Mark Lawrenson has backed Manchester City to beat Leeds United when the two sides meet this weekend, insisting to BBC Sport that Pep Guardiola’s men are a totally different team to the one that drew at Elland Road.
It will be fascinating to see how City look when they face Leeds on Saturday. With the Premier League title seemingly on its way to the Etihad Stadium, the priority for the Cityzens has to be the Champions League.
They take a narrow lead into the second-leg of their quarter-final with Borussia Dortmund next week. What may be a concern however, is the Bundesliga side scoring an away goal in the first-leg.
That may give Leeds additional hope that they can spring a surprise. But Lawrenson believes that City should still be able to secure a comfortable win.
“Leeds gave Manchester City a really good game at Elland Road in October, but Pep Guardiola’s side look like a totally different team these days,” he told BBC Sport, as he predicted a 3-0 win for the home side.
“I know Leeds will be adventurous, but I just don’t see them having very much of the ball.
“Guardiola can afford to rest whoever he wants to rest before his side go to Borussia Dortmund for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final next Wednesday, and I don’t think it will make much difference.”
As Lawrenson notes, Leeds were excellent in the previous meeting. And they are all but assured of a place in next season’s top flight.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side also face a daunting run of games. After taking on City, Leeds will come up against Liverpool and Manchester United.
They would love to kick off that run with a positive result. And while their results against the better sides would suggest that it is going to be an uphill battle, their performances would suggest that there may be an upset at some stage in that run.