Manchester United travel to Yorkshire to face Leeds United at Elland Road in the Premier League this afternoon. On Wednesday evening at Old Trafford, United managed a second half comeback after conceding two goals to Leeds, one of them an own goal by Raphael Varane at the start of the second half. Marcus Rashford scored his 20th goal of the season in the 62nd minute and Jadon Sancho getting United’s equaliser eight minutes later.
It was two points dropped for United, which was a shame but it did not feel the same as the recent 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace, which felt like a defeat. United will need to play a lot better at Elland Road that they did at the Theatre of Dreams, which will be tough for United. Leeds did get the better of them for a large part of the last match but Erik ten Hag will be seeking to get more for United in this match and three points are a must – United need to stay in the top four.
United are three points clear of Newcastle United in third place in the Premier League ahead of the earlier matches this weekend. The Magpies have a game in hand over United though. Tottenham Hotspur sit in fifth place, four points adrift of United, so there is little chance of United dropping out of the top four prior to their match kicking off on Sunday. The Magpies will need to beat Bournemouth to rise above United on Saturday evening. United need to prevail.
Dalot, Maguire, Shaw, Malacia;
Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho;
Heaton; Lindelof, Martinez, Varane, Wan-Bissaka; Pellistri, Iqbal; Elanga, Garnacho
Ayling, Koch, Wöber, Firpo;
Summerville, Harrison, Gnonto;
Robles; Kristensen, Monteiro, Chilokoa-Mullen; Aaronson, Gyabi; Rutter, Greenwood, Joseph
United and Leeds have met 29 times in the Premier League with United winning 16 matches, drawing nine matches and Leeds winning four. United have scored 52 goals, winning one penalty, scoring it. Leeds have scored 24 goals, winning no penalties. Last season United beat Leeds 5-1 at Old Trafford with Bruno Fernandes scoring a hat-trick, also winning 4-2 at Elland Road. Those matches were played five months apart – this season, they will be played four days apart.
United have kept 14 clean sheets with Leeds keeping six. Discipline has been an issue in this fixture with United players shown 40 yellow cards and no red cards and Leeds players shown 61 yellow cards and two red cards. United were in great form at Old Trafford before Wednesday’s draw – seeing a 13-match winning run at home turn into a 16-match unbeaten run at home. United need to beat Leeds at Elland Road this weekend or face problems in the top four.
Freddie Goodwin, Joe Jordan, Johnny Giles, Gordon McQueen, Brian Greenhoff, Gordon Strachan, Arthur Graham, Denis Irwin, Eric Cantona, Lee Sharpe, Rio Ferdinand, Danny Pugh, Alan Smith, Liam Miller, Scott Wootton, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Daniel James have all played for United and Leeds. Cantona will be the one that jumps out here (no pun intended) but the likes of Greenhoff, Jordan, Giles, Strachan, Irwin, Sharpe, Ferdinand and Smith have all carried their own.
Written by John Walker