With the dust still settling from their epic skirmish at Old Trafford in midweek, traditional rivals Leeds and Manchester United emerge from their corners for round two at Elland Road today, where sparks are guaranteed to fly again.
Leeds enjoyed a “no manager bounce” on Wednesday evening, racing into a shock two-goal lead at the Theatre of Dreams before they were eventually pegged back, though they would have extracted enough confidence from the eventual 2-2 draw to go for the jugular again this afternoon.
As per the usual routine, I’ve laid out my stats pack for today’s clash below which is laden with a myriad of metrics and statistical insights from the teams’ Premier League campaigns to date. Use the research alongside my Stats Pack Guide to increase your chances of landing a successful bet builder.
Leeds will be without the services of Stuart Dallas, Rodrigo, Archie Gray and Adam Forshaw again today, while Pascal Strujik, who was withdrawn at Old Trafford with a concussion, should also miss out.
Luis Sinisterra came off with what looked like a hamstring issue in midweek and the Colombian winger is a major doubt here. Crysencio Summerville could replace him on the flank. Liam Cooper and Marc Roca need to pass late fitness tests to confirm their involvement.
With Christian Eriksen and Scott McTominay still injured and Casemiro still serving a suspension, Erik ten Hag will likely pair Fred with Marcel Sabitzer in midfield again. Anthony Martial and Antony have also been officially ruled of out contention by the Dutch boss.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka could return to the XI following a bout of illness, while Jadon Sancho’s equalizer off the bench on Wednesday might earn him his first Premier League start since October.
Leeds are the second-highest-scoring team in the bottom half of the Premier League table and they looked threatening again at Old Trafford in midweek, particularly in the opening exchanges of each half.
Leeds’s xG against is weightier than their xG for this season, and they lost the Xg battle once again against United (0.6 – 2.1). The Yorkshiremen did crank up their intensity levels on Wednesday when they made a bone-crunching 30 tackles, committed 11 fouls and picked up three bookings. Expect them to bring plenty of aggression to today’s rematch.
Despite mounting a rousing second-half comeback, United were too easily drawn into Leeds’s chaotic gameplan on Wednesday, however, they did manage to muster 25 attempts to their visitor’s eight on the night.
United controlled over 65% possession against Leeds, but won a relatively modest 6 corners to their opponent’s five. Low corner counts have been a feature for them this term and they’ve actually conceded more per 90 than they have won themselves. Leeds look like decent value at 10/11 in the +1 corner handicap today.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
For all the threat they carried at Old Trafford, Leeds racked up just eight attempts, with two of those hitting the target in Manchester. Luke Ayling was the only Leeds player to let fly more than once, and his penchant for a punt from distance makes him an interesting prospect at 4/9 to have at least one strike at goal today.
Exciting winger Wilfried Gnonto lead Leeds’s rapid start from the front on Wednesday when he netted after less than a minute. Leeds should come flying out of the blocks again this afternoon, and Gnonto looks like a superb option to have one or more first half shots on target at 11/5.
Incredibly, seven of Man Utd’s ten outfield starters had at least two shots at goal each against Leeds during the week, with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Fred the most prolific with four attempts apiece.
Rashford was ineffective on the right, but once he moved more centrally after an hour, he was dynamite. The 25-year-old should be positioned more favourably today and he is of interest at 11/10 to hit at least two accurate shots at Elland Road. January signing Marcel Sabizer showcased his ability to strike well off both feet on Wednesday and the Austrian carries odds of 5/6 to hit the mark with just one effort later on.
Player Goals and Assists
Wilfried Gnonto caught United ice-cold on Wednesday with a sensational early strike at Old Trafford and the 19-year-old can be backed at 16/5 to score again today. Dutch winger Crysencio Summerville forced an own goal out of Raphael Varane in midweek, and he could start ahead of the injured Luis Sinisterra this afternoon.
Summerville, who has goals against Liverpool and Tottenham this season, is a man for big occasions, and the 21-year-old is well-priced at 23/10 to either score or assist against United.
Marcus Rashford notched his 20th goal of the season in all competitions with a stunning header against Leeds on Wednesday and the red-hot United attacker is on course to enjoy the most prolific campaign of his career. Rashford has registered in seven of his last eight Premier League games, though he can still be picked up at 7/5 in the anytime market for today’s clash.
