Man Utd host Leeds at Old Trafford on Wednesday in the Premier League. This match was postponed after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The visitors have sacked Jesse Marsch after some poor performances and results. Erik Ten Hag’s team have won 11 of their 13 matches since the World Cup break and eight of their last nine in the league at home.
Man Utd Form
United looks like a well-oiled machine. Their home form is excellent, they’ve only failed to win twice since the World Cup and are well-placed in three cup competitions. After the hiatus, they won seven in a row including limiting Man City to six shots in a 2-1 win (albeit thanks to a fortunate offside goal). Two injury-time goals conceded then saw a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace and a 3-2 defeat at Arsenal.
They shook off those blips with four victories in a row. Nottingham Forest were beaten 3-0 away (Carabao Cup) and then Reading 3-0 at home (FA Cup). A 2-0 win against Forest then secured a place in the League Cup final. In their last match, they led 2-0 against Crystal Palace before Casemiro’s red card and a late scare as Palace pulled one goal back.
Man Utd Team News
Christian Eriksen is out injured long-term in midfield and Casemiro is suspended after his red card in the last match. Fred and new loan signing Marcel Sabitzer are set to start with Scott McTominay likely to be fit enough for the bench.
Anthony Martial has suffered an injury setback and is doubtful so Wout Weghorst will be starting again. Jadon Sancho and Diego Dalot are available again after long absences and will both be among the substitutes.
Man Utd Motivation
This is a grudge match against one of the club’s most heated rivals. They will go all out to win this match. They face the same opponents at Elland Road over the weekend so will want to lay down a marker ahead of a double header.
Anything less than three points will feel like a defeat in this one.
Leeds sit one point above the drop zone and have fired coach Jesse Marsch having won just four of their 20 league matches with 10 losses. They went into the World Cup break in reasonable form having won 2-1 at Liverpool, 4-3 vs Bournemouth, and played well in a 4-3 loss to Spurs (having led three times).
Leeds have had a mixed pre-season including being thrashed 4-0 at Ajax with their best XI. Their final friendly saw a credible 2-2 draw with Villarreal. Since the resumption, they’ve played nine matches with their only wins coming against lower-division sides in the FA Cup. After a 3-1 home loss to Man City, they went to Newcastle and fought hard for a 0-0 draw. A 2-2 home draw with West Ham and a 2-1 loss at Aston Villa followed. Two blanks have followed in drawing 0-0 with Brentford and losing 1-0 to Nottingham Forest on Sunday. They only produced 0.21 xG in the second half despite having 70% of the ball in the contest.
Leeds Team News
Robin Koch is back after suspension and could start in central defence in preference to captain Liam Cooper. Weston McKennie is expected to start this first match after a substitute runout against Forest. He could play deeper alongside Tyler Adams or further forward.
New forward Georginio Rutter, a £35m pound purchase, could start down the middle. Patrick Bamford looked rusty in the last match. Leeds will still be without Rodrigo up front and both Stuart Dallas and Adam Forshaw continue to miss out.
After the departure of Jesse Marsch, there is always the chance of a ‘new manager bounce’ as we await news of a successor. This is probably Leeds’ biggest match of the calendar and they would dearly love to leave Old Trafford with at least a point.
The Whites have been a lot more solid defensively since Max Wober came into the XI and they could play an extra midfielder and look to frustrate and spoil in this match.
Man Utd have lost once in 19 matches at Old Trafford (Premier League)
Man Utd’s last 9 home EPL matches have seen 8 wins and 1 draw
United have 5 clean sheets in their last 7 home EPL matches
Leeds have lost 4 of their last 7 EPL matches (3 draws)
Leeds have lost 7 of their last 10 away matches in the Premier League (20 goals conceded)
Leeds have failed to score in 3 of their last 5 EPL matches
This has become a more difficult game for United with a new manager and the uncertainty that can bring. They face a Leeds side who aren’t scoring but who look a little more defensively sound of late. The loss of key midfielders for Ten Hag could mean a pretty close contest.