Leeds United v Manchester City: Big Match Preview and Graham Smyth's pre-match verdict

AHEAD of this evening's Premier League clash between Leeds United and Manchester City at Elland Road, the YEP's chief football writer Graham Smyth puts together a Big Match Preview package.

By Graham Smyth
Saturday, 3rd October 2020, 5:50 am

Key details

Date: Tonight

Time: 5.30pm

KEY MAN: Manchester City's class act Belgian international midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images.

Venue: Elland Road

TV: Sky Sports Premier League/Main Event 5pm

Odds

Leeds win – 15/2

Draw – 9/2

City win – 1/3

Last time the teams met at Elland Road:

Monday March 22, 2004. Premier League: Leeds United 2 (McPhail 23, Viduka (pen) 76) Manchester City 1 (Anelka 44).

Key battle: Kalvin Phillips v Kevin De Bruyne

Phillips made a name for himself in the Championship as a player who could do a job on creative midfielders and keep them quiet, while impacting the game himself when in possession.

He’ll have a job on his hands this weekend when Manchester City and Kevin De Bruyne arrive.

If Phillips is tasked to man mark the creative genius, he’ll have to be prepared to follow him out wide, in behind and all over to stop him from making chances or scoring goals.

City key man: Kevin De Bruyne

The PFA Players’ Player of the Year and UEFA Men’s Player of the Year nominee De Bruyne operates on a level above the vast majority of players Leeds come up against.

He’s world class. His assists and goals speak for themselves but his skill at passing and finishing is matched by a desire to win and an athleticism to run defences ragged.

Graham Smyth’s verdict:

City might be in a bit of a transition period and they might have been thumped by Leicester City but this will be a hugely difficult game for Leeds United.

They have taken on and, for large periods, matched Liverpool however so there should be little fear in Marcelo Bielsa’s camp and they will get chances as they did against the Champions.

A draw would be a magnificent result for a newly-promoted side and I can just about see it, with both sides scoring.

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Thank you Laura Collins