Leeds United v Manchester City: Key battle, City key man and YEP prediction

The YEP's chief football writer Graham Smyth provides the lowdown on all the key aspects of Saturday evening's Premier League clash between Leeds United and Manchester City at Elland Road.

By Graham Smyth
Saturday, 30th April 2022, 11:30 am

Date: Saturday

Time: 5.30pm

Competition: Premier League

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KEY PLAYER: Manchester City star Jack Grealish. Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images.

Venue: Elland Road

Odds: Leeds win 9/1; Draw 5/1; City win 2/7.

LAST TIME AT ELLAND ROAD

Saturday October 3, 2020

Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City (Rodrigo 59)

KEY BATTLE

Full-back areas

Leeds have managed to stop teams being so dangerous through the middle of the pitch, although Manchester City's runners and ability to operate so well in tight spaces will test that. Where the Whites have struggled to be as solid is out wide in the full-back areas. Marsch's full-backs, likely to be Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling, will need support to stop a world-class attack, supported by their own full-backs, from profiting out wide.

MAN CITY KEY MAN

Take your pick

They're all pretty good aren't they? This could be the game for Jack Grealish, given he stayed on the bench in midweek against Real Madrid. His ability on the ball out wide could pose a real threat. Similarly, Raheem Sterling could come back in and the problems he presents are many. Gabriel Jesus is a man on fire, Phil Foden is magnificent and football has run out of words for Kevin de Bruyne.

GRAHAM SMYTH'S VERDICT

It won't be 7-0 again, it just can't be and it feels unlikely because Leeds are less vulnerable to attacks through the very heart of their midfield and defence, but it's hard to see a positive result for Leeds. Of course, as they proved at the Etihad last season, you never know. Maybe Manchester City will be tired, feeling the effects of a long season and heavy schedule, or perhaps the pressure of the title race will introduce nerves. Leeds just have to make life as uncomfortable as possible and take any chances that come their way.

Prediction: 3-0 to the visitors.