Leeds host Man Utd at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon. The sides met just four days ago in the reverse fixture as the Red Devils came from 2-0 down to earn a point at home. The visitors have scored 17 goals in five matches against The Whites since their return to the top flight and there could be more goals to feast on in this match.
Leeds sit 16th in the table but their buffer to the relegation places is just one point. Their season has been a struggle so far, which led to Jesse Marsch being fired with his record reading 10 defeats in 20 Premier League fixtures. They look to be turning a corner before the World Cup (with wins vs Liverpool and Bournemouth) but they’re winless in eight league fixtures since the resumption.
They’ve fought hard for some results, including a 0-0 at high-flying Newcastle. A home 2-2 draw with West Ham and a 2-1 loss at Aston Villa were let-downs. They then went to in-form Brentford and drew 0-0 before a 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest to see Marsch’s reign ended. In midweek, they led 2-0 at Man Utd but couldn’t hold on as their opponents produced 2.04 xG and 24 shots to eight.
Leeds Team News
Leeds lost two players to injuries in the first half at Old Trafford. Pascal Struijk went off with a concussion and is not set to feature, so Junior Firpo will replace him at left back. Luis Sinisterra went off with a hamstring problem and his place on the right wing will go to Crysencio Summerville.
Leeds won’t have Rodrigo available up front, whilst both Stuart Dallas and Adam Forshaw are injured. Marc Roca and Liam Cooper missed out in midweek with knocks but both have a chance to return to the subs bench for this one.
This looks likely to play out the same way as the midweek fixture. Leeds will press high and aggressively and look to score goals from transitions.
Defensively, they throw themselves at shots in quite a low block when under pressure. A draw would again be a good result but they’ll certainly come out looking for the win at home against their heated rivals.
Man Utd Form
United looked excellent after the World Cup with a run of wins and fine results. They won seven on the bounce after football resumed including 2-1 in Manchester derby where City were allowed just six shots. Two setbacks followed as a 1-0 lead at Crystal Palace and a 2-2 score-line at Arsenal both saw a late goal conceded to drop three points across the two matches.
Three cup victories followed, beating Nottingham Forest 3-0 and 2-0 and Reading 3-0 at home. They took three points after a nervy finish in a 2-1 win against Crystal Palace but they dropped points on Wednesday. After slow starts to both halves, they were 2-0 down at home to Leeds but fought back to take a point thanks to Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho goals.
Man Utd Team News
The engine room looks much weaker as Christian Eriksen is injured long-term and Casemiro is suspended. Scott McTominay is injured too so it’ll be Marcel Sabitzer and Fred by default. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is doubtful so Diego Dalot will play at right back again.
Anthony Martial misses out with injury and Antony is also set to be absent. Jadon Sancho could get a first start in months down the flank with Marcus Rashford moving to a central striker role as Wout Weghorst is yet to convince.
Man Utd Motivation
United will play for three points in this match but are likely to be more aware of the threats that Leeds poses. They could be more circumspect with their buildup play to avoid turnovers in their own half.
A draw would not be seen as a good result and United will throw on extra attackers to try to take all three points from this fixture.
Leeds have lost 4 of their last 8 EPL matches (4 draws)
Leeds’ home matches have averaged 2.9 goals per game this season
Leeds have won 1 of their last 8 home EPL matches (L3, D4)
Leeds have conceded 2+ goals in 4 of their last 5 home league matches
Man Utd have scored 1 or fewer goals in 7 of their 11 away PL fixtures
Man Utd have scored 17 goals in their last 5 PL matches vs Leeds
Man Utd outshot Leeds 24-8 in midweek with 1.41 xG differentia
This match should have goals like in midweek. Leeds will be pushed by their home crowd and face a Man Utd team who are much weaker in midfield. However, the can see the Red Devils being more focused and forewarned of what Leeds can do and an away win looks most likely.