Following their narrow 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in midweek, Manchester City restart their Premier League campaign on Saturday as they take on Leeds United. It could be a tricky game for Pep Guardiola’s men who were held to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture, with Marcelo Bielsa now keen on inflicting an upset, especially having won the last two matches in the league.
Predicted Leeds United Lineup Vs Manchester City
Despite the return of Robin Koch from injury, it appears Leeds United have found their defensive combination in Liam Cooper and new signing Diego Llorente. Both have looked rather solid in recent matches, with Bielsa having no reason whatsoever to make any changes to his central defensive unit.
Koch, though, has featured as a substitute in his last two matches and could do the same this weekend, depending on Leeds United’s position in the game.
There won’t be changes elsewhere in defence either, as the Whites persist with the fullback combination of Luke Ayling and Ezgjan Alioski. Both the players are quite attack-minded and should offer some threat on the counter, although they are likely to camp deep for the most part, up against the mighty Man City frontline.
Illan Meslier remains a guaranteed starter in between the sticks for Leeds United, as the Frenchman seeks his tenth clean sheet in the league this season.
Other guaranteed starters include Kalvin Phillips, whose presence in the number six is going to play a vital role in Leeds United’s approach play this weekend. The Englishman has the ability to read the game, combined with his proficiency in ball distribution – making him the hub of the midfield unit for the Whites.
Alongside Phillips, Stuart Dallas has been preferred over Mateusz Klich in recent weeks. The left-back, therefore, should once again occupy the number eight slot, with partnering midfielder Tyler Roberts operating further forward.
Roberts has grown in confidence in recent weeks, producing impressive creative displays in the attacking midfield role. His presence could be critical to Leeds’ chance creation this weekend.
The Leeds United attack almost picks itself, as top scorer Patrick Bamford spearheads the frontline, with additional support from the two wide attackers Raphinha and Helder Costa, who is likely to fill in for Jack Harrison as the winger is ineligible to play against his parent club.
Nonetheless, Raphinha is a major threat for Manchester City as the Brazilian is capable of not only beating players with his pace but is also a threat in front of goal. Stopping him could be vital if Guardiola’s men are to salvage anything from this game.