Man City vs Leeds United: A battle between two managerial behemoths

Two of Premier League's most revered managers will go head-to-head this weekend as Pep Guardiola's Manchester City welcome Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United.

When: Saturday, April 10, 12:30 GMT

How to watch: BT Sport

Best bets

Manchester City to win and both teams to score at 15/8 (Sky Bet)

Kevin De Bruyne to score at 7/4 (BetVictor)

Manchester City to win 3-1 at 21/2 (BetVictor)

Kevin De Bruyne and Pep Guardiola
Kevin De Bruyne and Pep Guardiola

Manchester City are aiming to match their trophy haul from 2018/19 by winning the Premier League, Champions League, EFL Cup and the FA Cup this season. 

Pep Guardiola's men have amassed 48 matches since the season began in September, averaging over six games a month. The manager has had to deal with the hectic schedule by rotating his squad and considering the results achieved - the Man City boss has certainly been successful in doing so.

It is becoming difficult to predict the lineup of Manchester City considering the options they have available at their disposal. The frightening thing is that City are an undoubtedly strong outfit with any combination of players.

Squad rotation the key for Pep

With depth in each position, there are only a handful of players that have started the majority of games in all competitions. These include: Ederson, Ruben Dias, Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne.

Other players such as Raheem Sterling, Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva are among those managed more carefully this season. These names have had less playing time for their club than they have been accustomed to in the past.

Raheem Sterling in action for the Cityzens
Raheem Sterling in action for the Cityzens

Guardiola is able to keep players fresh and ready to play, regardless of the competition. This certainly emphasises his desire to secure the quadruple for Man City.

The match against Leeds at the Etihad seems like an opportunity to rotate once again on the back of a tough Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund.

Man City look impossible to stop at the moment and they're 5/1 with William Hill to achieve the quadruple.

Last Three Premier League Meetings

Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City (October 3, 2020)

Leeds took advantage of a faltering Manchester City team when the two clubs met earlier this season. This was the first meeting in the top-flight between the sides in 16 years.

Belgian Kevin De Bruyne almost caught Leeds napping when he struck the post from a free-kick early in the game. Ferran Torres then had a shot blocked off the line as City dominated but could not find a breakthrough.

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring with an excellent run and finish cutting in from the left wing, as he so often does.

Leeds got closer to an equaliser after the interval, going close through Rodrigo. Nevertheless, the hosts found their breakthrough from the resulting corner.

Ederson came to gather a tame-looking corner kick but spilled the ball leaving Rodrigo with an empty goal to bring the game level.

In what was an entertaining game with countless chances and a draw was considered a fair result.

Leeds United 2-1 Manchester City (March 22, 2004)

Leeds United moved off bottom spot in the Premier League following a hard-fought 2-1 win at Elland Road.

Midfielder Stephen McPhail curled a free-kick past a deceived David James in the Man City goal to open the scoring halfway through the first half.

Right before the break, in-form striker Nicolas Anelka bagged his 21st goal of the season via a low cross-shot.

Leeds' Jermaine Pennant (left) tackles Manchester City's Michael Tarnat
Leeds' Jermaine Pennant (left) tackles Manchester City's Michael Tarnat

The Manchester side dominated for large spells but were ultimately undone when Daniel Van Buyten was deemed to have brought down Alan Smith inside the penalty area. The defender was sent off for the challenge.

Reliable frontman Mark Viduka scored the penalty to gain all three points and move Leeds two points off 17th placed Leicester City.

Manchester City 1-1 Leeds United (December 22, 2003)

These two teams played out a fairly dull 1-1 draw in the War of the Roses.

Mark Viduka pounced on a defensive error and rounded David Seaman to net in his 150th appearance for the Yorkshire club.

Manchester City's Battle for the ball between Sylvain Distin (left) and Robbie Fowler
Manchester City's Battle for the ball between Sylvain Distin (left) and Robbie Fowler

City, who had not won in their last eight games, almost equalised through a Joey Barton strike that came back off the post with Paul Robinson beaten.

With time running out, a triple substitution by Man City paid off as Antoine Sibierski made a well-timed run into the box to head home Sun Jihai's cross and equalise in the 82nd minute.

Premier League head-to-head

Played: 15

Leeds United wins: 6

Draws: 5

Manchester City wins: 4

Leeds United scored: 20

Manchester City scored: 15

Will Leeds thrive against the best?

Marcelo Bielsa's men have proven that they can establish themselves as a Premier League team over the coming seasons considering how they have fared so far.

Their next three league fixtures, however, will test them hugely but it is possible that these games will bring the best out of Leeds United.

Leeds United's next three matches:

Man City (A)

Liverpool (H)

Man United (H)

If there's one thing that Leeds have proven, it's that they have the ability to score against any opponent they face and if they can improve their defending - in particular from set-pieces - then there is no reason why they cannot take some points from these three huge games.

Leeds United boss, Marcelo Bielsa
Leeds United boss, Marcelo Bielsa

Currently, Leeds sit 11th in the table, level on points with an underachieving Arsenal team. With no pressure on them, a top half finish will quietly be the aim for Marcelo Bielsa's side which will cap off a successful season for the Whites.

After beating bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United in their last game, Leeds will be looking to build up more momentum in a bid to secure a top 10 place.

It might be worth a dabble at 13/8 (bet365) for them to end the season inside the top ten.

Score prediction: Manchester City 3-1 Leeds United

If there is one likely outcome of this game, it is that both teams will score. Manchester City have scored two or more goals in each of their last six games and Leeds' previous six away matches have provided an average of over three goals a game.

Leeds United celebrating a goal during their 2-1 win over Sheffield United
Leeds United celebrating a goal during their 2-1 win over Sheffield United

It is impossible to get away from the fact that Manchester City have only lost one of their last 35 matches since a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham, and it will take something special for mid-table Leeds to be victorious at the Etihad.

In what is likely to be a lively and open encounter, it is expected that Pep Guardiola's team have the ability to outscore any opponent and are more than likely to do so against Leeds, although they won't go down without a fight.

Goalscorer bets

After scoring in midweek and putting in a brilliant performance against Leicester last week, Kevin De Bruyne could cause chaos against Leeds and is confidently taken to score here.

Kevin De Bruyne recently signed a contract extension with the Cityzens
Kevin De Bruyne recently signed a contract extension with the Cityzens

De Bruyne is 7/4 to score with BetVictor and 6/1 to score from outside the area (Sky Bet).

READ MORE: The Premier League relegation picture: Favourites for the drop, the run-in and much more...

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