Old rivalries will be renewed this weekend as Manchester United welcome adversaries Leeds United to Old Trafford in the Premier League.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds make the short trip across the Pennines to take on a Manchester United team who with victory over Sheffield United midweek put themselves just 5 points off the pace of Premier League leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.
However, the Yorkshire club will be well aware of Manchester United’s frailties at home and will be looking to build on their cut-and-thrust 5-2 hiding of Newcastle on Wednesday.
Such has been the peculiarity of this season, Manchester United’s seemingly Jekyll and Hyde nature hasn’t massively hampered their domestic ambitions so far this campaign.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer no doubt has his eyes firmly set on a Champions League place as well as some much-desired silverware.
The goal for Leeds is far more modest – to maintain Premier League status after a 16-year absence – an absence which no doubt will intensify the ill-feeling between these two giants of English football.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men have been erratic at best, with some brilliant performances as well as some rubbish ones – with that unpredictability arguably making them even more dangerous a proposition.
Manchester United won’t have defenders Phil Jones or Marcos Rojo available for the game due to injury, and new signing Edinson Cavani is also suffering with a knock and will have to prove his fitness ahead of the match.
The Uruguayan, who joined on a free transfer in the summer, has also been charged by the FA after a social media post which broke protocol on racial and/or discriminatory language. United say they will work with the FA and the player before any verdict is handed out – it’s likely to be a three game ban for Cavani.
Leeds United have Robin Koch and Diego Llorente unavailable to them due to injury, with Adam Forshaw and Gaetano Berardi also in the treatment room.
Koch has recently had surgery on a knee problem and will be out for a while, whilst Llorente could be back before the new year all being well with his recovery.
Fans have waited since 2004 to see these two sides square off in the Premier League, and they’ll get to do so finally when kick off arrives at 4.30 on Sunday 20th December.