Manchester United have had a full week of rest for the first time in a long while and now they are preparing for the Sunday action. It will be an interesting prospect ahead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, as the Red Devils will be facing Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United. Man United will be travelling to Elland Road, to face the team which recently defeated Pep Guardiola’s Man City and allowed them to slightly close the gap at the top of the table, at least for a fraction of it.
Here is everything you need to know before this match.
As far as team news are concerned, it seems Bielsa’s side will have a little bit more to worry about. Leeds will be without four players for this one, three of them being injured. Raphinha is having thigh problems and it is unknown when he will return, as well as Forshaw due to hip problems and Rodrigo Moreno due to a knock he endured. Apart from those three, Cooper had been suspended for three matches and this will be his second game of serving the ban.
Man United, on the other hand, are now having a cleaner health bill than in recent weeks. There are only two players Solskjaer will definitely not use – Anthony Martial and Phil Jones, both due to their knee injuries. Only Marcus Rashford remains doubtful, as he has been playing through some niggling injuries when he was not fully fit, but with a whole week’s rest, Solskjaer might start him once more.
Leeds United are really improving their form, as they bid their place in top half of the Premier League standings. The Whites have had just four wins and eight losses in their 12 matches before mid-March. And then they went on to win three and draw two matches in the next five games, three of which were against the Big Six sides.
Their 0-0 draw against Chelsea started it all and after 2-1 wins against Fulham and Sheffield United, they defeated Manchester City with the same scoreline – in Manchester. Last weekend they drew 1-1 against Liverpool, meaning they will play their third straight Premier League game against a Big Six side this weekend.
Man United, on the other hand, have been doing well themselves ever since that international break had ended. In the five matches since, they won all five, conceding three goals and scoring more than once in each of the five games. Brighgton, Granada (twice), Tottenham and Burnley have all been defeated and now the Devils will be having their final test ahead of Europa League semifinal against Roma. That the week following this Leeds match will be a big one for United confirms the fact that three days after Roma’s visit to Old Trafford, the Devils will face Liverpool in the league.
Considering everything, it is really hard to predict, especially given the fact what kind of form Leeds currently are in. But we are going to predict a Manchester United victory at Elland Road for two reasons. Leeds style of play can actually work for United this time around, as it might give them time and space to hurt them on the break, considering Bielsa’s teams love to dominate possession. The other fact is that Leeds have already been on a roll and doing well against Big Six teams and the Devils might actually be the ones to finally stop that run. So maybe go for a 2-1 win for Man United.