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PREMIER LEAGUE: Master visits student as Man City takes on Leeds

Pep Guardiola the student

London, UK |  XINHUA |  The master will visit the student, although the student is likely to emerge the winner when Manchester City entertain Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday.

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has always said he views Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa as the biggest influence on his coaching career, but his admiration is unlikely to affect his side as they continue their romp towards this season’s title.

City face a difficult visit to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League in midweek and that will see Guardiola make some changes, but the fact he can still bring players such as Gabriel Jesus or Kun Aguero into his side should be enough to find holes in Leeds’ defense in what promises to be an entertaining game at the Ethiad Stadium.

Liverpool and Chelsea’s weekend games are also likely to be affected by their European obligations. Liverpool were poor in their 3-1 Champions League quarterfinal defeat away to Real Madrid last Tuesday, but the away goal still leaves them with a chance of progress.

One thing Liverpool must do is tighten up in midfield and defense. Saturday’s rivals, Aston Villa highlighted their issues at the back with a 7-2 thrashing at Villa Park earlier in the campaign in what was arguably the biggest surprise the Premier League has seen this season.

Chelsea recovered from a shock 5-2 defeat at home to West Brom last weekend with a 2-0 win away to Porto on Wednesday which is almost an assurance to the Champions League semifinals. Thomas Tuchel’s side now visits Crystal Palace, who are safe in mid-table limbo. But with 17 members of the Palace squad still battling for new contracts, it would be an error to think the home side could lack motivation.

Friday night sees Fulham play a vital game at home to the Wolves as they try to avoid relegation. A 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa last weekend deepened Fulham’s woes, but looking at how the Wolves were picked off by West Ham on Monday night could give Scott Parkers’ side hope of three points.

Sunday sees Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham entertain Manchester United, with Mourinho no doubt dreaming of a repeat of the 6-1 humiliation the Spurs inflicted on his former club back in October, while United could be distracted by the prospect of reaching the Europa League semifinals.

West Ham entertain Leicester City in a key battle for a top-four finish without central midfielder Declan Rice and doubts over the fitness of striker Michail Antonio, while Leicester need to bounce back after last weekend’s defeat to Manchester City.

Arsenal travel to bottom of the table Sheffield United without Martin Odegaard and Kieran Tierney, although Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe will be back to give Mikel Arteta a boost.

Sunday also sees a vital game in the battle to avoid the drop with Newcastle United travelling to Burnley.

Four draws in five games have seen Newcastle dourly edge their way towards safety, while Burnley must think that despite seeing a two-goal lead evaporate away to Southampton last weekend, one more win will be enough to assure their place in the top-flight for next season.

There are two more relegation duels on Monday with West Brom looking to build on their win away to Chelsea when they entertain Southampton, while Brighton play at home to Everton.



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