As Sam Allardyce noted in his first press conference, Leeds United could not have an easier game for his first in charge of the Whites, with a trip to Manchester City coming up this Saturday.
Of course, the comment was made very much with tongue in cheek. On paper, this is the hardest fixture Leeds will face all season. And it comes at a time when we are desperate for points.
Certainly, many Leeds fans will hold out almost no hope of taking anything from the game. Instead, a spirited performance in defeat feels like the best we can really hope for.
But what is the view of a Manchester City fan heading into the game? Leeds United News spoke to Manchester City News writer Tom Proctor ahead of the clash to get the inside view…
Manchester City fan Q&A: Haaland, Ake and Allardyce on the agenda
LUN: Hi Tom! Firstly, who has been Manchester City’s best player this season?
Tom: You simply can’t look past what Erling Haaland has done in his first season in English football. Everyone knew he’d be scoring fairly regularly, but the man is absolutely inevitable. And just lately, we’ve seen him demonstrate that he isn’t just a lethal goalscorer – he has the link-up play and creativity to boot. He is an absolute sensation. Honourable mention to Kevin De Bruyne, and Rodri has also been top-class.
LUN: Can we expect Pep to take pity on Leeds and make many changes this weekend?
Tom: I would expect Pep to make a few changes for sure. He went fairly full strength against West Ham in midweek and of course, City take on Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final next Tuesday. It feels like a chance for Kalvin Phillips to get a start against his former club, but Pep has been very reluctant to rotate him in for Rodri. Players like Aymeric Laporte, Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan could come in for starts.
LUN: Who has been the unsung hero for Manchester City this season?
Tom: It’s got to be Nathan Ake, although in recent weeks he has certainly become more ‘sung’. But in comparison to a lot of his teammates, Ake still isn’t quite as revered. He has been absolutely outstanding this season on the left of City’s defence. He’s as solid as they come, great in the air and excellent on the ball. He barely ever puts a foot wrong, and it’s been fantastic to see him become a key player for Pep.
LUN: How important is winning the Premier League in comparison with the Champions League for Manchester City fans?
Tom: It’s very important, but I suspect there would be disappointment if City win the league but don’t win that elusive Champions League trophy this season. This season feels like City’s best chance yet, given how well the team is playing right now, and given the fact City are now playing with an absolute goal machine up top.
LUN: And finally, has the managerial change at Leeds impacted how many Man City fans expect to win by this weekend at all?
Tom: There are, of course, one or two City fans nervous about Leeds’ appointment of Allardyce. But the majority don’t foresee any issues, especially with the game being at the Etihad. Allardyce may be known for his ability to shore up a defence, but this City attack is the most relentless it’s been all season. It would be some feat for Big Sam to get a result having only been in place at Leeds for a matter of days.