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Fire meets fire as Leeds and Man City clash in battle of attackers
Manchester City to win 3-1
Tournament: Premier League 2020-2021 | Venue: Leeds, Elland RoadBet Now
Both Leeds and Manchester City have played their part in an entertaining start to the new Premier League season.
For a promoted side, Leeds have been fantastic entertainers scoring eight goals and conceding seven on their way to six points from nine.
If they keep up this level of performance, they could sit comfortably within the top half at the end of their first season back in the big time.
As for Man City, their 5-2 defeat against Leicester last weekend showed the rest of the league how vulnerably Pep Guardiola’s team are currently and how much they still need to improve to catch up to Liverpool.
They not only look shaky in defence, but also short of ideas in attack especially in the absence of key strikers Aguero and Jesus.
It’s set up to be a top game of football – Man City are certainly favourites, but Leeds will pull off a big result at some stage this season.
Form Guide (all comps): LLWW
Reasons to be cheerful:
Striker Patrick Bamford has started the season in great form
Looked better at the back vs. Sheffield United last week
Reasons to be fearful:
City will demand a response after loss last weekend
Are unlikely to see much of the ball against City’s world-class players
There are multiple positives for manager Marco Bielsa at how the start of the season has unfolded so far, one of those being how well his striker has adapted to Premier League life.
Patrick Bamford scored 16 goals in total last season, helping to earn Leeds promotion, but that does not always translate in the Premier League. He’s started well, though, with three goals in three matches and looks capable of leading the Leeds line this term.
Along with the supporting cast from midfield, such as Helder Costa and Klich, they can create chances from all over the pitch and can be a menace to teams who leave gaps at the back, as City did time and again against Leciester.
Expect Leeds to get on the scoresheet, but to stun City with a win may be too much to ask for this time.
Star Man – Patrick Bamford
If he continues his fine form, an England call-up could be on the cards in the future.
Form Guide (all comps): WWLW
Reasons to be cheerful
New centre-back Dias will add quality to City’s defence alongside Laporte
Sterling bagged double in midweek fixture
Reasons to be fearful
City were poor against Leicester last weekend
Several players out due to injury or Covid-19
Leicester ran Man City absolutely ragged last weekend, meaning it’s the first time in Pep Guardiola’s 687 match career that his side has conceded five goals in a match.
Such was the brilliance of Leicester’s counterattacking, it is hard to see how Man City can pick themselves up and challenge Liverpool for the title this season. There is still a long way to go, however.
Aymeric Laporte returned to City’s defence in midweek and he, along with new £65m signing Ruben Dias, will help to steady a shaky backline.
Raheem Sterling also scored twice in the midweek cup game against Burnley and will be expected to lead the line again in the absence of injured Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.
But they will have to be wary of the threat which Leeds possess, particularly on the break. As they showed against Liverpool, they can be a real menace and if City are not at their best they could be punished.
They should have too much quality, though, on this occasion.
Star Man – Raheem Sterling
Not at his best when playing down the middle, but can still score the goals City need in others’ absence.
Could be a battle of attack vs. attack
If City defend better, their superior quality should be enough
Both teams to score
Neither side has defended will too much confidence this season, though Leeds did so better against Sheffield United last weekend.
City’s attack will be a completely different test for them, however, especially as Guardiola’s side will be even more desperate for victory after last week’s poor performance.
Leeds can cause City problems for sure and are likely to get on the scoresheet.
But The Citizens have the quality to see off a spirited Leeds side and are likely to get three points here.
Manchester City to win 3-1
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