When Pep Guardiola said, prior to the League Cup win over Liverpool last night, he had major selection problems in his squad, we knew it was mind games.
The remarks were extremely transparent gamesmanship, and we saw that given the very strong team that he put out on Thursday. We know he’ll do the same when City visits Leeds United, in Premier League competition, on Wednesday.
Manchester City at Leeds United FYIs
Competition: Boxing Day, Premier League Return
Kickoff: Tue Dec 28 8pm GMT, Elland Road
Team News: go here
Google Probability: City Win 75% Draw 15% Leeds United Win 10%
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
City has a fully fit squad right now, with no injury concerns, at least publicly. And while they had a whopping 16 players participate in the World Cup, only two played on the final weekend.
And France’s Aymeric Laporte already started in the League Cup anyway!
Getting to play on the 28th, not the 26th or 27th, will help out as well, in regard to the issue of players getting their rest in after the World Cup.
Man City Starting XI Prediction at Leeds United
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Ake; Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Palmer, Haaland
Prediction: Man City 5, Leeds United 1
Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch really has his work cut out for him here- trying to stop a fully rested and raring to go Erling Haaland.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.