Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has spoken highly of Manchester City and Pep Guardiola’s style of play ahead of their clash at the Etihad on Saturday, speaking to Leeds Live.

Leeds will be without Jack Harrison as the winger is unable to play against his parent club.

Ezgjan Alioski filled his spot the last time Bielsa faced City so it would seem likely the North Macedonia international will play again this weekend.

Alioski has started 21 games in the Premier League this season and scored twice.

Talking tactics

Speaking ahead of the Manchester City clash, the Leeds manager was highly complimentary of Guardiola’s tactics, which is quite something given Bielsa’s own tactical reputation.

Bielsa said: “When I classified Guardiola’s team as ‘magical’, I wasn’t calling him a magician.

“What I was trying to say is that in the process he creates so many surprising attacks.

Manchester City Press Conference
(Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

“Of course, this is supported by the quality of his players. There is a method that stimulates what they do. This is the difficult thing to expect.


“From the outside it looks as though the manager has done something magical. There’s nothing nicer for a spectator than to see something they did not expect.”

But can Bielsa overcome Guardiola?

It’s no surprise Leeds are the underdogs on Saturday (kick-off 12.30pm), but can an eager Whites side topple the champions in waiting?

It’s certainly exciting for fans of both clubs and neutrals alike when Bielsa and Guardiola are matched up.

The last time the sides met – at Elland Road in October – it was a 1-1 draw, with goals from Rodrigo and Raheem Sterling.

So the score between Bielsa and Guardiola stands level. But it would be a landmark win for the Argentine and a real statement of intent from Leeds.

Meanwhile Man City are sailing towards the Premier League title and a historic quadruple.

But, despite huge differences in budget and class of player, sometimes it comes down to who wants it more. And Bielsa would just love it if Leeds won.

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