Historic meeting between Manchester and Leeds United should be entertaining clash
Manchester United to win 3-1
With the games coming as thick and fast as they do around the festive period, teams in good form have the opportunity to rack up some serious points over a short space of time.
That is the hope of Reds’ manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who believes that his side can be title contenders this season, particularly after a great run of form which has seen them earn 16 points from last 18 available.
Since losing to Arsenal, they have been close to perfect in the league, with only the draw against rivals Manchester City spoiling their record over the past six matches.
Leeds have suffered many highs and lows since securing promotion to the Premier League for the first time since 2004, winning plenty but also losing too.
They battered Newcastle in midweek, putting five goals past the Magpies and will be hoping to continue their rich vein of scoring into this one.
Form Guide (all comps): LWLDW
Reasons to be cheerful:
Great run of five wins from six
Conceded five fewer goals than Leeds
Reasons to be fearful:
Leeds’ intense style of play could trouble them
Just one victory from six home matches this season
Manchester United’s recent run of form has seen many include them as title contenders in a season which could be one of the most open for a long time.
No side has taken as many points as United over the past six matches, and the Red Devils could leap as high as 3rd with victory this weekend.
Marcus Rashford is looking in great form, scoring twice against Sheffield United in midweek. Bruno Fernandes continues to be the heartbeat of this side and will enjoy the extra space Leeds may afford him this weekend.
The may have to be without Edinson Cavani who continues to recover after a slight injury picked up the other week.
Despite their poor home form, Leeds will allow them space to counter seeing as The Whites flood so many players forward when they attack.
Star Man – Marcus Rashford
Is their best attacker at present and, at times, looks completely unplayable. Has 12 goals this season, one more than Bruno Fernandes.
Form Guide (all comps): DWLLW
Reasons to be cheerful
Thrashing of Newcastle will have given them confidence
Have been waiting for this match all season
Reasons to be fearful
Open style of play will suit Red Devils on counter
Only won twice in last seven matches
When Leeds gained promotion to the Premier League at the end of last season, the first fixture fans would have looked out for would have been this one. Their rivalry against Manchester United has been legendary in the past.
At the peak, Leeds were challenging Manchester United for the Premier League title. Legendary footballer Eric Cantona famously swapped Leeds for Manchester back in the 1990s.
Currently, Leeds can be one of the most entertaining sides in the league on their day. They proved this by scoring three goals in 13 minutes against Newcastle in midweek.
They can also be one of the most frustrating, with their reluctance to change their style to suit the opposition leading to six defeats so far.
Regardless of the result, Leeds will relish being back in the big time, playing one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Star Man – Patrick Bamford
Became Marcelo Bielsa’s all-time top scoring player, with 35 goals. Is a top player for Leeds
Should be an entertaining match with plenty of goals
Spurs could go top with win while Leicester would go 2nd
Goals on the counterattack
The style of both sides should suit the other quite nicely. Both Manchester United and Leeds prefer to play on the counterattack, which should lead to an open and attractive game of football.
That being said, the Red Devils are in great form and will be expecting themselves to put Leeds to the sword and climb into the top four this weekend.
Leeds may have other ideas, but the side from Manchester will be favourites here.
Manchester United to win 3-1