Manchester United and Leeds reignite their Roses rivalry at Old Trafford this evening, where the hosts will be aiming to swat the managerless Yorkshiremen aside to win for the 14th game on the spin at the Theatre of Dreams.
On Tuesday, Leeds sacked Jesse Marsch after less than a year in charge, a move that adds an extra layer of intrigue to their clash with traditional antagonists United today. Leeds have won only two of their last 17 top-flight fixtures, though they will hope that the shake-up in the dugout will spark a reversal in fortunes, starting today.
You can find my stats pack for this evening’s showdown below which comes equipped with everything you need to compile smarter bet builders for the game. Use the info presented below alongside my Stats Pack Guide to increase your chances of success.
Casemiro, who is the “cement between the stones”, according to Erik ten Hag, starts his three-game suspension today following his sending off against Crystal Palace. His compatriot Antony has also been ruled out through injury.
Anthony Martial continues to be unavailable, while Scott McTominay is missing in midfield alongside Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek. January signing Marcel Sabitzer is in line to make his full debut. Jadon Sancho could make a rare start, while Diogo Dalot is in contention to start at right back.
Rodrigo is still in the treatment room with an ankle problem for Leeds, while Archie Gray, Adam Forshaw, Sonny Perkins and Stuart Dallas are also injured. Robin Koch is free to play again following the completion of his suspension.
Leeds used a 4-2-3-1 formation under former boss Jesse Marsch and that set-up is unlikely to alter until they appoint a new full-time manager. Georginio Rutter will hope to start for the first time in attack ahead of Patrick Bamford.
Manchester United played the final 20 minutes against Crystal Palace with ten men last weekend, though they still managed to dig out a 2-1 victory over the Eagles, restricting their opponents to a modest xG of 1.3.
United’s performances at the back have come on leaps and bounds under Erik ten Hag this term, and several of their stats are inching towards the top of the defensive metrics charts.
The Red Devils have won 20 of their 25 assignments in all competitions since their harrowing 6-3 derby loss to Man City on October 2nd. Ten Hag would love his team to score more goals, however. United still have the lowest goal difference (+8) in the Premier League’s top six.
The even-Steven look that Leeds United’s underlying stats for the campaign have would suggest they’ve been competitive in a good chunk of their Premier League fixtures in 2022/23 – and that’s certainly been the case.
In fact, Leeds won the xG battle in each of their last four matches in the division, though they picked up just four points from a possible 12. Leeds are the second-highest scoring outfit in the bottom ten behind Leicester, however, just four clubs have conceded more goals than the Yorkshiremen.
Interestingly, Leeds collected 12 cards combined in their last three meetings with Man Utd and they should be fired up again today following Jesse Marsch’s sacking. Leeds are even money to pick up over 2.5 cards this evening.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
With Alejandro Garnacho used as an impact substitute more often than not and Brazilian winger Antony out injured, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes again jump off the page as United’s best candidates in the shot market today.
Rashford racked up a whopping seven attempts in his last runout against Palace with two of those efforts landing on target. The in-form 25-year-old has notched at least two shots on target in six of his last nine appearances overall, and Rashford is keenly priced at 10/11 to match that output again this evening.
Bruno Fernandes meanwhile, have found his shooting boots again and the Portuguese schemer has lodged at least two accurate strikes in 70% of his last ten appearances. Bruno can be backed at 7/4 in the same market against Leeds.
Patrick Bamford, Luis Sinisterra, Crysencio Summerville and Wilfried Gnonto have all been posting strong numbers in the shot department this season, especially when you consider Leeds’s plight as one of the Premier League’s prime relegation candidates.
Colombian winger Sinisterra in particular, can be a real handful on his day and the 23-year-old managed to clip two shots on target in each of his last two appearances for Leeds. The pacey flanksman catches the eye at even money to notch one or more shots on target later on.
Player Goals and Assists
Marcus Rashford maintained his purple patch by netting United’s winning goal against Crystal Palace last weekend and the 25-year-old has now scored 11 times in 13 appearances since the World Cup. Despite his prowess in the final third, Rashford can still be backed at a generous 6/5 to rattle the net again today.
Elsewhere, Bruno Fernandes looks a snip at 8/11 to either score or assist later on. The 28-year-old just loves playing against Leeds and Bruno managed to chip in with four goals and two assists in his last two runouts against the Yorkshire-based outfit.
With leading marksman Rodrigo out injured, Leeds’s frontline looks short on goalscoring threat, however, each of the last two goals conceded by Man Utd at Old Trafford were scored via set pieces, and that could be an avenue for the visitors to explore again this evening.
