Manchester United v Leeds United: YEP Jury give their big match predictions

Our panel of fans are back for the 2021/22 Premier League season and are relishing Leeds United’s opening day trip to arch-rivals Manchester United. Here’s what they make of the season-opener.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 6:00 am
Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips gets stuck into a tackle with Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka when the two side’s last met at Old Trafford in December last year. Picture: Nick Potts/PA.

VICTORIA TIDMARSH

As away games come, a trip to Old Trafford on the opening day of the season after fans have been out of grounds for 18 months is about as good as it gets.

Last year’s 6-2 thumping won’t be in the minds of the 3,000 lucky Leeds fans singing their hearts out in the stands, and while we’ve not made too many personnel changes I’m confident that this is a different Leeds United heading up the M62.

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Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Picture: Andrew Varley.

That being said, there’s no denying the opposition’s quality and by the sounds of it, we’ll have a few injury concerns to deal with – not least with our shiny new left-back who we hope can give us some more balance in defence this season since the departure of one excitable Macedonian. And, while he’s an excellent back-up, I’d imagine Stuart Dallas is hoping for a more settled season when it comes to his positioning.

I believe we’re better than we were last season, but so are they. A solid performance no doubt, but ultimately their quality will win out.

Prediction: Manchester United 3 Leeds United 1.

DAVID WATKINS

Patrick Bamford celebrates his goal against Villarreal. Picture: Andrew Varley.

With it looking increasingly likely we’ll start the new campaign with only one first-team addition – Junior Firpo – the question is whether we can improve on last season’s magnificent ninth place.

Firpo looks superb while this time we should see the likes of Raphinha, Rodrigo and Koch fit and raring to go from day one. That, plus the invaluable experience of playing at this level for a season, may well be enough to see us push on and improve again which everyone accepts is the goal.

A good start would be to improve on our 6-2 defeat at Old Trafford last time around, albeit I still maintain we were nowhere near as bad that day as the score suggested.

It will be vital this time though to switch on right from the kick-off and not give the Red Devils a two-goal start.

New Manchester United signing Jadon Sancho in action for England. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

I wouldn’t be surprised by any result in this one but I’m sitting on the fence to start with and saying we’ll draw.

The main thing though is those of us lucky enough to have a ticket will be there in the flesh to see it this time and I can’t wait!

Prediction: Manchester United 2 Leeds United 2.

JACOB STARR

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Picture: Steven Paston/PA Wire.

Here we are again, another campaign is upon us watching the boys in White compete in the Premier League.

But this time there’s a twist. Fans are properly back after 18 gruelling months, so it’s rather apt that the season opener will be played at Old Trafford.

A nice, quiet one to set the ball rolling then...

Pre-season results have never been high on Marcelo Bielsa’s agenda, it’s more about being ready to go at full intensity from the very first whistle of the competitive season.

Leeds were on the wrong side of a 6-2 humiliation in this fixture last season, but I couldn’t be more confident that the scoreline will be nothing like that this weekend.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have made two high profile signings in the shape of Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho for a combined total of over 100 million pounds, both of which will be vital for a top-four finish.

However, before they have had time to settle in, they will face the wrath of Bielsaball and question their decision to go to Manchester.

Prediction: Manchester United 2 Leeds United 2.

KEITH INGHAM

Football proper football is back with fans!

The wait is over, three thousand Leeds will travel over the Pennines full of hope that last season’s 6-2 humbling at the hands of their old foes will not be repeated as Leeds kick off the 2021/22 season with a visit to old farmyard to meet them from Salford.

The return of fans to all stadia is a very welcome boost, we’ve all waited over 18 months to see our heroes in the flesh and not just on a TV screen. The game may have continued but it was less of an event without the people who love this sport there to witness it.

Leeds will run out in a new kit, either the white with fluorescent yellow stripes on it that raised eyebrows when it was released or the all-blue strip that also lifted an eye or two.

Both have sold and many have said it is more important what the team do in it, than what it looks like.

As usual though both have sold like proverbial ‘hot cakes’ with another, a lilac number to be released next month.

New signing Junior Firpo is fit to face Manchester United but Diego Llorente misses out. So Robin Koch and either captain Liam Cooper or Pascal Struijk will be in the centre of defence with Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas as full-backs.

A draw could be the best to ask for away from home and against last season’s Premiership runners up.

A win, mind you would just be incredible and a fantastic way to start the season.

Prediction: Manchester United 1 Leeds United 1.

ANDY RHODES

Liverpool last season and Manchester United this season; the Premier League computer knows how to give us a tough start, doesn’t it?

A year ago we didn’t know what to expect from Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

Now, the whole world knows exactly what Leeds United are about.

The Whites were taught a lesson at Old Trafford last December but, while new recruits have been somewhat scarce, the existing players have spent another summer learning from Bielsa.

Fans will be hoping that the likes of Raphinha and Diego Llorente can replicate their strong performances from last season, while Pascal Struijk and Jack Harrison are continuing to develop into well-rounded players.

United’s downfall at Old Trafford last season was their awful start.

This time, the players will have their fans on their side.

There aren’t many fixtures fans would rather pick as a first proper game back on the terraces.

Prediction: Manchester United 2 Leeds United 0.

MIKE GILL

After a close season that seemed to go on for ever, United head to Old Trafford for another ‘easy’ first game.

In many ways it is a positive thing to face a tough test like this to kick the season off and the Whites will undoubtedly be up for it.

Despite the miserly ticket allocation, none of us are in any doubt that Leeds fans will make themselves heard.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since United’s last sobering visit to OT and Solskjaer and his boys will find themselves facing a much tougher proposition than last time.

Hopefully Marcelo Bielsa won’t have too many selection issues and with good cover in most departments, the Whites should face this test with confidence.

It is almost irrelevant that Marcus Rashford is unavailable because the Reds have such strength in depth that they can cover most eventualities.

It is high time that we took three points away with us from Old Trafford, but I’m opting for a draw.

Prediction: Manchester United 2 Leeds United 2.

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