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Confirmed XI: Martial, James, Fernandes and Rashford start against Leeds; Pogba, Van de Beek, Greenwood and Cavani on the bench

Manchester United will entertain Leeds United at Old Trafford for the first time in the Premier League since 2004 this afternoon. Back then, it was a 1-1 draw between the two fierce rivals. United and Leeds have met twice in the domestic cup competitions with Leeds beating United 1-0 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup in the 2009/10 season and with United beating Leeds 3-0 in the League Cup in the 2011/12 season. There was a meeting in Australia during pre-season not all that long ago, which was another win for United, but not a competitive match. It is safe to say that Leeds will relish their match at Old Trafford.

United beat Sheffield United on Thursday evening, which saw them rise to sixth in the Premier League with goal difference separating them and Everton. Another win for United could propel them further up the league table, which will see United still have a game in hand over the teams above them, and probably immediately below them, which is a good sign of progress. United six five points from the top of the league, before any matches kick off this weekend, having that game in hand, so this supposed ‘crisis’ at Old Trafford seems to be a little bit far fetched to say the least, or just journalistic licence.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Fred, McTominay;

James, Fernandes, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Henderson; Bailly, Telles; Pogba, Mata, Matic, Van de Beek; Cavani, Greenwood

Leeds United:

Meslier;

Dallas, Ayling, Cooper, Alioski;

Phillips;

Raphina, Rodrigo, Klich, Harrison;

Bamford

Substitutes:

Casilla; Struijk, Davis, Casey; Hernandez, Shackleton; Poveda-Ocampo, Roberts, Costa

United and Leeds have met a total of 24 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 13 times whereas Leeds have won four times with seven draws between the two clubs. United have scored a total of 35 goals, winning no penalties. Leeds have scored a total of 17 goals, also winning no penalties. United have kept a total of 13 clean sheets with Leeds keeping just five clean sheets. In terms of discipline, United have been shown a total of 33 yellow cards and no red cards with Leeds being shown a total of 46 yellow cards and two red cards. This could well be a fiery match between the Manchester and Yorkshire rivals.

The last time these two teams faced each other in the Premier League at Old Trafford was during the 2003/04 season. The match was played on the 21 February 2004 and it was a 1-1 draw with Paul Scholes opening the scoring in the 64th minute of the match and Alan Smith equalising three minutes later. The away clash that season was played ay Elland Road on the 18 October 2003 and was a 1-0 victory to United with Roy Keane scoring the only goal of the match. United and Leeds have met twice in the domestic cups since. Leeds won 1-0 in the FA Cup at Old Trafford in 2010 and United winning the League Cup match 3-0 in 2011.

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW

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