By Jonty Banks

24th Dec, 2022 | 3:10pm

Chris Sutton predicts Leeds United v Manchester City in Premier League

Chris Sutton believes Leeds United face the prospect of a mauling to Manchester City on Boxing Day as the Premier League resumes following the Qatar World Cup.

Jesse Marsch’s side restart their campaign 15th in the league and just two points above the relegation zone following an inconsistent few months at Elland Road.

They host a Manchester City side who will look to close the gap with Arsenal to just two points at the top of the table but who will be without Argentine Julian Alvarez.

Pundit Sutton, who was making his predictions for BBC Sport, believes the Whites will be on the recieving end of a 4-0 loss to Pep Guardiola’s side next Wednesday (28 December).

He said: “Manchester City put out a strong team against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup on Thursday and they looked like they meant business in their first game back.

“I like the way Leeds play, and they always seem to have a spell in every game where they are on top, but they rarely do it for 90 minutes and that worries me when they are up against a side as good as City.

“There will be a great atmosphere at Elland Road – I always loved going there as a player, and it is the same now I go to work on games there for 5 Live – but that won’t help Leeds much here.”

Tough assignment

If Marsch could have picked any opponent he wanted to avoid as Leeds returned to Premier League action, it would have been Manchester City.

The defending Premier League champions have been truly exceptional this season and would be streets clear at the top of the table if it wasn’t for Arsenal’s brilliance.

Marsch will still remain hopeful of pulling off a shock, though, with his side one of few teams capable of taking the big boys on and not just sitting back. Already this season, the Whites have masterminded victories over Liverpool and Chelsea and came close to pinching all three points against Arsenal.

For Leeds to stand a chance, they will need to defend diligently and pick and choose their moments to press City’s defence. If they go in all guns blazing, City will likely pick the home side off with precision and provide Erling Haaland with plenty of opportunities to add to his 18 goals.

In other Leeds United news, we can exclusively reveal a major decision being made on Liam Cooper after he missed the friendly defeat to Monaco.