Man Utd vs Leeds United: Premier League preview, team news, stats, prediction, kick-off time

Raphael Varane has not completed his Manchester United move in time while Junior Firpo is fit to make his Leeds debut; follow Man Utd vs Leeds in our dedicated live match blog; watch free match highlights on Sky Sports digital platforms and YouTube channel at 5.15pm

Friday 13 August 2021 16:29, UK

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Man Utd vs Leeds in the Premier League on Saturday (kick-off 12.30pm).

Team news

Jadon Sancho will be involved for Manchester United against Leeds but Raphael Varane has not completed his move in time for the Premier League clash.

The United boss says he is “still missing a few players through injury and Covid”, with Jesse Lingard absent for last weekend’s friendly against Everton after testing positive.

Dean Henderson has been feeling the after effects of the illness and Edinson Cavani is completing isolation after an extended break. Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo are yet to return to United training after the Olympics while Alex Telles and Marcus Rashford are injured.

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Summer-signing Junior Firpo is fit to make his Premier League debut for Leeds after shaking off a knock suffered during pre-season.


The 24-year-old ex-Barcelona player could start at left-back, with Robin Koch and Liam Cooper expected to play together in central defence as Diego Llorente remains sidelined with a leg problem.

Midfielder Jamie Shackleton, who suffered a concussion in pre-season, has also been passed fit.

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How to follow

Follow Man Utd vs Leeds in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel at 5.15pm.

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    Opta stats

    • Manchester United and Leeds United are set to face in their opening top-flight league matches of the season for the first time since 1970-71, with Leeds winning 1-0 at Old Trafford with a goal from Mick Jones ahead of finishing runners-up in the league that season.
    • Leeds are winless in their last 16 league visits to Old Trafford against Manchester United (D6 L10) since a 1-0 win in February 1981, and lost 6-2 there last season. Leeds have played more Premier League matches at Old Trafford without winning than any other stadium (13).
    • Manchester United lost their first Premier League match last season, losing 3-1 at Old Trafford against Crystal Palace. They haven’t lost their opening top-flight match in consecutive seasons since 1972-73 and 1973-74, going on to be relegated in the latter season.
    • After going 14 consecutive top-flight seasons without losing their opening match between 1990-91 and 2003-04, Leeds suffered a 4-3 defeat against Liverpool last season. They last lost their first top-flight league match in consecutive seasons in 1980-81 and 1981-82.
    • Manchester United conceded 28 goals at home in the Premier League last season, their most at Old Trafford in a single campaign since 1962-63 (38). Indeed, Old Trafford saw more goals scored than any other stadium in the Premier League last season (66 – F38 A28), while Leeds’ away games were more prolific than any other side (67 goals – F34 A33).

    Jones Knows’ Prediction

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    Manchester United have caught my eye in the pre-season ramble – but not for positive reasons.

    They seem to be vastly overrated by the markets in comparison to Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, who in my view look a level above what United will be bringing to the party under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, despite some marquee signings. If the title is what the club craves, then I can see underachievement on the horizon. I want to take Man Utd on at short prices in the early knockings of the season too as many of their key players look a few weeks away from full fitness and it’s unclear whether Raphael Varane will be available. The 8/13 with Sky Bet is easily swerved for a Man Utd win. There will be better short-price options out there for those looking to build an accumulator.

    Leeds became reformed characters towards the end of the season, switching their style of play to a more conservative-type pressing game that allowed their defence more protection. In the last 15 games of last season, Leeds only conceded 12 goals – the second-best defensive record in the league for that period.

    During that run, they kept clean sheets against Chelsea and Manchester United while only conceding once to both Liverpool and Manchester City. This game should mirror the second meeting between these teams last season that ended 0-0, rather than the madness of the first that Man Utd won 6-2. I think Marcelo Bielsa will be here for a clean sheet and the half-time correct score of 0-0 does look suitably juicy at 5/2 with Sky Bet, with Man Utd likely to be undercooked in the early knockings.


    BETTING ANGLE: 0-0 at half-time (5/2 with Sky Bet)

    The Essential Football Podcast: 21/22 Premier League season preview

    The Premier League is back! New signings, new teams, old rivalries resumed and fresh hope, all to the sweet sound of full stadiums. Kate Burlaga is joined by Nick Wright and Gerard Brand to preview another nine months of drama in the top flight.

    PART 1: Are City still the side to beat? And who will challenge them? Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool assessed

    PART 2: Will the north London gloom lift? Leicester in focus and surprise package: Leeds, Aston Villa and Everton tipped

    PART 3: How will promoted trio Brentford, Watford and Norwich fare? Plus: New managers assessed, and can West Ham deal with European distraction?

    Listen on your provider here

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