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Leeds United v Manchester City – The Opposition

A Look at the Blues Weekend Opponents

Manchester City v Leeds United - Premier League Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Manchester City travel to Elland Road and a Saturday evening War of the Roses with relegation threatened Leeds United.

The blues need to continue their winning form in the White Rose county, and face a Leeds side who are desperate for points so they can put some distance between them and their two rivals for the drop, Everton and Burnley.

City came through Tuesday night’s encounter with Real Madrid 4-3 winners, but were left rueing the number of missed chances they had to put the game and indeed the tie, to bed in the first leg, and manager Pep Guardiola must select his side with the second leg in Madrid taking place on Wednesday.

Form

After losing six straight matches, and seven of their previous eight, Leeds have embarked on a five-match unbeaten run that has taken them five points clear of Everton in the drop zone. The Yorkshire whites last outing was a goalless draw at Crystal Palace, but Leeds have won three of their last five. This has included a home win over Norwich, whilst also winning at Watford and Wolves.

Prior to their recent run, Leeds had won just two of their previous thirteen matches, losing ten in total, including the 7-0 thrashing at Etihad Stadium in December. The home side will be looking to avoid a similar scoreline on Saturday.

Danger Men

Despite Leeds’ difficult season, Raphina has been turning heads towards the club with a series of impressive displays, as well as ten goals to his name. The Brazilian striker has had fifty-four attempts at goal from thirty-one matches played, and has a goal conversion rate of 19%, while his shot accuracy rate is 41%, which is quite low for a top scorer.

Former City striker Jack Harrison has also been knocking the goals in for Leeds this season. Harrison, who signed permanently for Leeds last July after two successful loan spells, has got nine so far from thirty-three games and with 29%, has the highest goal conversion rate in the team. He also has a shot accuracy of 65%, the highest of the first team regulars.

Daniel James has chipped in with the most assists so far. He has four to his name from the twenty-three chances he has created from thirty-two games. However, Raphina and Harrison, with 55 and 49 respectively, have created the most chances, so if the blues want to come away from Elland Road with anything, they will have to stop the duo in their tracks.

Stuart Dallas, who scored both Leeds’ goals at Etihad Stadium last season, has attempted the most passes with 1,462 and has completed 1,161. This season, Dallas has just the one goal and one assist, but the blues will still need to be wary of him.

Who’s the Boss?

Jesse Marsch became the third American to manage a Premier League team after Marcelo Bielsa was sacked in February. Marsch has only presided over seven matches at the helm of Leeds, winning three and losing two, giving him a win ratio of 43%.

Marsch was manager at RB Leipzig when the blues beat the German side 6-3 in the Champions League in September, but left the team on 5th December. Two days later, his former club beat City 2-1 in their final Champions League group match.

Last Time Out

These two teams met at Etihad Stadium in December and three first half goals from Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Kevin de Bruyne, were added to in the second half by strikes from Riyad Mahrez, a second from de Bruyne, before defenders John Stones and Nathan Ake got in on the goal scoring act as City ran out 7-0 winners.