Rivals Re-United at Elland Road
Last updated: April 21, 2021 by Leon Marshal
|Last Meeting:||Man United 6 – 2 Leeds|
Manchester United are hoping for a miraculous ending to the season as they try to overcome an eight-point deficit against runaway league leaders Manchester City. They face a tough trip down the A62 to face bitter rivals Leeds United who will be out for revenge after their mauling earlier in the season.
Diego Llorente scored his first goal for his club in the 1 – 1 draw against Liverpool to further hinder the defending Champions top-four hopes. Leeds United was more impressive than the scoreline suggests, enjoying 61.9% possession, but left it late to equalise, with less than five minutes remaining in the game after going behind to a 31st minute Sane Mane goal.
The draw comes after the excellent 2-1 win against Manchester City in which Leeds United scored with their two shots on goal in the game. What made the win more remarkable is that they were forced to play the entire second half with ten men and snatched the winner by counterattacking in injury time.
The Whites will be full of belief as they welcome Manchester United and will attempt to gain points from three ‘big six’ oppositions in three consecutive games. Chelsea also failed to beat Leeds when the clubs met in March, which ended in a goalless stalemate.
Leeds have both scored and conceded fifty goals this season in thirty-two games. Marcelo Bielsa has had three years at Elland Road to nurture a glorious reputation as an eccentric man who dances to his tune regardless of tide flows. High –pressing, high-energy, and a high-possession rate have been the foundations of his philosophy, with no side coming close to their 5,200 sprints nor the 113.2Km covered in games. Leeds is Bielsa, and Bielsa is Leeds. His team has been criticised for being too open in attack, leaving them vulnerable in their defence. Still, they stick to the same tactics that have earned them another season in the top-flight division. His biggest achievement was to end the 16-year wait for Premier League football, and to keep them here for another season is the icing on the cake. He has restored the reputation of the club as a traditional heavyweight of English football but still has a long way to establish themselves and will be wary that clubs will be well aware of their style of play next season.
Leeds United have lost just six points from winning positions, the joint-best tally alongside Leicester City, and they have made just thirty-four changes to their starting line-up, the lowest tally in the league. The consistency in their selection has helped performances on the pitch, and the fifty goals they have scored is the third-highest tally of goals for a promoted side.
The Whites are in good form, winning three and drawing two of the last five games. Patrick Bamford is the top scorer with fourteen goals and seven assists. Stuart Dallas has had a career-defining season, with the high point being the double against Man City.
Manchester United are this season’s late bloomers after starting the season slowly. The Red Devils have won the last five games in all competitions and are unbeaten in the last twelve Premier League games. Paul Pogba has been exceptional since the turn of the year, delivering yet another masterclass against Burnley after getting sweet revenge against former boss Jose Mourinho (who was critical of him in his time as his manager) in their 3 – 1 win against Tottenham Hotspur.
Edison Cavani is also in good form and will give Manchester United a tough decision to make regarding his contract with much consideration on his age and his proneness to injury. When he features, he gives the attack a unique dynamic as a focal point on the attack. His impact from the bench has yielded four goals only bettered by his manager (1998-99) and Javier Hernandez (2010-11), both on five goals.
Mason Greenwood has rediscovered his form late in the season. The youngster has scored three goals in the last two games, bagging a brace in their last match against Burnley. Since the start of last season, the United number 11 has netted more goals as a teenager than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues.
Ole Gunnar Solskjear arrived as a player at Old Trafford in the summer of 1996 after Sir Alex Ferguson had overturned a 12-point deficit to surpass Newcastle for the title that year. A month ago, United were fourteen points behind Manchester City. Now they are just eight points with six games left to play. If United could pull off a miracle, it would be a degree of revenge on City who ‘stole’ the title from them with the same advantage on the final day back in 2012. Mission improbable, but City are not looking so great at the moment with two defeats in their last five. Will it happen? Incredibly doubtful, and bookmaker’s odds of 60/1 sound about right.
