Manchester City v Leeds Tips: All action at the Etihad
Andy Schooler is expecting goals and lots of shots when great entertainers Manchester City and Leeds meet in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime...
Leeds' approach won't change
Create your own sentence using the following phrases: Marco Bielsa, great entertainers, breath of fresh air, Leeds United.
We've all heard the plaudits from the pundits about the Yorkshire side this season and while it's become something of a cliché, they have certainly been worth watching.
Leeds will easily achieve their aim of staying in the Premier League - it was never really in any doubt - and have done it by playing attractive, attacking football, regardless of the opposition.
It is very much the Bielsa philosophy.
Only on Thursday he said: "For three years now we have been trying to play in one way.
"I always think that you have to improve the way you want to play rather than start something else."
In short, Leeds' approach won't change at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday when they will face the champions-elect.
So we should expect something fairly similar to November's toe-to-toe tussle at Elland Road, a game which featured no fewer than 35 shots. They resulted in just two goals - it ended 1-1 - but there could have been many more.
Of course, both Bielsa and his opposite number, Pep Guardiola, will have learned plenty from that reverse fixture and will adjust accordingly. But as the Argentine said, they will also look for ways to improve and find areas to threaten their opponents.
Leeds will be without Jack Harrison for the game - he's on loan from City and thus ineligible - but aside from that Bielsa has a fully-fit squad to choose from with his defensive headache having eased in recent weeks.
Guardiola guessing game
With this game sandwiched between the two legs of a finely-balanced Champions League quarter-final with Dortmund, who Guardiola picks is anyone's guess.
Trying to predict who he'll play was described to me on Twitter this week as 'Pep Roulette' which pretty much hit the nail on the head. I won't bother trying.
Premier League Correct Score Tips: Infogol's predictions for this weekend's action
Suffice to say, the XI here will be considerably different to the one he plans to field in Germany on Wednesday.
Logic would suggest this should help Leeds but City have proved time and time again that rotating their players makes little difference to results - the Quadruple chasers have been playing twice a week pretty much all season but are currently on a run of 27 wins in 28 matches.
With Leeds having played so open all season, it's hard not to think City will add another victory to the tally here - no side has conceded more away goals than the Whites.
Leeds have shipped six at Manchester United, four at Liverpool and Arsenal and three at Chelsea. City are surely good for a few here.
But it's notable that Leeds have also scored in all of those aforementioned matches.
Enhance the City win price
Man City to win the game is just 1.31 - for the record Leeds are at 11.5 - but the hosts are 2.86 to win with both teams scoring which makes much more appeal.
Yes, this City team - and most importantly their defence - are better than United, Liverpool et al, but it seems unlikely that their preferred central pair of Ruben Dias and John Stones will start and in recent weeks they certainly haven't been as watertight as they were earlier in this current hot run of form.
They've conceded in five of their last six at the Etihad with only Monchengladbach, who arrived trailing that two-legged tie 2-0 and carrying little hope - failing to find the net. Four of those six games have been won by City.
Expect goals - but back shots
As ever with City, the markets expect goals with over 2.5 at just 1.48. Perhaps over 3.5 at 2.24 appeals more but personally I'd prefer the both-teams-to-score market - yes being offered at 1.86.
However, with that forming part of the City win bet, let's move on to the match shots market where it looks like there may have been some poor pricing.
As already stated, there were 35 in the reverse fixture and a repeat here is at 16/1 which looks way too big given it's also occurred in four of Leeds' 14 away games so far - at Villa, Everton, Newcastle and Spurs.
It's definitely a long shot but I'll also head down the market to take 30+ shots at 16/5 too.
A look at Leeds' averages for shots in away games show they have 14.2 per game - a tally only City themselves have bettered.
As for shots conceded away from home, it's 16 per game and again only one team has a higher figure here, Burnley.
In short, their away games average just over 30 shots each but you are getting 16/5 here. The market is putting a lot of faith on City's defence here but the contest at Elland Road earlier in the campaign suggests it might not make a big enough difference. For the record, Dias was partnered by Laporte at centre-back that day.
Eight of Leeds' 14 away games, including those at Chelsea and Man Utd, have hit the 30+ mark so I'm happy to take the price.
For those happy to stake bigger, 5/6 about 26+ shots being hit looks a good alternative.
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