'Athletic has been told': Phil Hay says Pep has done something unusual ahead of Leeds v Man City
Leeds United welcome Man City to Elland Road on Saturday evening in one of the most anticipated games of the weekend.
And it seems that Pep is taking Leeds very seriously indeed after making his players do something at the Etihad Campus that he hasn’t done for four years.
It’s not just the attacking style of both teams that make today’s game so attractive. It’s also Bielsa v Pep, two managers who have a lot of respect for each other.
Ahead of the game, Pep said of Bielsa, “I don’t see him every week but the pleasure when I spend time with him, it’s always so inspirational for me.
“He is probably the person I admire most in world football. My theory is that, for a manager, it’s not about how many titles you win. I have won many titles but my knowledge of things is far away from his.”
And it seems Pep’s respect has made him change his ways ahead of the huge clash on Saturday evening.
Writing on Saturday morning Phil Hay said, “The Athletic has been told that City’s last training session before their visit to Elland Road was a double session — the first time Guardiola has done that in four years as City’s manager.”
Survival of the fittest
Leeds play a fast, intense, attacking style of football and it all hinges on fitness.
Leeds had the reputation of being the fittest team in the Championship last season, aided by the torturous Murderball sessions that Bielsa conducts every week.
And Pep is obviously concerned enough to put his players through extra training ahead of the clash.
It’s a massive sign of respect, both for the Leeds manager and the players.
Bielsa has turned them into Championship winners and now players that are being given a serious shot at beating Man City today by a number of pundits.
The effect Bielsa has had at Leeds is simply extraordinary.
It’s going to be tough to get anything out of the game today. Man City are bruised after losing 5-2 to Leicester on Monday.
However, their defence is in disarray and Leeds have scored eight goals in three games in the Premier League so far. We predict fireworks.
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