Newly promoted Leeds United will look to take down the tough Manchester City when they meet at Elland Road this Saturday.
The two Premier League teams have made striking starts to the 2020/21 season. Their square off will not be the first shutdown between Bielsa and Guardiola. Instead, it will be a special occasion as two managers with similar philosophies go head to head.
This match comes at the time Guardiola has witnessed his philosophy questioned following last weekend’s heavy defeat to Leicester City. Indeed, the former champions let in as many goals to the Foxes as they have in their previous 11 League games combined before that. Therefore, the recent club-record acquisition of Ruben Dias is a timely one.
Guardiola’s record of spending a lot on defenders has not always been exemplary. So, there will be plenty of pressure on the young arrival from Benfica to fix the problems that saw City finish 18 points behind Liverpool last season.
City has only lost one of their last 31 Premier League games against promoted teams. But that came towards the beginning of last season against Norwich City. Nonetheless, Leeds looked equipped to cause their visitors more problems when compared to Norwich.
On to Leeds, Bielsa’s side has impressed upon their return to the Premier League. The Whites have gone toe to toe with Liverpool at Anfield in their opening game before successive wins over Fulham and Sheffield United.
Leeds are looking forward to winning three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since 2003 and have won 14 of their past 17 league matches at any level keeping clean sheets in 11 of their wins.
A clean sheet addition may be coming their way this weekend against the Premier League’s perennial top scorers. Regardless, they will fancy their chances of causing City at least as many problems as they caused Liverpool on their debut.
Ruben Dias is fit to make his debut. Guardiola could place him into the starting XI after watching three of his back four give away clumsy penalties last weekend.
John Stones is still doubtful after missing the last three games while Oleksandr Zinchenko suffered a fresh injury in the wake of his return.
City is still without striker Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero who are sidelined because of injury. This means Raheem Sterling could play as a false NO 9 having scored twice in the role.
Leeds are without Jack Harrison while Adam Forshaw, Kiko Casilla, and Pablo Hernandez are on an injury. Ezgjan Alioski is Harrison’s potential replacement.