Manchester United’s new Premier League season gets underway on Saturday afternoon as they take on bitter rivals Leeds United at Old Trafford.
After finishing runners-up to rivals Manchester City in the 2020/21 Premier League season, the Red Devils will be looking to do one better this time around.
Meanwhile, a respectable ninth-place finish in their first top-flight campaign since 2003/04 should give the Whites enough confidence heading into the new season.
Manchester United Preview
United last faced Leeds in an opening match of a new Premier League season in 1970/71, going down 1-0 at Old Trafford.
However, the Red Devils have since racked up an impressive 16-game unbeaten home streak against this opposition in the top-flight (W10, D6), acing this exact fixture 6-2 in 2020/21.
Yet, after succumbing to a 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace in their 2020/21 Premier League curtain-raiser at home, United stare at the prospect of losing back-to-back season openers for the first time since 1980/81 and 1981/82.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side concluded last season on a disappointing three-game winless league streak on home turf (D1, L2) despite breaking the deadlock twice in that sequence.
But Old Trafford was still a venue of entertainment last season, with United’s home Premier League games featuring more goals (66) than any other team.
Leeds United Preview
Leeds’ first away Premier League fixture since 2004 saw them suffer a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield, setting the tone for them not to draw a single top-flight match on the road in 2020/21 (W10, L9).
Interestingly, Marcelo Bielsa’s men bagged more goals on the road (34) than at home (28) last term and were one of just four teams to smash a 20-goal barrier in terms of second-half goals scored away from home.
The Whites ended last season on a high note, winning four of their final five Premier League trips in 2020/21 (L1) while netting an average of 2.5 goals per victory.
Leeds will also be looking to build upon last season’s 89% win ratio when scoring the opening goal (GP18, W16), with no side dropping fewer points from winning positions than the Yorkshire outfit (six) in 2020/21.
Patrick Bamford, who topped the club’s scoring charts during the previous campaign with 17 strikes, scored in Leeds’ opening game of a league season in 2019/20 and 2020/21.
Manchester United vs Leeds United Predicted Line-ups
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David De Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw; Nemanja Matic, Fred; Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood; Anthony Martial.
Leeds United (4-2-3-1): Illan Meslier; Luke Ayling, Robin Koch, Liam Cooper, Junior Firpo; Stuart Dallas, Kalvin Phillips, Raphinha, Rodrigo, Jack Harrison; Patrick Bamford.
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