Leeds will face their next Premier League hurdle tomorrow evening as they travel to Old Trafford in a mission to thwart Manchester United. The newly promoted Whites will be on a high after their thrilling 5-2 victory over Newcastle last time out. Marcelo Bielsa will hope that his side can deliver the same fighting performance to the Red Devils.
Their Newcastle performance has shown that they certainly have the firepower to trouble the United backline, but they must be equally prepared for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s attack.
Man United pulled off their own hard-fought win in their performance against Sheffield United on Thursday. The Reds just scraped through with the three points, thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
Rashford’s brace now takes him once again to the top of United’s goalscoring tally this season with 12 goals, sitting ahead of Bruno Fernandes by one (via BBC Sport). He will be hungry for more after such an influential performance and the man recently dubbed a “predator” by Martin Keown will see Leeds as his next victims.
Bielsa must prepare for the England international to be at the top of his game tomorrow night. Because of the threat he poses in front of goal, he cannot afford any mistakes or Rashford will punish them.
The Whites have been hit with several injury cases already this season and are currently without centre-back duo Robin Koch and Diego Llorente. Bielsa has been using Luke Ayling as a central defender recently, but he must consider re-introducing Pascal Struijk to the starting lineup.
The £7,000 per week Dutchman has fallen down the pecking order this season but he has a huge chance to make an impact on his side.
Whilst nothing takes away from the hard work Ayling has put in, Leeds need a natural centre-back to support Liam Cooper and Illan Meslier as they prepare to face United’s clinical attack. Struijk and the captain can protect the goal whilst Ayling returns to his usual position at right-back.