Pep Guardiola will face off against the football figure he "admires the most" on Saturday when Manchester City take on in-form Leeds United at Elland Road.
Bielsa has gained a reputation for being one of the most influential coaches of all time and has enjoyed plenty of success in his latest job with Leeds. The 65-year-old earned United promotion to the Premier League after a 16-season absence and has guided his side to two wins from their first three games back in the top flight.
Leeds gave Liverpool a huge scare on the opening weekend of the campaign and now take on a City side still reeling from last week's 5-2 home thrashing against Leicester City.
Guardiola is looking forward to his latest battle of wits against Bielsa and says he knows exactly what to expect against this Leeds side.
"He is probably the person I've admired the most in world football, as a manager and as a person," the ex-Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said. "I think he's the most authentic manager all the time, in terms of how he conducts his teams. He's unique. Nobody can imitate him, it's impossible.
"Leeds will do exactly what they have to do. They are a team, fight for each other, defend a lot around the box. They have good build up. At the right moment, they arrive with a lot of players. I played three times against Marcelo at Bilbao, and every game was so difficult."
Guardiola won two of those three meetings in the 2011-12 season, with the other finishing level, but this will be their first encounter outside of Spanish football.
And Bielsa was keen to repay the compliments to his opposite number ahead of the showdown in Yorkshire.
"I do not feel like a mentor to Guardiola," he said. "His teams play like no other team. First of all, he's imaginative. He is able to instantly create solutions to problems he comes across. Another thing that distinguishes him as a top coach is what he proposes he's able to implement."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Leeds United - Pablo Hernandez
Hernandez has proved to be a thorn in Guardiola's side on more than one occasion in the past, scoring three goals against Barcelona for Valencia between 2009 and 2011.
Indeed, only Diego Forlan (four) and Jamie Vardy (eight) have scored more league goals against teams managed by Guardiola in his career.
Manchester City - Ruben Dias
City broke their transfer record to sign Dias from Benfica earlier this week and the centre-back is in contention to start against Leeds on Saturday.
Having conceded as many goals in their defeat to Leicester as they had done in their previous 11 games combined, the pressure is on Dias to quickly settle in and shore up City's leaky back-line.
KEY OPTA FACTS
- Leeds have won three of their last five Premier League meetings with Manchester City (D1 L1), including the last two at Elland Road. This is their first such clash since March 2004 when United won 2-1.
- This is the first meeting in any competition between Leeds and Man City since February 2013, with the Citizens winning 4-0 in an FA Cup tie.
- Man City have lost just one of their last 31 Premier League games against promoted sides (W25 D5), with that defeat coming at Norwich City last season.
- Bielsa's charges are looking to win three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since January 2003.
- Fifty-eight per cent of Leeds' shots in the league this season have been on target (19/33) - only Leicester (59 per cent) have a higher such ratio so far in the competition this term.