Football News

Leeds v Man Utd predicted XIs: Team news as Rangnick hails “important” Pogba return

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 12:00, 20 February 2022 | Updated: 21:05, 24 November 2022

Leeds and Manchester United are set for a Premier League showdown at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon (14:00 UK time).

Marcelo Bielsa’s men head into the latest Roses derby looking to shake off a three-game winless streak which subsequently leaves them sitting in 15th place on 23 points albeit they have a couple of games in hand. At home, the Peacocks have not been impressive this season, across their previous 11 they’ve only claimed three successes while suffering foru defeats.

As for the Red Devils they’re battling for a top-four finish. They come into this weekend’s clash occupying fourth spot and unbeaten in six albeit winning half of those contests.

Leeds vs Man Utd betting tips from Squawka Bet

Leeds team news vs Man Utd: 

  • Ins: Junior Firpo
  • Outs: Liam Cooper, Kalvin Phillips, Leo Fuhr Hjelde, Patrick Bamford and Sam Greenwood
  • Doubts: Stuart Dallas

No fewer than five Leeds players are unavailable this weekend. First-team regulars Liam Cooper, Kalvin Phillips, Stuart Dallas and Patrick Bamford are among those sitting this game out. Bamford in particular has a problem in his foot which is preventing him from running, the current treatment he’s on hasn’t been able to alleviate the pain.

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Predicted Leeds XI vs Man Utd:

  • Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Firpo; Koch; Raphinha, Rodrigo, Forshaw; Harrison; James (4-1-4-1).

If Firpo doesn’t pass a late fitness test Bielsa could start Pascal Struijk at left-back with Robin Koch coming into central defence with Stuart Dallas already ruled out. Bamford’s continued absence means Daniel James faces his former club.

Man Utd team news vs Leeds:

  • Ins: Raphael Varane and Eric Bailly
  • Outs: Edinson Cavani and Thomas Heaton
  • Doubts: Nemanja Matic

Edinson Cavani and Thomas Heaton are both ruled out for Man Utd with Nemanja Matic a doubt although he returned to first-team training this week. Also back in the fold are Raphael Varane and Eric Bailly with the former recently falling ill after having stomach problems enroute from a hotel dinner and team meeting.

Predicted Man Utd XI vs Leeds:

  • De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba, McTominay, Fernandes; Rashford, Ronaldo, Sancho (4-3-3).

Even with a Champions League round of 16 first-leg tie with Atletico Madrid is on the horizon Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick has stressed he will not be in rotation mode and says he’ll field his strongest eleven at Elland Road meaning Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho continuing to flank Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, things are not as straightforward in midfield with Rangnick admitting he’s got decisions to make, notably whether to include Pogba or not. The much-maligned French international recently made his first start under the German tactician who is pleased to have so many options at his disposal.

“To start with, it is good and important to have Paul back again and available,” Rangnick told the club’s official website.

“But obviously we have a high level of competition still, we have Fred, so we have enough players, we have Jesse Lingard in good shape in training, so we still have a high level of competition in each area of the field, of the pitch – be it the backline, the midfield or up front.

“So right now, it is not easy to decide and choose the right players, but it is better this way, than having only 15 or 16 outfield players available. In the end, it’s the players themselves who decide who is going to play in the next game [with their performances in training and matches].”

Even despite his lengthy absence, Pogba remains United’s most creative player and though criticism isn’t far away the World Cup winner has a huge admirer in Declan Rice.

“People criticise him, but he’s honestly the top three players I’ve ever played against,” the West Ham midfielder told BT Sport.

“He’s so strong, so good on the ball, and can take the ball under a crazy amount of pressure. He’s unbelievable and a top guy as well.”