Leeds United and Manchester United face off in a home and home matchup on Wednesday, with Leeds desperately trying to stay in the Premier League. Leeds are without a permanent head coach and no away side has emerged with a point from Old Trafford in 13 games. Manchester United have a long list of absentees but Jadon Sancho could start for the first time since October. Chris Armas, Paco Gallardo and Michael Skubala will lead Leeds in the biggest match of their season. Manchester United are expected to come out on top in this matchup.
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Fighting for their Premier League lives, Leeds United begin a home and home matchup with their great rivals on Wednesday, vying to overcome Manchester United without a permanent head coach in the dugout. Jesse Marsch was sacked on Monday, paying the price for a disastrous run of form since the World Cup that has left the Yorkshire side hovering above the relegation zone on goal difference.
Leeds are not expected to have a permanent head coach in place for the visit to Old Trafford, a ground that has rediscovered its fear factor under Erik ten Hag. No away side has emerged from a visit to the ground with so much as a point in their last 13 games across all competitions, their best run since September 2011. It would take quite an about turn for Leeds to change that. Here is how you can watch the match and what you need to know:
- Date: Wednesday, Feb. 8 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
- Location: Old Trafford — Manchester, United Kingdom
- TV: USA | Live stream: fuboTV (free trial)
- Odds: Manchester United -225; Draw +350; Leeds +550 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Featured Game | Manchester United vs. Leeds United
Manchester United: The fixture list is at its most brutal for United, who after playing Leeds again at the weekend will begin their Europa League knockout campaign against Barcelona. Meanwhile, the race for top four could prove to be a tight one with Tottenham and Newcastle firmly in the mix. It is hardly the opportune moment to be struck with a lengthy list of absentees. Casemiro will be banned for the next three league games after putting his hands on the neck of Will Hughes in Saturday’s win over Crystal Palace while Scott McTominay, who deputized for him against Manchester United, is unavailable.
Further forward Anthony Martial and Antony are injured, absentees that could open the door for Jadon Sancho to start for the first time since October. A combination of injuries and mental health matters have meant the England international has been given time to recuperate by Erik ten Hag, if that pays off in the coming weeks and Sancho displays the form he did at Borussia Dortmund then United will be a threat to anyone.
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Leeds United: Chris Armas, the former Manchester United coach hired by Marsch two weeks ago, will be among those in the Leeds dugout at Old Trafford and he more than anyone may feel he has a point to prove following speculation that he was labelled “Ted Lasso” by players at his previous club. Paco Gallardo and Michael Skubala will also make up the coaching staff for one of the biggest matches in Leeds’ season and it was the latter who was tasked with giving the pre-match press conference.
“I think the mood is, I wouldn’t say down, but the mood is ok,” he said. “The mood is about ‘we’ve got to focus on Manchester United, we’ve got to be positive and we’ve got to go after three points.’ I don’t think anybody thinks it is going to be easy but, as long as we’re competitive and we put on a good show, and put a good team on the pitch, that’s the most we can ask for. If we can do something, and nick something, that would be great.”
This is the worst imaginable time for Leeds to be playing Manchester United and, whilst an Elland Road crowd may raise their spirits in the next game, this could be a long evening for the men in white. PICK: Manchester United 3, Leeds United 0