Manchester United and Leeds United renew their rivalry at Old Trafford today with United looking to continue their rise up the Premier League table.
The two great rivals meet at Old Trafford in the league for the first time since February 2004. Leeds last won at United’s home in any competition ten years ago when Jermaine Beckford’s goal send the Whites through in the FA Cup.
United have an excellent record against Leeds in the Premier League, losing just one of their last 13 Premier League games (W8, D4). The Reds have also played more home league games without defeat against Leeds than against any other club.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that Edinson Cavani is available for selection again after recovering from a knock sustained in the win against West Ham. Leeds could name an unnamed starting XI from the team that defeated Newcastle in mid-week.
Our MEN Sport United writers select their team to face Leeds below:
A defensive midfield duo of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba worked well enough against Sheffield United, but you suspect Fred and Scott McTominay will return to protect the back four against the ultra-attacking Leeds.
Luke Shaw might also add that defensive steel that Solskjaer needs against Marcelo Bielsa’s side, while there is a call to be made on United’s centre-backs. It’s an easier decision to usher David de Gea back in for Dean Henderson in goal.
Up front, Anthony Martial must continue as he looks to build back his form and confidence, while Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes are undroppable.
Juan Mata might provide an important ability to retain possession in the face of the Leeds press. United will be challenged by the visitors and Mata’s experience could be vital.
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Leeds ultra-attacking style could see Solskjaer switch back to his trusted defensive duo of McTominay and Fred. Despite the comments over his future, Pogba was in inspired form against Sheffield United and deserves to retain his place.
As Owen Hargreaves alluded to in his post-match analysis, United need to start scaring teams and not set up to stifle their opposition.
Fred can provide legs behind the creative duo of Pogba and Fernandes. The defence should remain unchanged with De Gea coming in for Henderson after his blunder against the Blades.
Rashford and Martial’s goal will give them a much needed confidence boost. Leeds’ style could suit Daniel James’ strengths on the right wing with his blistering pace likely to cause plenty of problems.