Marcelo Bielsa will be looking to outwit Pep Guardiola on Saturday Night Football as Leeds United take on Manchester City.
Leeds have six points under their belt from three fixtures so far, but a meeting with four-time Champions City is a tough ask.
That’s made even tougher by the absence of Jack Harrison, who isn’t eligible to play his parent-club.
Additionally, Pablo Hernandez misses out through injury.
Predicted Leeds United XI to take on Manchester City:
We will start with the goalkeeper, who after Sunday, picks himself.
Illan Meslier retains the gloves, whilst Stuart Dallas, Liam Cooper, Robin Koch and Luke Ayling play ahead of him. The latter trio played in a three-man unit at Bramall Lane, but expect them to revert back to normal this Saturday, with Dallas at left-back.
Kalvin Phillips anchors the midfield, with Helder Costa and Mateusz Klich running the right channel ahead of him.
Alongside Klich in the midfield is where we envisage the first change. Rodrigo stepped off the bench to do superbly well against Sheffield United on Sunday.
The club-record signing demanded the ball, recycled it well and pressed when he wasn’t in possession of it. His role in the winner can’t be overlooked.
Who replaces Harrison?
Stepping in for Harrison on the left, we’ve gone for Ezgjan Alioski.
Ian Poveda is an option, but we feel the experience and energy of Alioski is going to be so important against Pep Guardiola’s side. Unlike most weeks, we will see Leeds having less of the ball and tasked with keeping an unbelievably tight shape. Alioski’s game is suited to that.
Finally, Patrick Bamford leads the line. It’s three in three for him at the start of this season and he’s on one of those streaks that doesn’t look like ending.
Harrison’s absence is a blow. He’s so key to the structure of the play on the left, both offensively and defensively.
However, in Alioski, you’ve got a replacement with bundles of energy. That’s important against City, who make you run and run.
Again, Hernandez’s absence is always a blow, but Rodrigo looked good against Sheffield United and, in a more open game against City, he could really do some damage.
Of course, this is a tough ask and our XI, compared to City’s, is going to look poor. However, it’s a free hit and there’s every chance Bielsa could spring a surprise and get one over Guardiola.