Manchester City v Leeds Utd Match Thread - Costa in for the ineligible Harrison
08 Apr 2021 08:14 am, by Ellandback1
Saturday 10th April 12.30pm | Etihad Stadium
Leeds face Champions elect Manchester City for a Saturday lunchtime kick off at the Etihad Stadium. City are 14 points clear of second place (the red side of Manchester) on 74 points, 32 points more than Leeds in 11th place. City Manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that he plans to rotate his squad this weekend as his team target four pieces of silverware this term. Guardiola said...
They are human beings, they are not machines. I know the players, some of them are upset all the time because they want to play every day but this is not possible. To compete in all competitions in this year without spectators, in the shortest competition ever, (if) you don’t rotate you don’t compete in all competitions and you will not be in the position we are in now.
Of course they could play, they have an incredible mentality but they need rest. UEFA and FIFA killed the players because it’s too much. We haven’t had one midweek off since we started, not even one. There is no player who can sustain (this), not just physically but mentally to be ready every day to compete against opponents to win the game. It’s impossible.
I rotate I’m a genius, ‘well done Pep’ but when we lose and I rotate people say ‘why rotate? You have to play the players like normal’. But it’s unsustainable. The next game we are going to play fresh legs and against Leeds, more than ever, fresh legs.
Leeds have one fresh injury concern, Rodrigo is not in the squad having picked up a minor injury. Jack Harrison is obviously not allowed to play against his parent club and Helder Costa will start his tenth game of the season wing instead. Bielsa has the luxury of having centre backs Struijk, Llorente, Cooper and Koch fully fit but will stick with the pairing of Cooper and Llorente who started against Sheffield United. Manchester City have no fresh injury concerns following their 2-1 midweek win against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League Quarter final first leg. Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling - on the bench for the midweek Champions League game against Borussia Dortmund - are among those that could come into the starting eleven.
Earlier in the season the two sides contested a one all draw in a highly entertaining game at Elland Road. Leeds enjoyed 52% possession in the 1-1 draw with Man City earlier this season - no team has ever had more possession in both top-flight league meetings in a season with a side managed by Pep Guardiola across his spells with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Man City. Manchester City host Leeds for a match for the first time since February 2013, a 4-0 win in the FA Cup. In the Premier League, the sides have only met at the Etihad once, a 1-1 draw in December 2003.
Leeds Starting XI
Meslier, Alioski, Cooper, Llorente, Ayling, Phillips, Dallas, Raphinha, Roberts, Ciosta, Bamford
Subs: Casilla, Kochm Berardi, Struijk, Shackleton, Klich, Hernandez, Poveda, Gelhardt