Manchester City vs Leeds United
There is never a good time to face Manchester City, especially with the Citizens in such sensational form of late. However, Leeds United might have caught the Premier League champions-elect at a good time.
For one, the Whites are coming off a fine run of Premier League 2021 results which have helped boost their confidence.
And now, they are set to take on a City side that essentially has the league all wrapped up and could have one eye on their Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund next week. That quarter-final tie is still in the balance after City only scraped by with a 2-1 win at home.
The Premier League 2021 betting odds obviously still back another City win, but Leeds already took a point from City this season and have a decent shot to do so again.
Sterling absence not stopping City
Manchester City were made to work harder than expected at home by Borussia Dortmund in midweek, but thanks to Phil Foden’s late goal, the Citizens still picked up their sixth win in a row in all competitions.
There is not much going wrong these days for City, who are still on course for an amazing quadruple. Although, Raheem Sterling’s sudden lack of game time despite being fit to play has raised some eyebrows. The England international has started just one of City’s last six games since their derby defeat to United, and he did not play any part in their win over Dortmund.
Sterling also didn’t start City’s last Premier League game against Leicester, but he did come on as a substitute and assisted Gabriel Jesus’ goal in their 2-0 win over the Foxes.
On the whole, though, it seems as if City are doing just fine with or without Sterling in the line-up. They possess remarkable strength in depth, with the likes of Bernardo Silva, Ferran Torres, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, and Foden all capable of filling those wide attacking midfield roles.
With their quarter-final second leg at Dortmund next week, Guardiola is expected to field quite a heavily rotated side against Leeds, with Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho, and Aymeric Laporte likely to come in.
City have been outstanding at home, winning 12 of their last 13 games in all competitions at the Etihad. Although, their seemingly unbeatable defence has slipped in recent home games. They’ve kept just one clean sheet in their last six games at home.
Leeds looking much better
Leeds United are on their best run of league results in a long while. After holding Chelsea to a goalless draw at Elland Road, they picked up 2-1 victories over two relegation-threatened teams in Fulham and Sheffield United.
The Whites are now undefeated in their last three games for the first time since the opening month of the season, when they also had back-to-back wins over Fulham and Sheffield United, then drew at home against City.
Leeds looked back to their best against Sheffield United. They absolutely battered the Blades – they had 23 shots to nine and eight shots on target to one – and should have won by much more.
However, Leeds will be dealt a significant blow with the absence of Jack Harrison for their trip to the Etihad. The on-loan City man will be unable to play against his parent club, which is a shame since he has returned to top form with a goal and an assist in his last two games.
Harrison’s absence likely means the return of Helder Costa to the starting XI. Raphinha, who also has a goal and an assist in his last two games, will have to shoulder the bulk of the creative burden without Harrison on the other wing.
But aside from Costa, Bielsa looks unlikely to make any more changes to a side which is looking quite settled at the moment. Stuart Dallas has continued to impress in a more advanced midfield role to keep Mateusz Klich out of the starting line-up.
Man City have a slight 45-42 edge in wins over Leeds in their overall head-to-heads, with 18 draws.
Although, Leeds did hold City to a 1-1 draw at Elland Road in their first meeting this season. They more than held their own against City, and Rodrigo came off the bench to equalise after Raheem Sterling’s early goal.
Leeds also held City to a 1-1 draw the last time they visited the Sky Blues’ ground in the Premier League back in 2003.
|Manchester City vs Leeds United||Leeds United Asian Handicap +1.50 @ 2.06|
|April 10, 19:30(GMT+8)|
SBOTOP odds have Manchester City as overwhelming 1.28 favourites to win at home, with Leeds priced as astronomical 12.50 underdogs. A draw is 4.80.
Clearly, City are a superior team, and it will be tough for the Whites to come away with a win. But with City potentially preoccupied with the Champions League coupled with their elite defence tailing off a little bit, Leeds have a decent shot to keep this game close.
Bielsa’s side will be quite fresh and rested after the break, and he will have them ready to run and press City to give the champions-elect quite a competitive match.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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