Leeds manager Jesse Marsch has described his side’s Premier League clash with Manchester City as “the best team in the world against the best club in the world”.
Leeds, desperate for points in their relegation fight, take on a City side that can afford no slip-ups in their two-horse race with Liverpool for the title.
Pep Guardiola’s side also remain on course for their first Champions League crown and head to Elland Road after Tuesday night’s thrilling 4-3 first-leg win against Real Madrid.
Marsch said: “We’re obviously excited for a big match. We think it’s the best team in the world against the best club in the world. So you can decide which is which.
“I think it is an ultimate test, maybe the ultimate test and I’m very honest when I say that I think they are the best team in the world.”
Despite being unbeaten in their last five matches, Leeds cannot escape the threat of relegation.
They sit five points above the bottom three with five games to go, but third-bottom Everton have a game in hand, while resurgent Burnley have taken seven points from their last three matches.
Leeds stunned City in a memorable 2-1 away win last season after skipper Liam Cooper had been sent off, but were thrashed 7-0 at the Etihad in December.
Marsch said: “We will have to be very clear exactly what our tactics are for the day, what our strategies are for the day and we have to find moments to not just be passive throughout the match.
“Because that’s what happens, they can put so much pressure on teams with the ball and then – with their counter-pressing – they just suffocate teams, and we have to be confident and better with the ball.
“And then we have to understand the moments when, strategically, we can still be aggressive.
“That’s not easy, a massive challenge. But hopefully on the day we can use our crowd and find ways to find advantages and see if we can fight for a result.”
Marsch revealed another player had been ruled out for the rest of the season by confirming winger Crysencio Summerville had sustained an ankle injury in training.
💬 𝗝𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗻𝗲𝘄𝘀: “Crysencio picked up an injury and he will be out for the season unfortunately. I expect Patrick will be on the pitch next week, we have to be cautious but we're all optimistic.” pic.twitter.com/gL2PZihPQJ— Leeds United (@LUFC) April 28, 2022
The 20-year-old Dutchman is the second Leeds player in as many weeks to have his season cut short after Adam Forshaw fractured his knee-cap and is the latest in an injury-plagued campaign for the club.
Tyler Roberts was ruled out earlier this year with a hamstring injury, but Marsch confirmed he had not given up on Patrick Bamford returning from a long-term foot injury in time to feature this season.
Marsch added: “Tyler, Summerville and Forshaw are all done.
“With Bamford, we can expect he will be on the pitch next week. We’ve got to be cautious – but we’re optimistic at this point.”
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