Leeds United v Manchester United - key battle, Red Devils key man and YEP prediction

Leeds United take on their arch rivals Manchester United at Elland Road on Sunday - and this is the YEP's take on it all.

By Graham Smyth
Saturday, 19th February 2022, 11:30 am

Ahead of the eagerly-awaited clash between the Whites and the Red Devils, chief football writer Graham Smyth runs through the key elements of the Roses derby from LS11.

Date: Sunday

Time: 2pm

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KEY MAN: Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, right, pictured turning Leeds United's Robin Koch in August's clash between the Red Devils and Whites at Old Trafford. Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images.

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Elland Road

Odds: Leeds win 3/1, draw 11/4, Man Utd win 17/20.

Last time at Elland Road: Saturday April 25, 2021 - Leeds United 0-0 Manchester United

Key battle - the midfield: Leeds United cannot afford to leave space in the middle of the pitch the way they did against Everton. Manchester United have players who are well equipped to take full advantage, on the counter attack in particular. Whoever plays in the number eight role and in front of the back four will have a huge job. Expect Adam Forshaw to play.

Man United key man - Bruno Fernandes: Regardless of how good he's been this season compared with how good he can be, he's a real threat to Leeds United. A creative player with vision and the ability to do special things, he can't be given time and space to pick Leeds apart. He's one of a number who could cause big problems if space appears.

Graham Smyth's verdict

It could be one of the best days of Marcelo Bielsa's tenure at Leeds and one of the most enjoyable for Whites fans in decades, or one of the worst. It's hard to see it being anything in between. The atmosphere could help Leeds but they simply cannot perform as they did at Everton. Who knows what Manchester United will produce but they know how to hurt Leeds. Perhaps the best prediction is to expect the unexpected. A 1-0 win with a goal from Adam Forshaw it is, then.