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Manchester United v Leeds Preview: Red Devils to add to Whites' misery

Leeds parted company with Jesse Marsch on Monday but life does not get any easier for them as they face a trip to in-form Manchester United on Wednesday.

Saturday's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace signalled four wins in a row for the Red Devils in all competitions and a victory here would see them draw level with second-placed Manchester City on 45 points, albeit having played a game more.

Leeds, meanwhile, sit 17th in the table following Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest and need to find their form after picking up just three points from the last 21 available.

This is the first of a double-header for the sides as they are set to resume hostilities at Elland Road on Sunday.

WhatManchester United v Leeds
WhereOld Trafford, Manchester
When20:00, Wednesday 8th February, 2023
OddsMan Utd 9/20, Draw 4/1, Leeds 5/1

Man Utd still not perfect

The Red Devils have certainly made magnificent strides since losing their first two matches under Erik ten Hag, but they still have their rougher edges.

They were clearly unsettled by the Eagles, namely Casemiro, who was sent off in that game and will miss this match and two others.

January loan signing Marcel Sabitzer and Fred are set to form an unfamiliar midfield partnership and that could open the game up.

For all Leeds' faults, they have scored in six of their 10 away league games this season. With the hosts a touch slim at 9/20 in the Full Time Result market, a home win and both to score in the Result/Both Teams to Score Market may prove more tempting at 15/8.

The Whites always give opponents a game and have scored on their two trips to Old Trafford since earning promotion back to the Premier League. They are 6/4 to score one goal in Away Team Exact Goals but their hosts' recent form suggests they will not have enough to get anything from their hour or so trip across the Pennines.

Fabulous Fernandes set for a big game

Casemiro's absence may mean Bruno Fernandes has to play a slightly more withdrawn role but his record against Leeds suggests he will not be shy when he gets in the opposition half.

The Portuguese international has had a relatively quiet campaign, scoring five times in the Premier League, but has netted an impressive six times in his four career outings against the Whites.

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Fernandes is 7/4 as an Anytime Goalscorer but those who like omens may fancy him at 11/1 to score 2 or More in the Multi Scorers market, having done so in both of his previous Old Trafford outings against Leeds.

The 28-year-old is by no means the only United player to look for in the scoring stakes, though, with Marcus Rashford among the most in-form forwards on the planet.

Rashford has reacted to being underused by England at the World Cup by netting 11 times since the domestic season returned from its hiatus.

After ending a mini-drought against Palace, the forward will be raring to go again on Wednesday and he is 21/20 as an Anytime Goalscorer.

Look for goals on Wednesday

Since returning to the top-flight in 2020, Leeds have developed a reputation for being one of the Premier League's most entertaining sides.

That has certainly been the case against their Pennines rivals, with over 5.5 goals occurring in three of their four league meetings during that time.

The odd one out was a 0-0 draw in April 2021 but that result seems an anomaly and it might be best for punters to favour goals again.

Over 3.5 Goals is available at 6/4 in Alternative Total Goals, with Over 4.5 10/3 and Over 5.5 7/1.

Leeds have kept just one clean sheet away from home in all competitions this season, with former boss Marsch regularly criticised for his full-throttle style of play.

The American's departure is unlikely to signal an immediate tightening of the defence and their shortcomings could well be exposed again on Wednesday.

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