On Saturday afternoon Manchester United will play against Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United as Premier League 2021-22 season will kick-off. Last season while Leeds impressed on their return to the top flight, collecting 59 points from 38 games to finish ninth, the Red Devils finished second behind Manchester City in the table. Here is everything you need to know about Manchester United vs Leeds United football prediction, team news, and lineup for the first Premier League game of the 2021-22 season.
New signee Jadon Sancho may have to settle for a bench spot against Leeds after only returning to training on Monday.
Another new arrival, Raphael Varane is expected to start training on Wednesday and will also play on the bench against Leeds.
Dean Henderson is unlikely to be available due to long-term COVID issues, and Jesse Lingard is also unlikely to be available after he recently tested positive for COVID.
Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo played in the Olympics and will not be considered by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the time being. Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford and Alex Telles have been out for some time.
In United’s final preseason game Anthony Martial returned from injury, but he may be needed from the start here. Dan James could be a surprise starter in the front three with Sancho unlikely to be ready in time.
Marcelo Bielsa has admitted that Kalvin Phillips may not be fit enough to start Leeds’ opener after a late return to pre-season, with Robin Koch ready to deputize if necessary.
Diego Llorente and a new signing for the summer Junior Firpo’s injury may prevent him from returning in time for Leeds, and his absence would be a significant blow given that the club let Ezgjan Alioski leave in the summer. On Saturday, Stuart Dallas may be needed at left back.
In Saturday’s action, Manchester United fans will be desperate to see new signings Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane but they may have to wait another week.
Leeds’ pre-season has been a rollercoaster ride like last season. They failed to win any of their previous five preseason games, including a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Ajax.
This will be a difficult match for Manchester United, who last season won this game 6-2 because Leeds left too many gaps in their defense. On this occasion, we do not anticipate a high-scoring contest and are simply backing Man United to win, with Sancho potentially coming off the bench to make the difference for the 20-time English champions.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Matic, Fred; Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood; Martial
Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Firpo; Raphinha, Dallas, Rodrigo, Phillips, Harrison; Bamford
Our Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Leeds United