Premier League

How Leeds and Man City could line up this weekend

The master meets the apprentice as Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola face off on Saturday

 
10:58am on Friday 2nd October 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

There probably aren't two managers in the Premier League who respect each other as much as Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola has continually said that the two biggest influences on him as a manager are Bielsa and Johan Cruyff, while the Argentine is known for developing the 'tiki-taka' system of football which has evolved into what some call 'Bielsa-ball'.

The pair are close friends off the pitch, and last faced each other in the dugout in what was Guardiola's last match in charge of Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final eight years ago. The Blaugrana won on that occasion.

Leeds United: Squad, FC Ratings, Matches, Formations

Man City: Squad, FC Ratings, Matches, Formations

In terms of team selection for this weekend's match, Guardiola may opt to throw new signing Ruben Dias straight into the deep end with a starting berth at Elland Road. Having witnessed three penalties being awarded against his team for silly mistakes last weekend in the heavy defeat against Leicester, the Man City boss might utilise his latest big money signing right away.

We could see a completely different defensive pairing from the one that featured last week, as Aymeric Laporte made his return off the bench against Leicester.

Against Leeds would be as good a time as any to test the £130m duo, who will be Guardiola's first choice pairing going forward.

This could also see Nathan Ake move out to left-back to replace Benjamin Mendy, who hasn't looked great so far in the 2020/21 campaign.

Ilkay Gundogan has completed his quarantine after contracting coronavirus, but with no team training under his belt don't expect him to start.

With Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus out injured, Raheem Sterling will likely start in the False 9 role.

For Leeds, Jack Harrison is ineligible to feature against his parent club, which could mean a place in the starting XI for Ezgjan Alioski.

Pablo Hernandez, Adam Forshaw and Kiko Casilla are still injured.

Record signing Rodrigo has had to bide his time from the sidelines while Patrick Bamford enjoys a rich vein of form at the start of the new season.

Bamford is aiming to become the first player to score in four consecutive Premier League games for Leeds since Mark Viduka 16 years ago.

Diego Llorente could make his debut in place of Liam Cooper, but it might be too early for the Spaniard.

Predicted Leeds and Man City XIs

MCFC vs Away team - Football tactics and formations

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