Manchester United will play Leeds United in the first of two Premier League meetings in a week on Wednesday, hoping to extend their winning streak at Old Trafford to 14 games in all competitions.
Erik ten Hag’s ten men defeated Crystal Palace 2-1 at the weekend, while the Whites’ relegation fears were exacerbated by a 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest. Man United were forced to play the final 20 minutes of their game against Crystal Palace with ten men, which was not what the doctor ordered, especially when the player sent for an early bath was one-man midfield screen Casemiro, who inexcusably grabbed Will Hughes around the neck with two hands.
However, the Red Devils had already taken a two-goal lead through Bruno Fernandes’ penalty and Marcus Rashford’s 10th Premier League goal of the season by that point, and the hosts held on despite Jeffrey Schlupp’s looping consolation. Those early-season defeats to Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion now seem like a lifetime ago for Erik ten Hag’s men, who sit comfortably in third place in the Premier League table, and following their defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City are now only three points ahead of their local rivals.
A fourth consecutive win In all competitions only adds to Man United’s momentum ahead of their double-leg Europa League tie with Barcelona and EFL Cup final against Newcastle United later this month, and the Red Devils have won their last 13 home games. Ten Hag’s prolific charges have scored at least twice in 12 of those games, with the exception of a 1-0 win over West Ham United in October, and a tally of six league goals conceded at Old Trafford is the league’s joint-best home defensive record, alongside Newcastle.
Jesse Marsch’s 17th-placed charges have now gone winless in seven Premier League games since their thrilling 4-3 victory over Bournemouth on November 5, with only goal difference separating them from dropping below the dotted line after Everton drew level on points with the Whites by shocking leaders Arsenal.
Furthermore, seven of Leeds’ last nine Premier League away games have resulted in defeat, and their record against the top three is not encouraging, with Leeds drawing one and losing seven of their last eight Premier League meetings against the top three. Man United have taken 10 points from 12 available against Leeds since the Whites’ promotion back to the top flight in 2020, winning 6-2 and 5-1 at Old Trafford in that time, with their most recent meeting ending in a 4-2 Red Devils victory at Elland Road in February.
Team News- Manchester United
Casemiro was seen putting his hands on Hughes’ throat during a mass brawl between Manchester United and Palace players, which was sparked by a late Schlupp challenge on Antony, and Casemiro will serve the first of a three-game suspension here.
With Scott McTominay still working on his fitness, Marcel Sabitzer should make his full debut after coming off the bench on Saturday, while Eagles loanee Jack Butland is eligible to play again.
Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek, and Christian Eriksen are also out for the hosts, who have Diogo Dalot back in contention, and the fresh-legged Portuguese will fight to replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Team News- Leeds United
For Leeds, Robin Koch will return from his own suspension for the trip to Old Trafford, but Archie Gray, Rodrigo, Stuart Dallas, Sonny Perkins, and Adam Forshaw are still out.
On a more positive note, Crysencio Summerville was fit enough for a substitute appearance at the City Ground and may be considered for a recall as Marsch refreshes his attack, with Brenden Aaronson and record signing Georginio Rutter also on the verge of being called up.
Marc Roca’s poor performance against Nottingham Forest will help Weston McKennie’s chances of making his first start since joining on loan from Juventus.