Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Leeds United rivalry to remain healthy ahead of 'unique' clash

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says a 'completely unique' game with Leeds United is an exciting prospect - but warns the rivalry must remain healthy.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 4:02 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd April 2021, 4:05 pm
Manchester United head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Pic: Getty

The Whites host the Red Devils at Elland Road for the first time in Premier League action in a little under 18 years.

Leeds welcome their arch rivals to West Yorkshire in the top flight looking to make amends for a disappointing 6-2 defeat over the Pennines in December.

Both club's will be without support in LS11, as the game continues amid the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic which has left stands empty throughout the campaign.

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Marcelo Bielsa's side head into the game off the back of a draw with reigning champions Liverpool and win over runaway league leaders Manchester City.

Manchester United meanwhile, have won five games on the bounce in domestic outings.

Solskjaer - who saw his side take a two-goal lead after three minutes at Old Trafford - revealed he was looking forward to renewing rivalries with an old foe on Sunday.

“Well, inside the stadium there won't be any fans unfortunately. It's important we focus on our game," Solskjaer said during his pre-match press conference.

"You know fans between our clubs have always had a rivalry and it has to be a healthy rivalry. That's important as well, in a period like this, that we don't want to incite or brew anything up. We just play football.

"It's important that we've listened to the fans [on the European Super League] and I'm so, so happy that the fans have been heard, and let's go onto the game of football now."

Asked about the reverse fixture between the two teams during the festive period, he added: "You know, that game, we started unbelievably well - we scored in our first two attacks - and it was never a 6-2 win.

"We've looked at it, we've analysed it ourselves, and I don't expect the same scoreline because the difference between the teams was not four goals.

"We were clinical. We scored some fantastic goals. We had some great saves by David [De Gea] at important times.

"Just before half-time, it could have easily been 4-2, just after half-time they had chances there as well. We know we will be stretched physically and mentally in this game.

"It's a completely unique game of the season."