Leeds United to head down under and renew rivalry with Manchester United in mouthwatering pre-season clash

Leeds United will clash with arch-rivals Manchester United next summer in a mouthwatering pre-season friendly in Australia, the Elland Road club have announced.

Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 8:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 8:34 pm
Bradley Johnson and Andrew Hughes sprint to celebrate with Jermaine Beckford after the striker's goal in Leeds United's FA Cup victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2010.

The teams have agreed to meet at Perth’s 60,000-seater Optus Stadium as part of an Australian tour planned by Leeds before the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

The meeting with the Old Trafford side will take place on Wednesday, July 17, the first encounter between two old and bitter adversaries for almost eight years.

Manchester United ran out 3-0 winners at Elland Road during their most recent clash in September 2011, a League Cup third-round tie.

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Tony Yeboah turns away to celebrate a goal during Leeds United's famous Christmas Eve win over Manchester United at Elland Road in 1995.

Eighteen months earlier, a goal from Jermaine Beckford handed Leeds a memorable 1-0 FA Cup win at Old Trafford at a time when the Yorkshire club were fighting to escape from League One.

Leeds are preparing to announce further fixtures for the trip to Australia and reports over the weekend said they would play A-League outfit Western Sydney Wanderers four days after their friendly against Manchester United.

The friendlies will form part of an extended training camp at an advanced stage of pre-season, setting Leeds up for their centenary year.

Angus Kinnear, Leeds’ managing director, said: “A lot of hard work behind the scenes has gone into making this possible and I’m sure it will be a great success.

The Optus Stadium in Perth, Australia where Leeds United and Manchester United will clash in a pre-season friendly next summer.

“The trip, including the game against long-standing rivals Manchester United and some more fixtures to be announced, will be a fantastic part of our centenary season and is expected to attract thousands of visitors.”

Kinnear said he hoped up to 5,000 Leeds fans would make the trip for the club’s appearance down under. Tickets will go on sale to season-ticket holders and members on November 27 before being made available to fans registered for pre-sales on November 28. General admission tickets will be available from November 29, with prices starting from £40.

Supporters will be allowed to buy up to 20 tickets in one transaction.

Australia has become an increasingly attractive destination for high-profile English teams, including Chelsea who visited Perth last July.

Liverpool played two summer games against Australian opposition in 2015 while Manchester United travelled there under David Moyes two years earlier.

Leeds themselves made the journey in the summer 2002 while Terry Venables was manager, playing Chilean club Colo Colo in Melbourne.

Media outlets in Australia reported on Saturday that United would also meet Western Sydney Wanderers on July 21 in a match which is set to mark the opening of the club’s new stadium in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa was linked with the job of coaching Australia’s national team before agreeing to take charge at Elland Road in June.