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There’s clear mutual respect between Pep Guardiola and Marcelo Bielsa, but while the latter’s team held Man City to a stalemate earlier in the season, things should be different this time around.
Whereas the hosts dropped points earlier in the campaign, they’ve now won 27 of 28 games and although facing a hectic schedule as they compete on four fronts, a policy of rotation has helped keep legs fresh for the run in, as should the clean bill of health Guardiola's squad is currently enjoying.
Such is the firepower available to Guardiola that Sergio Aguero has effectively been deemed surplus to requirements, although the Argentine may well get a start here with City's crucial second leg with Dortmund up next.
Man City have now scored at least twice in 23 of those 27 victories, and opponents Leeds aren’t exactly renowned for their defensive solidity, conceding at least 10 goals more than any of the teams above them in the table.
The visitors may have put together back-to-back wins over Fulham and Sheffield Utd in their last two outings, but they couldn’t manage clean sheets in either despite those sides occupying spots in the relegation zone.
Meanwhile, they've conceded three or more goals in each of their five visits to the traditional 'Big Six' this season, and Man City possess the greatest output of all.
Man City To Win To Nil
City’s goal scoring exploits might take centre stage, but they’ve also been excellent at the back and they’ve now registered clean sheets in 23 of 35 appearances since late November.
That includes four from their last five as only Dortmund managed to register, but keeping Erling Haaland quiet is a difficult task and the Norwegian came up with an assist to leave the German outfit alive in the tie.
Leeds are a mixed W6-D1-L8 across all competitions in 2021, as they failed to score in six of those defeats.
Prior to those wins over Fulham and Sheffield Utd, they’d failed to score in three appearances, so the win to nil makes sense here.
Indeed, away from home, Leeds have lost seven of 11 road trips in all competitions, failing to score in four of their past five defeats on their travels as only a defensively sloppy Arsenal kept them out.
Bielsa also has some output taken away as Jack Harrison is unable to face his parent club, with the on-loan winger contributing seven goals and five assists in the league this term.
His team are not without any threat, but they shouldn't see too much of the ball here and key defensive personal Ederson and Ruben Dias should still feature for the hosts.