Premier League

Leeds United-Manchester City Preview

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is expecting his side to "suffer" against Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United in Tuesday's Premier League contest.

Reigning champions and current pacesetters City enter the contest at the Etihad Stadium in great form, having won each of their last six matches in the top flight.

Leeds have collected just six points across the same period, leaving them down in 15th place, but Guardiola is not expecting an easy contest.

"Leeds are one of our toughest opponents," he said. "They play in a special unique way and we play against this special unique way just two times a year.

"We have to adjust a few things because they are different to other opponents. We are not much used to these type of games. We know we will have to suffer."

Leeds took four points off City in their two meetings last season and, in another potential good omen, have won all five of their games played on a Tuesday since returning to the Premier League.

"Every game we make lots of effort to deserve to win," United boss Bielsa said ahead of the midweek trip to Manchester.

"Sometimes it is possible and sometimes it is not. We have a lot of hope we can obtain what we deserve and that means we get more points on the board."

Leeds have seven players one booking away from an automatic one-match ban, but Bielsa will not instruct his players to play any differently against City.

"There is no need for any added recommendation to the one we usually make - just to avoid actions that will get you booked," he said.

"That recommendation is never conditioned to the amount of bookings a player's on. Even if they weren't close to a suspension, we don't want them to produce excessive actions."

Manchester City - Raheem Sterling

The Citizens are one goal short of hitting a milestone 500 in the Premier League under Guardiola. Of players still at the club, Sterling (76) has netted more than any other.

Sterling reached a landmark of his own with his 100th Premier League goal in City's win against Wolves and now has five goals in his last eight matches in all competitions.

Leeds United - Joe Gelhardt

Nineteen-year-old forward Gelhardt scored with his first touch of the ball in Leeds' unfortunate 3-2 loss to Chelsea at the weekend and may earn a start against City.

The last teenager to score in back-to-back games for Leeds in the top flight was former City player James Milner in December 2002.

- City are winless in four Premier League games against Leeds (D2 L2) since a 2-1 win at Maine Road under Kevin Keegan in January 2003.

- Leeds won this exact fixture 2-1 last season, scoring with both shots they had across the whole match. They have not won consecutive away league games against City since 1987, while they have not done so in the top flight since a run of three between 1969 and 1971.

- Leeds have won just one of their last 14 away games against reigning top-flight champions (D5 L8), beating Arsenal 3-2 at Highbury in May 2003.

- United have won just two of their 20 Premier League games against sides starting the day top of the table (D9 L9). However, both of these wins have come away from home, including a 2-1 victory over City in their most recent such encounter.

- Leeds have scored twice in each of their last two Premier League games, having scored more than once in just two of their first 14 this season. However, they have drawn with Brentford (2-2) and lost to Chelsea (2-3) in these games, with West Ham the last side to score at least twice but fail to win 3+ consecutive Premier League matches (four in a row in March/April 2016).

Updated December 13, 2021

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