Revenge, Raphinha question, Marcelo Bielsa's press conference and Manchester United disruption - Leeds United Talking Points

LEEDS United are heading for their first Premier League home clash against arch rivals Manchester United for nearly 18 years in Sunday's 2pm kick-off at Elland Road.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 3:42 pm

Ahead of the eagerly-awaited fixture, the YEP's Lee Sobot picks out a few key Leeds United talking points as Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa and Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer meet for a second time.

Can the Whites exact revenge?

Leeds United's Premier League return has been a huge success and the Whites are approaching Sunday's fixture having taken four points in two fixtures against the division's defending champions and champions elect in their last two games.

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WAITING GAME: To see whether Leeds United's star winger Raphinha, above, will be fit for Sunday's Premier League clash against Manchester United at Elland Road. Photo by JUSTIN SETTERFIELD/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

The Whites have savoured some huge highs this season but there have been some bumps and bruises along the way, notably December's 6-2 hiding at Old Trafford.

Leeds were 2-0 down after just three minutes and the reverse was not only the heaviest defeat of the season but, given the opposition, also the one that hurt the most, even allowing for the fact that the Red Devils now sit second and that Leeds are ultimately still a newly-promoted side.

The Whites are far better than the scoreline in Manchester suggested and with the defence now much tighter, Sunday is another chance to show it.

Will Raphinha make it?

Bielsa's side managed to take a point off last season's champions Liverpool at Elland Road on Monday night despite being without star winger Raphinha who failed to make the squad due to a thigh injury.

That meant starts for both the returning Jack Harrison and also Helder Costa out wide but Costa failed to really get going and was taken off for Ian Poveda seven minutes after the hour.

But Leeds are at their very best when Raphinha is one flank and a firing Harrison is on the other and United's chances of getting a decent result will be much improved if Raphinha is fit and also record signing Rodrigo who has missed the last two games.

Bielsa will be holding his pre-match press conference at 9.30am on Friday morning and updates about Raphinha and Rodrigo will be top of the agenda.

The Red Devils are among the clubs said to be big admirers of the Brazilian winger but who isn't?

The 24-year-old is Leeds United's player who will be hoping he is fit to take on the Red Devils and face good friend and former Sporting Lisbon team mate Bruno Fernandes.

Disruption in Manchester

Monday night's actual football match between Leeds and Liverpool felt like something of a side show amidst all the furore surrounding the Premier League's supposed 'big six' having declared they had signed up to join a spin off European Super League.

Three days later, the ESL has fallen flat on its face with all six Premier League clubs that were set to join having now pulled out, including Manchester United.

But the fall out is far from finished and there was disruption in Manchester United's build up to the Whites clash on Thursday morning when around 20 Red Devils fans breached security and entered the club's Carrington training ground to unfurl banners protesting about the club's Glazer family ownership.

The fans demanded to speak to boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and eventually got their wish whilst also chatting to coach Michael Carrick, technical director Darren Fletcher and midfielder Nemanja Matic and then leaving as the police arrived.

Hardly ideal preparation which seemingly can only be good for Leeds.

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Thank you Laura Collins