"This is not a game against just another team" - Leeds United set to renew Manchester United rivalry at Old Trafford in FA Youth Cup

Leeds United take on Manchester United in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 8:43 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 8:44 am
Leeds United travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday evening in the FA Youth Cup. (Getty)

Leeds United will renew rivalries with Manchester United this evening in the FA Youth Cup at Old Trafford, with former Red Devil Nicky Butt relishing the tie.

Mark Jackson's Under-18s outfit make the short trip across the Pennines to take on their old foe in the fifth round of this year's competition.

Leeds will be backed by around 1,500 travelling supporters with a bumper home crowd expected after the hosts made tickets free of charge.

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It will be the first time any Whites side has been in action at Old Trafford since Simon Grayson masterminded a famous FA Cup giant killing a little over 10 years ago as Jermaine Beckford handed the then League One leaders a memorable victory.

Leeds have beaten Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday so far while their opponents have disposed of Lincoln and Norwich City.

The Red Devils last won the competition in 2011, and last hosted a Youth Cup tie at their home ground in 2016. The tie will kick-off at 19:00 and must be decided on the night, with extra-time and penalties if required.

The Whites famously defeated their counterparts over two legs in the 1993 final of the same competition, with Manchester United's Head of first-team development Butt part of that encounter.

The 45-year-old - who went on to become a club legend - believes that the tie on Wednesday evening needs no introduction and is looking forward to an occasion to remember.

"I've been to many Leeds games from when I was younger with my uncle," he told MEN.

"My cousin and my dad and I went to Elland Road a good few times as a younger kid. I didn't need explaining what the rivalry is!

"But it's a healthy rivalry; Leeds are a great club, a massive club and I can't wait for them to get back into the Premier League, if I'm honest. Because it's part of a healthy, really good rivalry we have and our lads will know about it.

"We've had several meetings this week with the youth team coach, talking about the rivalry and history, but I think you've got to be careful about it with kids because if you go on too much about the rivalry you forget about the actual game."

Asked about a big crowd being expected, he added: "With the Premier League break currently on, we hope some fans do turn out for us.

"It's Leeds so there might be a bit more focus for our fans, if you like, but whether there are 1,000, 10,000 or 50,000 here, you have to go and perform.

"They must go and play, take on those players and beat them in front of 10,000 or 25,000. They've got to go and do it.

“When it comes to the FA Youth Cup, it's very much my belief and all the coaches' belief, when we speak to the players, that this is not a Saturday game against just another team.

"It's the FA Youth Cup against Leeds at Old Trafford, when the spotlight is going to be on you and you're answerable to the coaches and the manager if you don't perform."