Scottish defender Liam Cooper could be worth watching in those scenarios. The 31-year-old centre-half has been winning 3.5 aerial battles per game this term and he has already scored at Old Trafford before (Dec 2020). Cooper is a giant 22/1 to score anytime today however, so he is a small-stake venture.
Erik ten Hag is big on control and United’s possession stats have been on the rise this season. The Red Devils have posted 60%+ possession figures in four of their last six games and they will expect to dictate play again this evening.
In terms of individual distributors, both Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martinez tend to see a lot of action. Shaw is probably the more reliable performer of the two in this arena however, and though he has played 70 or more passes in just 50% of his last six appearances, he logged 69 and 67 passes in two other fixtures during the same period. Shaw is priced at 8/11 to beat the same 70-passes target later on.
Leeds will expect to be on the backfoot for most of this evening’s game and while their distance covered and tackle figures are almost certain to be high, they probably won’t make much of a dent possession-wise at Old Trafford.
Both Tyler Adams and Marc Roca are averaging a smidgen over 50 passes per 90 this season they are attached to tempting prices of 8/13 and 11/10 to beat that tally today. Adams is the likelier of the two to land you a winner there. The 23-year-old has played 50 or more passes in five of his last seven appearances.
Manchester United Cards
Whispers from the training ground have been hinting that Diogo Dalot could start a game for the first time since January 6th this evening and the Portuguese full-back might be a little rusty as a consequence.
Dalot has already been cautioned five times in the league this term at 13/5, the 23-year-old is of interest in the markets today. Foul machine Fred (11/4) will also need to be more physical in Casemiro’s absence, while aggressive Austrian Marcel Sabitzer (13/8) could throw his weight around as he tries to impose himself on his full United debut.
Wilfried Gnoto is the trickiest of customers on the left flank and the diminutive winger has a skill set that could draw mistimed and even rash challenges from Diogo Dalot today.
In midfield, American playmaker Brendan Aaronson tends to draw plenty of fouls and he should have Fred on his case later on. His compatriot Weston McKennie is a robust presence just behind Aaronson and his one-on-one duels with United’s Sabitzer will need to be watched closely by referee Rob Jones.
Match-Ups to watch
Diogo Dalot vs Wilfried Gnonto
Fred vs Brenden Aaronson
Marcel Sabitzer vs Weston McKennie
Marc Roca is one of Leeds’s chief enforcer in midfield and the Spaniard has the card count to back that up. Interestingly, three of Roca’s four Premier League bookings this term were picked up in away fixtures and the 26-year-old is 2/1 to be cautioned again this evening.
Robin Koch (2/1) has a clean slate following a ban for an accumulation of bookings and the German has little reason to take the edge of his tackles today. Right-back Luke Ayling has only been booked once this season, though he has been carded twice in his last three appearances against Man Utd, which explains why the 31-year-old is such a short price in the market today (6/4).
Bruno Fernandes is a master at manufacturing contact, though he does get his fair share of genuine whacks too. Leeds’s Marc Roca will have Bruno in his sights today, especially after Fernandes’ exploits against the Yorkshiremen in the past.
Wout Weghorst seems to relish physical battles against centre-halves and sparks could fly in the towering Dutchman’s duel with Robin Koch this evening. Marcus Rashford’s running power should terrify Luke Ayling, and outmatched for pace, the Leeds defender might have to clip an ankle or two to survive.
Match-Ups to watch
Marc Roca vs Bruno Fernandes
Robin Koch vs Wout Weghorst
Luke Ayling vs Marcus Rashford
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
Taking a look through the pack for this derby, there’s a few value bet builder picks I liked the look of. If you want you can load them into your slip at 3/1 in one click below, and if you’re a Betfair newbie just make sure to use the offer above first.
Manchester United vs Leeds United
Man United average 2.48 cards for and 3.72 cards in total.
Leeds average 2.40 cards for and 4.40 cards in total.
Referee Andre Marriner averages 3.86 cards per game.
Fred averages 2.13 fouls committed p/90, and has received 4 bookings.
His opponent Brenden Aaronson draws 2.30 fouls p/90 and attempted 3.74 dribbled p/90.
Marcus Rashford averages 1.32 shots on target p/90, from 2.96 shots.
Man United average 5.00 shots on target per game, while Leeds concede 4.50.
Bruno Fernandes has scored 5 and assisted 4 goals this season.
But Leeds are his favourite foe, with 6 goal contributions in his last 2 games against them.