Leeds United-Manchester United Preview

·3 min read

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is delighted to have Leeds United back in the Premier League, as Manchester United go up against their rivals for the first time in nine years.

United and Leeds have a famous rivalry, though have not met in the top flight since 2004 – Solskjaer coming on in the 71st minute of a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

The last time the clubs met, United defeated Leeds 3-0 at Elland Road in the League Cup in September 2011, though in their most-recent Old Trafford meeting, it was the Whites – then in League One – who snatched a 1-0 FA Cup win.

Solskjaer brings up his two-year anniversary as United boss on Saturday, and is relishing another encounter with a much-changed Leeds.

"I can't wait, it's been too long," he said. "Of course I know how much it means for our supporters, I know how much it means for our club. It's a different Leeds coming up with a coach that's really done a great job with them and will really test us to the limit.

"I hate talking about what I think about what I've done or where we're at. I don't enjoy that bit looking back, I always look forward, I know there's a lot of work to be done still to get to the standard I want and the level I want, but I've really enjoyed those two years."

While United claimed a 3-2 win over Sheffield United on Thursday, Leeds thrashed Newcastle United 5-2 a day earlier to snap a two-game losing streak.

"It was a deserved victory," coach Marcelo Bielsa said. "In both halves we attacked a lot and created plenty of chances, but in the second half we were more efficient. Winning is always a positive thing and it helps you to go into the next game and be more calm."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Manchester United – Paul Pogba

Pogba made his senior club debut as an 18-year-old in the League Cup match against Leeds back in September 2011. There has been much speculation over his future, but the France international turned in a superb display in Sheffield on Thursday, including a sublime piece of skill to help create United's third goal.

Leeds United – Patrick Bamford

Bamford has scored nine goals in his first 13 Premier League games for Leeds – a goal in this match would see him become the fastest Englishman to 10 Premier League goals for the Whites, and the fastest by any player since Mark Viduka in November 2000 (nine apps).

KEY OPTA FACTS

• United have lost just one of their last 13 Premier League games against Leeds (W8 D4), going down 0-1 at Elland Road in September 2002.

• The Red Devils lost their final league match before Christmas last season to Watford – they haven't done so in consecutive years since 1995, when the second of these matches was a Christmas Eve loss at Elland Road against Leeds.

• Leeds won 5-2 in their last Premier League match against Newcastle United, the first time they have scored five goals in a top-flight match since April 2003 vs Charlton Athletic (6-1).

• Bielsa has beaten Manchester United twice in his managerial career, winning home and away with Athletic Club in the last 16 of the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League. Bielsa's Athletic side were one of only two teams Sir Alex Ferguson faced as Man United manager more than once while losing each time, along with Borussia Dortmund.

• United are unbeaten in their last 15 home league games against Leeds (W9 D6), since a 0-1 loss in February 1981.