Manchester City host Championship side Leeds United on Sunday in the fifth round of the FA Cup, with manager Roberto Mancini quickly running out of silverware opportunities. With the Premier League holders now 12 points off rivals Manchester United, the Italian will be hoping his side can repeat their victorious campaign of 2011, or else he may be searching for new employment in the not-to-distant future.
Mancini looks set to recall striker Carlos Tevez, who missed the 3-1 defeat to Southampton due to compassionate leave. Former Leeds player James Milner may feature against the club he made 48 appearances for as a youngster, but another ex-Leeds player Micah Richards is still a few weeks away from a return after knee surgery in October.
For Leeds, it is their second meeting with a Premier League top-3 side this season, following their 5-1 defeat in the League Cup to Chelsea, who went on to be knocked-out in the semi-finals by Swansea. Having sold striker Luciano Becchio to Norwich on Deadline Day, Neil Warnock will be relying on El Hadji Diouf, Ross McCormack and Luke Varney to get the goals for his side, who haven’t won since their fourth round victory over Tottenham last month.
PAST THREE MEETINGS...
Leeds 2 (McPhail, Viduka) Man City 1 (Anelka), Premier League, March 2004
Man City 1 (Sibierski) Leeds 1 (Viduka), Premier League, December 2003
Man City 2 (Goater, Jensen) Leeds (Kewell) Premier League, January 2003
The two clubs last met in the FA Cup in January 2000, with Leeds running out 5-2 winners at Maine Road thanks to goals from Eirik Bakke, Alan Smith, Lee Bowyer and two from Harry Kewell, with City’s goals coming through Shaun Goater and Ian Bishop.
They have met five times in the cup, with Leeds winning three compared to City’s two.
There hasn’t been a 0-0 draw since October 1995, nine meetings ago.
Man City beat Watford 3-0 and Stoke 1-0 to reach the fifth round, while Leeds beat Birmingham – via a replay – and Tottenham.
Leeds won their one and only FA Cup trophy in 1972, but have finished runners-up on three occasions in 1965, 1970 and 1973.
Man City to win: 1.21
Leeds United to win: 17
TV: Live on ESPN at 2pm. Highlights on ITV at 10.15pm.