Man City vs Leeds – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 6th May 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Leeds’ visit to the Etihad Stadium. These two teams are at polar opposites in terms of form – foregone conclusion? Free betting tips and more with our Man City vs Leeds prediction.
Man City vs Leeds Preview
Another week and two more victories for a Manchester City side that has clicked in spectacular fashion over the last couple of months. Though they’ve won nothing yet, the Premier League title is in their hands, and 14 wins in 15 matches in all competitions shows that they’re showing no signs of slowing down just yet. They were forced to wait until early in the second half for their breakthrough against West Ham, but once they made it the result was inevitable.
With a game in hand, a one-point cushion and a superior goal difference, the odds on Manchester City lifting their fifth title in six years and their third in a row have been slashed dramatically – 1/33 is the typical price available. As we prefer to stick to the football side of things as opposed to the morality of the ownership or financial investigations, it’s obvious to say that City have been highly impressive and in the last couple of months are perhaps dominating in a way that hasn’t been seen before.
The visitors have been spiralling towards the relegation zone for weeks now, with just one point in their last five matches. This poor run of form has prompted yet another managerial change for Leeds, with Sam Allardyce returning until the end of the season on a highly-incentivised short-term contract. Leeds have conceded 27 times in 9 Premier League matches, and Allardyce is reportedly prioritising their mental well-being to cope with a difficult run-in.
Leeds United have a tricky run of fixtures to end the season, and this is arguably the most difficult of the lot. A home match against Newcastle United and a trip to West Ham both pose their own problems – they would hope that West Ham can pull themselves safe before facing them in such a huge game. A home match against an out-of-sorts Spurs side will round off the campaign, and it goes without saying that Leeds will likely need a result or two to ensure their Premier League survival.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: De Bruyne
Will Not Play:
Might Not Play: Cooper
Will Not Play: Adams, Dallas, Sinisterra
Man City vs Leeds Lineups (Predicted)
Man City (3-2-4-1): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake; Rodri, Stones; Grealish, Gundogan, Mahrez, Alvarez; Haaland
Leeds (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Wober, Koch, Cooper, Kristensen; Roca, McKennie; Harrison, Aaronson, Gnonto; Bamford
Man City vs Leeds Analysis
City Will Face a Wall of Leeds Defenders
We’re not saying this to buy into the stereotype of Allardyce’s anti-football – in fact, many of his teams in the past have played some progressive stuff at times, but it all depended on the circumstances. We can fairly describe Leeds’ new manager as a pragmatist – it’s all about getting the best of a particular squad of players rather than imposing the same system week in, week out regardless of results.
With Leeds suffering defensively – three goals per game over nine matches is a disaster at this level – the last thing Leeds will do is turn up at the Etihad and try to impose a high press on City. Logically, they’ll turn up with the intention of being highly organised, with McKennie and Roca slotting in as auxilliary defenders, their wide men will be expected to track back and they’ll look to break quickly but without committing too many forward in support.
Therefore, we expect City will have north of 70% possession and they’ll have to work incredibly hard for any breakthrough they make. Leeds are likely to be energised and difficult to break down despite their recent defensive issues. We’re going to see more of the probing, ball-dominant football that Pep Guardiola has become synonymous with, because Leeds aren’t going to allow themselves to be ripped apart in transition. We expect that they will have identified the problem and that their first priority is effectively to shut the back door. Even though it is unlikely to yield a result in this match, it could stand them in good stead for their remaining fixtures.
… But We Don’t Expect it To Matter Much
Simply put, City have shown that it doesn’t matter too much how the opposition organises itself, they will generate an attacking threat whether that’s via probing possession play or fast transitions. Leeds simply don’t have the quality either in possession or on the break to ask the kind of questions to stop City in their tracks. Therefore, they will dig in, try to limit City to half chances and hope they can get something on the break.
It’s a legitimate strategy, particularly for a team struggling with confidence and facing a talent deficit. To go to the Etihad and play more expansive football in these circumstances would be a big mistake. Leeds have been showing some aerial prowess of late – they are adept at crossing to the back post and winning the aerial battle for an effort on goal or a knockdown here and there. We expect this strength is what they’ll be hoping to put into practice above all else.
We expect to see a different Leeds team in that they will likely be more organised. There won’t have been much time to work with the players, but we think they will go to the Etihad with the aim of frustrating City and catching them on the break or through set pieces.
Occasionally, this strategy might work. 1-0 or 2-1 against the run of play isn’t a particularly uncommon sight in football. However, City are in superb form and it’s unlikely that they’ll be unable to break down a Leeds side which has struggled defensively all season long. Leeds will likely be targeting two or three of their remaining matches as opposed to this one – they’ll give it their all, but realistically City will prevail although Leeds could succeed in keeping the score down.
Man City 2-0 Leeds
Man City vs Leeds Betting Tip – Under 2.5 Goals Odds:
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