UEFA Champions League

Leeds United-Manchester City Preview

Pep Guardiola thinks Kevin De Bruyne can achieve whatever he wants at Manchester City after committing his long-term future to the Premier League leaders.

De Bruyne penned a two-year extension this week until June 2025 that will take him up to a decade with the club if he sees out the terms.

Since signing for City from Wolfsburg in 2015, the Belgium playmaker has scored 41 goals and supplied 76 assists in 176 Premier League matches.

In terms of creativity, that puts him far above his peers, with ex-Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen (51) the only other player to have laid on more than 50 goals during the same period, with former and current team-mates David Silva (44) and Riyad Mahrez (41) up next.

"We will see from Kevin what he wants to be. His type of player, what he wants will be possible. It depends on him," Guardiola said ahead of Saturday's Premier League home game versus Leeds United.

"I never involved in signing contracts for the players. That belongs to Txiki [Begiristain, City's director of football] and the club, but my personal opinion is I'm more than delighted for the time we've spent together in the past and hopefully, in these two months we still have ahead, we can do a good step forward and in the future.

"If the club and Kevin are satisfied, then if a third person is satisfied, it's me. Congratulations to Kevin, his family and Manchester City."

Marcelo Bielsa, meanwhile, is anticipating an entertaining contest following a thrilling 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture.

"Both teams aim for creativity and this helps in building a good spectacle," Bielsa stated. "The team will be subject to a big, big test and we will see how the team has evolved."

Manchester City - Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero, who is leaving City at the end of the season, netted a brace in his only previous appearance against Leeds, a 4-0 win in the FA Cup in February 2013. Should he feature, it will be his first Premier League game against the Whites, with the Argentinian scoring against 32 of the 33 previous opponents he's faced, failing only against Bolton Wanderers.

Leeds United - Raphinha

No Leeds player has created more chances (55) or provided more assists (six) in the Premier League this season than Raphinha. The winger has been directly involved in 12 Premier League goals in 2020-21, only four Brazilians have registered more goal involvements in their first Premier League season: Felipe Anderson (13 in 2018-19), Roberto Firmino (17 in 2015-16), Elano (17 in 2007-08) and Robinho (19 in 2008-09).

•Guardiola has registered at least one win over 75 of the 77 opponents he has faced in his top-flight league managerial career - Leeds are one of the two he hasn't beaten (P1 D1), along with Middlesbrough (P2 D2).

•Leeds' total of 42 points from 30 Premier League games is their best tally at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 2001-02 (51 points), when they finished fifth. Indeed, their total of 47 goals is their highest return at this stage of a Premier League campaign since 1999-00 (49).

•City have kept a league-high 17 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, just three behind their best tally of shutouts in a Premier League campaign (20 in 2018-19). Indeed, since the turn of the year, the Citizens have kept a clean sheet in 10 of their 17 league games, conceding just nine goals in the process (W16 L1).

•Leeds have only won one of their seven away Premier League matches against City (D4 L2), a 4-0 victory at Maine Road in January 2001 with goals from Eirik Bakke, Lee Bowyer and a Robbie Keane brace.

•Bielsa's Leeds enjoyed 52 per cent 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 Guardiola across his spells with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City.

Updated April 9, 2021

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