possible starting lineup:

Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Cooper, Alioski; Costa, Phillips, Roberts, Dallas, Raphinha; Bamford

We say: Manchester City 3-1 Leeds United

Guardiola will ring the changes on Saturday, but the home side will still be full of quality. Leeds are capable of finding the back of the net against the Citizens, but we are finding it very difficult to predict anything other than a comfortable victory for the runaway leaders.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.

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