Manchester United faces Leeds United in the Premier League for the second time this week. The Red Devils make the trip to Elland Road on Sunday and it is a ground where they won 4-2 on their most recent visit. Manager-less Leeds will be looking to repeat their 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening and add some vital points to their tally.
Last Time Out:
The two sides have already played each other this week, in a contest which saw four goals and left Old Trafford with two sets of disappointed fans. The most threatening player on the pitch was Wilfried Gnonto of Leeds, who opened the scoring within the first minute with a low-driven shot past David De Gea at his near post. It was the perfect start for Leeds and the worst possible start for United.
United dominated the possession and they should have gone into the break level as Alejandro Garnacho had two huge chances to even the tie. Three minutes into the second half and Leeds doubled their advantage due to a Raphael Varane deflection into his own net.
Jadon Sancho returned to Premier League action just before the 60th minute and changed the game completely. His link-up play and attacking combinations with Rashford and Shaw caused Leeds plenty of problems. Within the next ten minutes, United were level thanks to a Rashford header and a Sancho strike which arguably should have been saved.
Despite sustained pressure from United, Leeds were able to walk away with a point that they would have happily taken prior to kick-off. However, losing a two-goal advantage to one of your biggest rivals is a tough one to take. From a United perspective, they will be pleased with the response to going two goals down, yet their overall performance was underwhelming.
The Upcoming Game:
Elland Road will be bouncing this weekend, especially after Leeds took points away from United. The game should flow in a similar way to Wednesday night with both teams lacking control, yet always providing a goal threat. The Absence of Casemiro (following his red card versus Crystal Palace last week) is detrimental to the way United play and without his presence in the middle of the park, United look weak.
This season at home, Leeds have nearly conceded as many goals as they have scored, which suggests that we should see another end-to-end encounter this weekend. United also statistically don’t perform as well away from home, as they do under the lights at Old Trafford. Jadon Sancho will most likely make his return to the starting XI after his thirty-minute cameo, which will provide United with much more attacking threat.
It will be a tie where both sides have lots to play for, which will only increase the pressure and intensity. Leeds currently sit in 16th place, one point above the drop zone and they will be desperate to win this game in order to create momentum for the remainder of the season. United see themselves in a completely different situation and three points will help them maintain their third-place spot.
With huge games coming up for Manchester United against Barcelona and Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final, it is important that Ten Hag’s side can get back to winning ways and attempt to regain their form. For Leeds, they simply have to win in almost every game from now, till the end of the season, as they are right in the centre of a seven-club relegation battle.
With so much on the line, there will be goals, numerous bookings, and corners. United may just edge the game due to their attacking threat, but with the support of Elland Road it wouldn’t be a shock to see Leeds frustrate the away side. Both teams will learn from their meeting on Wednesday, but the players may become absorbed in the atmosphere.
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