Sport Manchester City v Leeds United – The Opposition
Diego Llorente’s claim for regular starts is powered by penetrative passes, and hindered only by fitness
The Spanish centre-back has started consecutive matches for the first time since joining Leeds, and proved himself as the ball-playing defender Bielsa craves.So it started. Centre-back roulette. Berardi himself lasted only two-and-a-bit more games before succumbing to a knee injury against Middlesbrough, missing six games. In just his 2nd game on return he suffered another major setback, with a serious hamstring tear that cost him 25 games.
welcome to the blue half of Manchester for their first league meeting in 18 years. It was December 2003 when these two teams last met, and City needed a 82nd minute equaliser from Antoine Sibierski to grab a share the points.
Leeds have since struggled in the lower divisions, spending three seasons in League One, but secured promotion back to the Premier League as winning the League Championship by ten points from second placed West Brom.
Leeds have had an interesting, yet indifferent first campaign back in the Premier League, and with 42 points, the look to have secured their top flight status for another season. A bright first half of the campaign has been followed by a mixed set of results. Defeat at Crawley Town in thewas one of the shocks of the round, and Leeds have gone on to win six Premier League matches since.
Bielsa denies he is close to signing new contract with Leeds
Marcelo Bielsa pushed back on Thursday on a report from his native Argentina last weekend he is "very close" to signing a new two-year contract with Leeds United. Bielsa signed his present 12-month contract one week before this season began. "That information is not real," said Bielsa at a press conference on Thursday."I ignore the origin. Those things, either the club can say or I can say it, we are the ones who possess the information. Video: Real frustrate Liverpool to move into last four (Reuters) Your browser does not support this video "In all cases, if there was any information to give, then I would give it.
United have lost five times since January, with defeats at home to Brighton andovershadowing victories at Leicester and Newcastle. Against the current top six teams, Leeds have taken just six points in total, with that solitary win at Leicester their only points on the road at top six clubs.
Away from home, Leeds have won seven, lost eight and are yet to draw on their travels. They have scored 26 goals on their journeys, the fifth highest in the Premier League, but defensively poor, conceding 30 which is the second highest behind(33) and level with bottom placed Sheffield United.
Patrick Bamford is Leeds main threat in front of goal. The striker has scored 14 goals from 30 appearances this season. He has had 77 shots in total with a goal conversion rate of 18%. Jack Harrison is next on the list with 7 from 30 matches, but with having 31 shots at goal, his conversion rate stands at 51%. Luckily for the blues, he is ineligible to play against his parent club!
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Bamford also seems to have shared the responsibility for assists with Raphinha, who have six each. Bamford has completed 324 of his attempted 414 passes, while Raphinha has 546 completed from 753 attempts. With 49, Raphinha has created the most chances than anyone in the Leeds team.
However, the main threat in midfield comes from Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich. Dallas has attempted 1,614 passes, completing 1,351 and creating 18 chances with 2 assists credited to him, giving him a pass accuracy of 84%. Klich has completed 1,098 of his 1,337 attempted passes and created 36 chances, 5 of which have turned into assists. His pass accuracy is 82%.
Who’s The Boss?
Marcelo Bielsa is the current man at the Leeds United helm, having joined the club in 2018 when former manager Paul Heckingbottom (most Yorkshire name ever) was sacked. Bielsa has a decent win ratio with Leeds, standing at 52.3%. He has presided over 132 games for Leeds, winning 69, losing 41 and drawing 22.
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City fans will recognise many of the names of former blues who have also worn the white of Leeds. Danny Mills, Danny Granville and Richard Jobson have all crossed the Lancashire-Yorkshire, while older blue will remember David White moved to Leeds from City, while David Rocastle made the opposite journey.
Alf-Inge Haaland represented City after starring for Leeds, while Darren Huckerby and Robbie Fowler also joined the blues after playing for the whites. James Milner and Fabien Delph are also familiar names that have played for both sides.
Last Time Out
Leeds secured a 1-1 draw with City when the two teams met at Elland Road in October. Rodrigo second half goal cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s 17th minute opener to give the whites a share of the spoils.
Police in Belarus capital arrest more than 100 protesters .
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Police in the capital of Belarus arrested more than 100 people who assembled for a protest march Saturday to call for the resignation of the country's authoritarian president. The planned event in Minsk indicated that supporters of the political opposition seek to revive the wave of mass protests that gripped Belarus for months last year but were dormant during the winter. During the first sizable anti-government protests of 2021, more than 200 people were detained Thursday.