Early Leeds United and Manchester City team news with Whites key man set to miss Etihad clash

Leeds United travel to face champions elect Manchester City this weekend in Premier League action - with kick-off set for 12.30 on Saturday lunchtime.

By Joe Urquhart
Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 12:14 pm
Leeds United's Jack Harrison challenges Kalvin Phillips during a warm-up at Elland Road. Pic: Getty
Leeds United's Jack Harrison challenges Kalvin Phillips during a warm-up at Elland Road. Pic: Getty

The Whites sit 11th in the standings ahead of kick-off and are enjoying a strong debut campaign in the top flight following promotion last summer.

United have claimed back-to-back wins against Fulham and Sheffield United which saw Marcelo Bielsa's men move onto 42 points - level with Arsenal.

Man City, meanwhile, have a 14-point lead at the top of the table and need just four wins to claim this season's Premier League crown.

Leeds travel to the Etihad this weekend for the first time since 2013, when they faced the hosts in an FA Cup fifth round clash.

Both Bielsa and Pep Guardiola will issue a more definitive update over their squads later this week - but here we take a look at the early team news from both camps.

Leeds United team news

Jack Harrison - unavailable

Adam Forshaw - hip

Leeds United loanee Jack Harrison will be absent due to Premier League loan rules.

The 24-year-old has made 30 appearances in all competitions under Marcelo Bielsa this season, scoring seven times and bagging five assists.

Harrison, though, will be unavailable to face his parent club this weekend and will miss out on the trip over the Pennines.

United have seen a number of first team players return to action in recent weeks following the international break and boast a near fully-fit squad for the first time in the Premier League.

Adam Forshaw (hip) remains the only absentee - providing there are no late complications - as he looks to initially step up his return after an 18-month absence with the club's development side in the coming weeks.

Manchester City team news

As things stand Pep Guardiola has no new injury worries ahead of the clash with Leeds United.

City defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final meeting in midweek and appear to have come through unscathed.

Guardiola, though, admitted that he would be forced to rotate his squad as he defended his policy passionately earlier this week with City fighting on four trophy fronts this term.

“They are human beings, they are not machines,” said Guardiola over his squad rotation.

“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.”