Comeback hero Jadon Sancho bagged a goal and played a game-high-equalling three key passes when he was introduced off the bench in midweek The 22-year-old is keenly priced at 10/11 to lodge a goal contribution against Leeds again later on.
Leeds posted a possession figure of 34.1% on Wednesday evening, though their counter-attacking blueprint was a success at Old Trafford and their caretaker-management team will ask for more of the same today.
American midfielder Tyler Adams was Leeds’s chief pass-maker at Old Trafford with 46 and his overall distribution stats for the campaign highlight his importance in the ball-rotation department. Value is tough to find in the market however, though Adams could be worth including to hit 50 or more passes at a stretch at 2/5.
In keeping with the season-long trends, Raphael Varane (120), Lisandro Martinez (85) and Luke Shaw (64) ranked in positions one through three for total passes played against Leeds in midweek, and that trio should feature prominently in the same metric today.
Interestingly, it looked as though Leeds were relatively happy for Varane to have the ball on Wednesday. The Frenchman doesn’t progress possession as well as Martinez or Shaw, and Leeds could employ a similar tactic today. That makes Varane terrific value at 8/11 to play 70+ passes at Elland Road.
Leeds tackled, harried and challenged like men possessed at Old Trafford on Wednesday, particularly in midfield, where American tag-team Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams posted five tackles, four fouls and collected a yellow card each.
McKennie (three fouls) was in particularly boisterous form and the 24-year-old is a tempting 6/5 to commit another two indiscretions this afternoon. Tyler Adams appeals at 2/1 to be carded again, as does Junior Firpo at 13/10. The Brazilian gave away four free kicks and look very uncomfortable in Wednesday’s high-pressure encounter.
Terms like midfield battleground were fitting clichés for Wednesday’s tense tussle at Old Trafford, and Bruno Fernandes and Fred certainly knew they were in a game against their combative Leeds counterparts, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams. Expect plenty of heavy hits in there again today.
Jadon Sancho could be drafted in to test Junior Firpo’s mettle on the right flank. Sancho’s appreciation of space and unpredictability could make the erratic Brazilian nervous. Firpo committed more fouls than any other player on the pitch on Wednesday (four).
Match-Ups to watch
Tyler Adams vs Fred
Weston McKennie vs Bruno Fernandes
Junior Firpo vs Jadon Sancho
Manchester United Cards
On an evening where referee Simon Hooper let an awful lot go, Marcel Sabitzer was the only Man Utd player booked, though Fred somehow escaped a card despite committing three fouls. Fred might be so lucky today, though he looks docket-worthy at 5/6 to finish the game with at least two fouls again.
Luke Shaw was cautioned on his last visit to Elland Road (Feb ’22) and the no-nonsense full-back could collect his fifth booking of the current campaign this afternoon against some tricky opponents. Diogo Dalot found it tough to keep a lid on Wilfried Gnonto on Wednesday and the Portuguese defender will be under instruction to up his aggression in the return fixture. At 1/3 to commit at least one foul, Dalot looks a safe bet.
Wingers Wilfried Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville are similar in style, and the wicked combination of pace and low centre of gravity that both wield could really put Man Utd fullbacks, Dalot and Shaw, under serious pressure at Elland Road.
In midfield, Fred is the likeliest Red Devil to get in amongst it and the Brazilian’s duels with Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams in central areas should be just as frenetic as they were on Wednesday.
Match-Ups to watch
Luke Shaw vs Crysencio Summerville
Diogo Dalot vs Wilfried Gnonto
Fred vs Weston McKennie/Tyler Adams
My bet builder picks of the pack
There’s plenty of bet builder picks worth keeping an eye on in this one, and with the help of my stats pack I’ve picked out some value selection that also in the midweek clash between these two.
Leeds vs Manchester United
Marcus Rashford averages 1.31 shots on target P/90.
He managed to muster 1 effort on target when the two teams met in midweek.
Leeds concede 4.57 shots on target P/90.
Leeds average 5.24 corners P/90.
Man United concede 5.59 corners P/90.
Leeds managed to win 5 corners in the reverse fixture.
Fred averages 2.24 fouls P/90.
He’ll likely be up against Tyler Adams and Jack Harrison, who is now being deployed as a number 10. They’re fouled 1.05, and 1.42 times P/90 respectively.
Fred committed 3 fouls in the midweek clash.