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5 reasons why Manchester United could struggle against Leeds United | Premier League 2020-21

Shambhu Ajith
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 20 Dec 2020
Top 5 / Top 10
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#3 Selection dilemma for Solskjaer as midfield battle against Leeds United beckons

Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes
Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes

Leeds United midfielders are always looking to drive ahead and create problems in the final third. As a result, there is a battle to be won in midfield and this poses a selection problem for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He chooses to go with Scott McTominay and Fred when a job needs to be done. The duo are industrious and never shies away from putting a shift in but it needs to be noted that the Brazilian has a bit of a reckless streak in him.

However, choosing both of them means compromising on the creative front. If Fred and McTominay start, then only one of Pogba and Fernandes are likely to be deployed and the one who is likely to get the axe is the Frenchman.

Though he is in good creative form, his lack of discipline on the ball could have caused problems even against Sheffield United. The likes of Kalvin Phillips are going to give the Manchester United midfield reasons to stay on high-alert for the entirety of the ninety.

#2 Manchester United have been poor at home

Arsenal
Arsenal's only win in their last 10 Premier League games came against Manchester United at Old Trafford

Manchester United are now 10 games unbeaten on the road. When sides get so good playing away from home, they are usually dominating the domestic circuit. However, Manchester United's situation is a far cry from that.

Manchester United have lost to Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at home. They drew with Chelsea and Manchester City at Old Trafford. It's an unusual scenario but that's the story of United's season so far.

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So Leeds United will show up at Old Trafford confident of their chances of pulling an upset on their old rivals. It's difficult to snap out of habits and this unhealthy one is something that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will show no patience about. But whether the Red Devils can regain footing on their own yard is quite a question in itself.

#1 The pressure is on Manchester United

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
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Though they have not looked at their best and though the results they've got against the Big 6 is rather mediocre till now, Manchester United could identify themselves as title contenders if they win this one and the one game they have in hand.

If they do so, they will be just two points off the top. It is a great opportunity to silence their detractors but whether this Manchester United side is capable of negotiating that kind of pressure remains to be seen.

They bottled their UEFA Champions League prospects by choking after getting off to a dream start in the group stage. If they lose two of these upcoming matches, they could get lost in the crowd that's vying for a finish in the top four.

As such, the pressure is undoubtedly on Manchester United as Leeds United come to visit.

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Published 20 Dec 2020, 15:28 IST
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