How Marathe's Leeds prediction bodes well for 49ers-Eagles


Forget what the pundits are saying. If you want to know what will happen between the 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles on "Sunday Night Football" at Levi's Stadium, look no further than 49ers executive vice president of football operations Paraag Marathe.

Men In Blazers' Roger Bennett asked Marathe, who's also the president of 49ers Enterprises and serves on the board of Premier League Leeds United, earlier this week if the executive was as confident in the 49ers on Sunday as he was ahead of Leeds United's match against Manchester City on Saturday.

"Yes, I'm always confident, and so we'll see how that goes Sunday night," Marathe told Bennett.

Why does Marathe's confidence in Leeds matter? Well, because the 49ers-backed club rewarded the executive's confidence in a big way Saturday. The newly promoted Premier League club drew City 1-1, earning a point in the table against a team with more English top-flight titles than any other this decade.

Leeds United forward Rodrigo equalized in the 59th minute.

United moved up to fifth in the table with the draw, and they are unbeaten in their last three Premier League matches. The Whites nearly made it three wins in a row Saturday, were it not for the performance of Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson.

Marathe, for his part, seemed to see it coming.

"Yeah, I'm confident because I know we belong," Marathe told Bennett earlier this week. "We didn't just squeak by. We didn't just barely get in, happy to be here. I know we belong (in the Premier League), and how that manifests on the pitch, let's see Saturday."

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A 49ers win Sunday wouldn't be as surprising as Leeds United's result Saturday, considering the Eagles are 0-2-1 and 49ers stars Deebo Samuel and George Kittle will return to the lineup.

But if the 49ers follow in the footsteps of their peers across the pond, Marathe will have had a very good weekend.

After the afternoon NFL games end Sunday, go to NBC Sports Bay Area or the MyTeams app at 4 p.m. PT for "49ers Pregame Live," as Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams, Matt Maiocco, Jennifer Lee Chan and Grant Liffmann preview the "Sunday Night Football" matchup against the Eagles. Then, after the game, come back for "49ers Postgame Live," with highlights, analysis, interviews and more.

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