Manchester City take on Leeds United on Saturday with the potential of extending their lead over Arsenal at the top of the table. The blues moved a point clear of the Gunners with a 3-0 victory over West Ham in midweek and still have a game in hand.
They face a Leeds side that have just four games to avoid the drop back to the Championship. To do that, they are looking to Sam Allardyce to work his ‘Big Sam’ magic and pull the Yorkshire side back from the brink.
Here, we take an in-depth look at the Whites form, danger men and the Dudley Guardiola himself.
To paraphrase former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, it’s squeaky bum time for Leeds United. A disastrous run of form, which has seen Leeds win just three Premier League games since November has left them outside the relegation zone on goal difference only.
From their 21 matches since beating Bournemouth 4-3 at Elland Road on Bonfire Night, Leeds have 12 and drawn six, including crushing defeats at home to Crystal Palace (1-5), Liverpool (1-6) and away to Arsenal (1-4). Their last win came on 4th April when they beat fellow relegation candidates Nottingham Forest 2-1 at Elland Road.
A 4-2 win at Wolves in March was only their second win on the road in the Premier League and have lost 12 of their 17 matches on their travels this season.
Leeds have had difficulty keeping clean sheets this season, particularly on the road where they have only once stopped the opposition from scoring - a 0-0 draw at Newcastle on New Year’s Eve being the only occasion.
With 36 goals conceded, Leeds have the third-worst defence away from home in the league but, with 20 scored, they are the highest scorers from the bottom three teams.
Rodrigo Moreno is Leeds’ main threat in front of goal, having scored 13 goals from 31 matches so far this season. He has attempted 51 shots, has a shot accuracy of 59% and a goal conversion rate of 25%. Luis Sinisterra has hit seven goals from 22 matches and Patrick Bamford has hit six.
Spare a thought though for Sonny Perkins who has a perfect goal conversion and shot accuracy rate of 100%. However, he has played just three matches all season and had one shot on target. It’s surprising that he’s not a guaranteed starter for Saturday!
Assists have fallen to Jack Harrison, who has ten so far. he has created 51 chances overall, the highest in the Leeds team and has a pass accuracy of 71%. Bamford and Wilfried Gnonto have four assists apiece, with the latter created almost double the chances than Bamford (23-12). Marc Roca has two assists, but has attempted and completed the most passes in the entire Leeds side (1372 attempted, 1096 completed). Unsurprisingly, he has teh highest pass accuracy in the side with 80%.
Who’s The Boss?
Sam Allardyce was appointed Leeds manager earlier in the week and wasted no time in likening himself to City manager Pep Guardiola, “I’m 68 but there’s nobody ahead of me in football terms. Not Pep, not Klopp, not Arteta.”
However, his overall win rate of 38% from the 13 clubs and his time as England boss could say something different. His time as player/manager at Limerick in 1991 yielded his highest win ratio of 51.9%, with 14 wins from 27 matches.
His highest win rate overall was during his time as England manager when he won all of his matches. However, that was just the one match in September 2016 before he resigned.
Allardyce has never won a major trophy either as a player or manager, however, he was named Premier League Manager of the Month six times, between August 2001 and October 2014. Take that Pep and Klopp!