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Manchester United will try to turn their attention to football amid a crazy week for the club.
Amid all the protests going on about the Super League and calls for removing the Glazers as owners, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his side are on the road Sunday to face Leeds United.
Marcus Rashford hasn’t trained all week with the team and is questionable with a foot injury, while Anthony Martial and Phil Jones are out with knee injuries.
Eric Bailly came back to training on Monday and could re-enter the starting 11 come Sunday.
The Peacocks will be without the suspended Liam Cooper, and Rodrigo is out with an injury.
Striker Raphina missed their match against Liverpool on Monday and is doubtful as he hasn’t trained all week
Adam Forshaw suffered another setback from his injury that has kept him out for the past 18 months.
Heading into Sunday’s match, both teams have generated some good results in the league of late.
Leeds are undefeated in their last five EPL fixtures as they have moved up to 10th place in the table.
Man United are doing everything they can to close the gap with Manchester City for first place, going unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League matches.
A win this weekend would once again trim the Sky Blues advantage down to single digits as they currently trail them by 11 points.
Long time coming
In the early ’90s, these sides had quite the rivalry, but those days have fizzled out through much of this century.
Sunday will mark the first time United will visit Elland Road for a Premier League fixture since October 2003, when the Reds came away with a 1-0 victory.
After an embarrassing 6-2 defeat against United earlier this season, the Peacocks would love a little revenge this weekend.
History will favour Leeds in this one as they have never lost consecutive home league games to the Red Devils since 1976.
United have only swept the Premier League season series with Leeds twice in 1996-97 and 1999-2000.
Closing in on a record
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team are looking to do what they have done best all season, and that is winning on the road.
The Reds are unbeaten in their last 23 EPL matches away from Old Trafford.
They are closing in on the record set by Arsenal.
The Gunners went unbeaten in 27 straight Premier League matches between April 2003 and September 2004.
Not only does United enjoy playing on the road, but they have enjoyed their time at Elland Road.
They have won their past three visits to Leeds in all competitions, outscoring the Peacocks 7-2 in that time.
The last time Leeds were on the winning end of a Premier League match against the Reds; however, came at Elland Road back in 2002.
Picking up the slack
With injuries to Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, the Reds have gotten some much-needed contributions from other players.
Namely, youngster Mason Greenwood and veteran Edinson Cavani have been chipping in in both the Premier League and the Europa League.
Greenwood has a goal in each of his last three EPL fixtures.
His Uruguayan teammate has scored in each of United’s previous three matches in all competitions.
If there’s a Leeds player who wants to get back on track, it’s Patrick Bamford.
The Peacocks leading goalscorer hasn’t scored in his last three games in the league.
He is currently fifth in goals in the Premier League with 14.
He has taken 22% of his team’s shots this season.
Man United’s leading goalscorer Bruno Fernandes is goalless in his last three matches in all competitions.
If previous results this season are any indication, both goalkeepers could be in for a busy afternoon.
Earlier this week, Marcelo Bielsa’s side became the first in the Premier League to get to 100 goals in all their league games (50 goals for and 50 against).
If there are any goals scored on Sunday, Man United will join them as the next team to reach that mark.
The Reds have scored 64 times in the EPL in this campaign while conceding 35.
Man United’s Mason Greenwood has done his part to take the pressure off Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford lately.
The 19-year-old has 15 Premier League goals for Man United, the most of any teenager in this competition.
He has four goals in his last three matches in the EPL.
If he can score one more this weekend, he’d be the first teenager to achieve four in a row in this competition since Francis Jeffers did it for Everton in 2000.
Heading into Sunday’s match, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he has fond memories of the past rivalry between Leeds and the Reds.
“We as a team got stretched against them, we looked forward to those games, and we had some fantastic games. There was respect for the level; they stretched us. I feel the same now with Leeds team coming up this year. They’ve shown their quality, and they’re going to stretch us. We have to be ready for this game, physically and mentally.”
Sunday’s match from Elland Road begins at 2 pm. (JSL).