Manchester United have managed five wins on the bounce for the first time since the Norwegian’s first six games in charge. They are on a twenty-three-game unbeaten run, which is only bettered by Arsenal’s ‘invincibles’ season of twenty-seven (fifteen wins, eight draws) game run between April 2003 and September 2004. The side’s mentality has changed drastically as the season has gone on, gaining twenty-eight points from losing positions this season.
Bruno Fernandes leads the scoring charts with sixteen goals and eleven assists and has United’s best numbers. Marcus Rashford has been involved in forty-two goals (twenty-seven goals fifteen assists) since the start of last season, which is more than any other player.
Patrick Bamford is the top scorer with fourteen goals and seven assists.
Leeds have won against Man City and drawn against Liverpool in the last two games.
Marcus Rashford has been involved in forty-two goals (twenty-seven goals fifteen assists) since the start of last season more than any other player.
Manchester United are just eight points behind Manchester City in what could be a mouthwatering season finale.
|Leeds (3-2-4-1):||Meslier, Ayling, White, Llorente, Dallas, Strujk, Klich, Alioski, Harrison, Rodrigo, Bramford|
|Subs:||Casilla, Davis, Douglas, Casey, Stevens, Shackleton, Bogusz, Poveda, Roberts, Costa, Koch, Hernandez, Berardi|
|Manchester United (4-3-3):||De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandez, Rashford, Greenwood, Cavani|
|Subs:||Henderson, Tuanzebe, Telles, Bailly, Matic, Beek, Mata, Williams, James, Fred|
So Far This Season
|Leeds This Season||Manchester United This Season|
|14 (8)||Wins (away)||19 (10)|
|5 – 0 v West Brom||Biggest Win||9 – 0 v Southampton|
|4 (0)||Draws (away)||9 (6)|
|6 – 2 v Man United||Biggest Defeat||1 – 6 v Spurs|
|Bamford (14)||Top Goal Scorer||Bruno (16)|
|Y49, R1||Discipline||Y56, R1|
|0||Failures to Score||0|
|53%||Both Teams to Score Games||59%|
|59%||Over 2.5 Goals||59%|
|41%||Under 2.5 Goals||41%|
- Man United have played Leeds 25 times, the Red Devils have dominated with fourteen wins against the Whites, just four wins with seven draws between them.
- All four Leeds United wins against Manchester United have been at home.
- Leeds United are seven shy of sixth place; United are eight points away from league leaders Manchester City.
- Both sides are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games, with Man United winning all the last five games while Leeds has won three and drawn two.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|20/12/2020||EPL||Man U 6 – 2 Leeds||Scott 2’|
|17/07/2019||Friendly||Man U 4 – 0 Leeds||Greenwood 7’|
|20/09/2011||League Cup||Leeds 0 – 3 Man U||Owen 15′|
|03/01/2010||FA Cup||Man U 0 – 1 Leeds||Beckford 19’|
|21/02/2004||EPL||Man U 6 – 2 Leeds||Scholes 64’|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
The biggest shame for this clash is that fans won’t be in attendance at Elland Road. Never the best of friends in normal times, we are sure Leeds fans would have loved to share their opinion on the Super League fiasco. On the pitch, Leeds never need motivation against their rivals and with great players in their side, including Patrick Bamford, Stuart Dallas and Raphina, they have the quality to hurt the United from Manchester.
Manchester United are in great form, with just two defeats in twenty-six in all competitions and only one defeat in twenty-six games in the Premier League. They will be aware, though, that league form means nothing when these two clubs meet and can expect a tough game. Leeds will also be out for revenge after the 6-2 loss at Old Trafford.
With two teams who excel at counterattacking football, this should be a great game with a few goals in it. United often concede first, and we believe that will happen here, but we question whether Leeds can hang on to that lead. With this in mind, we feel a draw is likely, which is available @ 29/10, with bet365. Patrick Bamford to score anytime @ 6/4 is also worth a punt.