• James Williams

WAR OF THE ROSES: MANCHESTER UNITED VS LEEDS UNITED PREVIEW


Blood, anger, hatred and pride.


It’s been far too long but after 16 years the rivalry is renewed. Ole Gunner Solskjaer, a familiar foe to the Clash of the Pennines, faces off against ‘El Loco’.


A mysterious and curious figure who isn’t afraid of playing a dangerous game. A dark and empty Theatre of Dreams awaits Leeds United who look to claim a memorable victory in their quest to conquer Old Trafford.


Predicted line-ups:


Manchester United – De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, Fred, Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford, Greenwood, Martial.


David De Gea is expected to return, replacing Dean Henderson who featured for the Red Devil’s in their 3-2 win at Sheffield United on Thursday. Luke Shaw could start at left back with Fred playing alongside Paul Pogba in central midfield. Marcus Rashford is looking to continue his fine form after scoring twice in South Yorkshire.


Leeds United – Meslier, Dallas, Ayling, Cooper, Alioski, Phillips, Rodrigo, Klich, Raphinha, Harrison, Bamford.


Despite a heavy schedule in the coming months, Bielsa is unlikely to make any radical changes. He is expected to announce the same line-up that started the excellent 5-2 victory over Newcastle on Wednesday. Patrick Bamford is looking to add to his impressive goal tally this term whilst Kalvin Phillips will prove to be a vital asset once again. Pablo Hernandez and Ian Poveda will most-likely be utilised off the bench.


Last time out at Old Trafford:


January 3rd 2010: FA Cup 3rd Round - Manchester United 0-1 Leeds United (Beckford 19’)


League One leaders Leeds United arrived at Old Trafford in fine form, looking to cause a shock upset in the early stages of the FA Cup. Having only lost one league game prior to this fixture, anything was possible. Sir Alex Ferguson rang the changes but the side still consisted of familiar faces with the likes of Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov in the starting eleven.


Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford gave the Whites a shock lead in the 19th minute sending 9,000 away fans into absolute rapture. Despite constant pressure from their fierce rivals during the remainder of the match, Leeds held firm and deservedly advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup.


Verdict:


Manchester United have overwhelmingly underachieved at home this season, winning once in six games. This mouth-watering could go either way as both teams are dangerous when attacking and leaky at the back.


However, Bamford is in fine form at the moment having scored seven goals on the road. With the additions of Kalvin Phillips and Pablo Hernandez, I feel the Whites have what it takes to pick up another victory on the road. I do expect Manchester United to score due to the attacking options of their own in a tense affair.


Manchester United 1-2 Leeds United

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