City suffered a poor result last time out | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Manchester City make their third league appearance of the season when they travel to Elland Road to face newly-promoted Leeds United.
The hosts have made a strong return to the top flight and could climb into the top four if results go their way this weekend.
Bamford’s late goal sealed the three points for Leeds | Alex Livesey/Getty Images
As for the visitors, they’ll be looking to get their title charge back on track after a mixed opening to the season. Pep Guardiola’s men began with an encouraging 3-1 victory at Molineux, but got hammered by Leicester City a week later at the Etihad.
Here’s 90min’s preview of the game.
When Is Kick Off? Saturday 3rd October
What Time Is Kick Off? 17:30 (BST)
Where Is it Being Played? Elland Road
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports Premier League (UK), FuboTV (US)
Referee? Mike Dean
Jack Harrison, who assisted last week’s winner, is ineligible to face his parent club, so will miss out. Pablo Hernandez is also sidelined for the home side.
New arrival Diego Llorente could make his debut, although Marcelo Bielsa may not change his backline after keeping a clean sheet at Bramall Lane.
Ruben Dias could be in line for his City debut | Gualter Fatia/Getty Images
Guardiola could hand a debut to centre-back Ruben Dias, who arrived from Benfica last Tuesday. Given their defensive frailties last time out, the Portuguese could be a welcome addition to the backline.
Dias’ compatriot Joao Cancelo is ruled out through injury, as are Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, and Oleksandr Zinchenko. German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan recently tested positive for COVID-19, so will also miss out.
Leeds United: Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas; Costa, Phillips, Klich, Roberts, Alioski; Bamford
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Mendy; Rodri, Fernandinho; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Torres; Sterling
Marcelo Bielsa’s men have made a very strong start to the season. After a narrow defeat at Anfield, the Yorkshire side have subsequently seen off Fulham and Sheffield United.
Only Leicester City and Liverpool have found the net more often than Leeds, and that’s largely down to the form of forward Patrick Bamford. Many doubted whether the former Chelsea man could hold his own in the Premier League, but he’s enjoyed a fine beginning to the campaign.
Bamford is silencing the doubters | Alex Livesey/Getty Images
The Cityzens come into this game off the back of a poor defensive showing at home to Leicester, conceding three penalties and losing 5-2 – the heaviest home defeat inflicted on Guardiola in his managerial career.
The legendary Spaniard will be hoping that the result against the Foxes was just a blip, as side have won their other three fixtures this term, reaching the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Here are their five most recent competitive results.
Sheffield United 0-1 Leeds (27/09)
Leeds 4-3 Fulham (19/09)
Leeds 1-1 Hull City (16/09)
Liverpool 4-3 Leeds (12/09)
Leeds 4-0 Charlton Athletic (22/07)
Burnley 0-3 Man City (30/09)
Man City 2-5 Leicester City (27/09)
Man City 2-1 Bournemouth (24/09)
Wolves 1-3 Man City (21/09)
Man City 1-3 Lyon (15/08)
Saturday’s clash sees two of the world’s most respected managers go head-to-head, with Guardiola notoriously a huge admirer of Leeds boss Bielsa.
Guardiola and Bielsa have a lot of history | LLUIS GENE/Getty Images
The away side are known for their attacking prowess, scoring the most goals in the division in each of the last three seasons. Up against a side who haven’t exactly looked rock solid so far, we can expect them to create chances. Without a natural striker, however, they may find themselves lacking that cutting edge.
Manchester City also suffer with their own defensive frailties, which a confident Leeds side will fancy themselves to exploit. This game has the potential to be a highly entertaining spectacle.
Every time City lost a league game last season, they bounced back with a win – often an emphatic one. Having been humiliated in their last league outing, they’ll be highly motivated to silence the critics with another big performance.
Prediction: Leeds United 1-3 Manchester City