Marcelo Bielsa understands emotions involved as Leeds United renew rivalry with Manchester United at Elland Road

Marcelo Bielsa understands full well the emotions involved in an encounter with Manchester United.

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 11:31 am
Updated Saturday, 24th April 2021, 11:32 am
Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Getty

Leeds United host their arch rivals at Elland Road this weekend as the two teams come to blows on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League.

The Whites will take on the Red Devils in West Yorkshire for the first time in nearly 18 years in league action following last summer's promotion from the Championship.

Bielsa's men lost the reverse fixture 6-2 at Old Trafford in December and are looking to put things right in LS11 with a positive result against their long-standing foe.

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Leeds enter the game off the back of an impressive win over runaway league leaders Manchester City and a draw with reigning champions Liverpool.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have won five matches on the bounce in domestic outings and sit second in the standings ahead of kick-off.

No fans will be inside the stadium for a renewing of an old rivalry when Manchester United travel across the Pennines on Sunday.

Bielsa, though, knows all about the game and how much the effect of the result will have on his supporters - good or bad - even if they can't be present.

"I know perfectly what it means to play in a classic game," Bielsa said during his pre-match press conference.

"It's something that has built up through many years, relaying the feelings of the fans. I know the effect that the result will have on the emotion of the people.

"For every game we go into it trying to score and trying to avoid conceding. Of course what happened in that last game we have present in our minds.

"The measures to try and avoid conceding goals they have some tactical aspects and strategic aspects. They have to implement the ideas and then try to impose them.

"You have to recognise the characteristics of the opponent's forwards and try to organise our players on the field so they can pick up the protagonists in Man United's play.

"We try to match them up with players in our team who are up to the challenge of neutralising them.

Asked about how he would define the Red Devils style of play, Bielsa said: "The more simple the football is, the better it is.

"This principle is supported when the players do what they should do and this involves what they are best doing. In this sense, Manchester United is an example of this.

"They do what they know best how to do and this has permitted them to create a style. That the game is simple to decipher. This is a praise. Because to be able to play simple is very difficult and when we manage to achieve it it is very satisfying."