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How Manchester City could line up against Leeds United

Sports Mole looks at how Manchester City could line up for Saturday's Premier League clash with Leeds United at Elland Road.

Pep Guardiola comes up against one of his most influential mentors on Saturday when his Manchester City side travel to Elland Road to take on Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United.

City head into the match having booked their place in the EFL Cup quarter-finals with a comfortable victory at Burnley in midweek, although they will be keen to return to winning ways in the league too.

The Citizens were thumped 5-2 at home by Leicester City last weekend to fall six points adrift of champions Liverpool already - albeit with a game in hand - and take on a Leeds side in good form.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how Guardiola could line his side up for the contest.

Possible MNC XI vs. LEE

Out: Sergio Aguero (knee), Gabriel Jesus (muscle), Joao Cancelo (foot), Oleksandr Zinchenko (unspecified)
Doubtful: John Stones (muscle), Ilkay Gundogan (coronavirus)

> Click here for Man City's latest injury and suspension news ahead of this match

Manchester City's new record signing Ruben Dias could be thrown straight into the starting lineup for this match following his big-money arrival from Benfica, with Guardiola knowing that he can ill-afford to take any more time to fix his side's defensive issues.

Aymeric Laporte's return to fitness should also come as a timely boost in that regard; the Frenchman made his first appearance of the season in midweek and could retain his place for this match.

The presence of Nathan Ake does allow Guardiola to ease Laporte back into things to an even greater extent should he so desire, while there is also the option to play Laporte on the left amid ongoing concerns over Benjamin Mendy and a reported search for a new left-back before Monday's deadline.

However Guardiola chooses to shuffle things, there are likely to be changes from last weekend after City shipped five goals at the Etihad for the first time, including three of the back four conceding penalties.

There is far less concern about Man City's quality further up the field, although they remain without a recognised senior striker as Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero are still sidelined.

Raheem Sterling looks to be the most likely to play as the furthest man forward as a result, particularly after his brace in midweek.

Ferran Torres was also on the scoresheet at Turf Moor and will hope to have convinced Guardiola that he is ready for his first Premier League start, but Phil Foden is also in contention following his England omission.

Ilkay Gundogan has now completed his 10-day isolation period after testing positive for coronavirus, but he is not likely to feature this weekend and will instead return after the international break.

John Stones is also expected to miss out again having been absent for the last three games, while Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko's absences further limit City's defensive options.

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:

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Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates with Cole Palmer in the EFL Cup on September 30, 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
CManchester CityMan City36265576294783
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd362010670422870
3Leicester CityLeicester362061065442166
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs361781163412259
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham361781156461059
10Leeds UnitedLeeds36165155753453
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13Crystal Palace36128164061-2144
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle36109174362-1939
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton36814143742-538
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom36511203370-3726
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3662281962-4320

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