Predicted Leeds United XI vs Manchester City: How will Bielsa replace absent Harrison?

Brian Heffernan April 8, 2021
Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa will have to replace Jack Harrison for Saturday’s clash at Manchester City (12.30pm) as the youngster can’t play against his parent club.

Bielsa will be keen to go one better than when he last faced Manchester City in the Premier League.

Leeds drew 1-1 in a fascinating tactical battle between Bielsa and Pep Guardiola at Elland Road in October.

And, despite City appearing unstoppable at the moment, Leeds might win this time with no new injury news and Bielsa’s nous.

Leeds are in good form, winning three of their past six matches, with two losses and one draw.

How will Leeds line up against City?

We feel Bielsa will stick with the 4-1-4-1 formation that proved so powerful when the sides last met.

Apart from his weakness at set-pieces, Meslier hasn’t done a lot wrong while wearing the gloves week in, week out, and the Frenchman will start.

Leeds’ back four will see a new face in Stuart Dallas playing in the left-back role, something he has often done this season.

Apart from that, we think the defence will be unchanged from the Sheffield United clash.

Kalvin Phillips should take up his usual defensive-midfield role and sit just behind Mateusz Klich and Tyler Roberts.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Alioski to replace Harrison

We expect Bielsa to turn to Ezgjan Alioski to replace Jack Harrison in the wide-midfield position.

The North Macedonia international started against City in the reverse fixture so it seems likely Alioski will get the nod again.

On the other wing, we expect Raphinha to continue his fine form and start out wide against Pep Guardiola’s side.

And, of course, it surely has to be Patrick Bamford up front. The Englishman has scored 14 Premier League goals this season and made himself undroppable.

Here’s our Leeds predicted XI: