Manchester United will be eager to start their 2021/22 campaign on a strong note when they face Leeds United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The predictions are ready. Squads are almost ready. The 2021/22 season is upon us and it all starts on Friday, with Arsenal taking on the new guys in the Premier League, Brentford. On Saturday, the actions begin at Old Trafford, where Manchester United will play host to Leeds United, hoping to be their campaign at the top.
Manchester United has made definite progress under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has guided the Red Devils to the top four in a row. The first trophy might still be eluding them, but United seems to be on the right track, especially after a summer transfer window that has seen them sign two world-class players in Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.
Leeds United, like Manchester United, has been busy in the transfer market this summer, signing several players, although only a fraction of them will be regulars at the first-team level. As for the pitch, the Whites will seek to take advantage of ninth place in the Premier League last season, with Marcelo Bielsa, who has recently renewed terms with the club, seeking to bring his team closer to the European places.
The corresponding match last season was a festival of goals, with Manchester United sailing towards a 6-2 victory over Leeds United. Before the last meeting between the two parties, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the match.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a lot of trouble on the team news front ahead of Leeds United’s visit. On Saturday, the Manchester United manager will be deprived of the services of up to eight first-team players due to illness or injury-related absence.
Manchester United’s biggest absentee is Marcus Rashford, who is out for at least a couple of months after undergoing shoulder surgery. In addition, Edinson Cavani is another key player who is lost after being granted extra time after his participation in the Copa América.
The remaining absent are Dean Henderson, Alex Telles, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, and Jesse Lingard, while Raphael Varane is unavailable as his signing has yet to be formally completed. However, in some good news, Jadon Sancho could show up even though he only started training recently, with Solskjaer reiterating that he has quickly established himself in Carrington.
However, Sancho is unlikely to appear on the kickoff, which means Mason Greenwood will likely be deployed on the right flank, with Paul Pogba starting on the left-back. Anthony Martial, who is eager to go after a difficult 2020/21 campaign, will lead Manchester United’s line against Leeds, while Bruno Fernandes will repeat his usual no. 10 role.
In the middle of the park, Nemanja Matic could get the nod alongside Fred after looking pretty strong in preseason games. As for the defensive unit, the regular faces will take their place, with Victor Lindelof pairing up with Harry Maguire at the heart of Manchester United’s defense in Varane’s absence. Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be the two wingers, with the certainty of David de Gea in the goal.
Probable line-up (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Matic, Fred; Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Pogba; Martial