Football

Fred: Manchester United vs Leeds United ‘an English football Clasico’

Manchester United midfielder Fred has billed the Red Devils' clash with old adversaries Leeds United as an English football Clasico, with a fierce rivalry set to be rekindled on Sunday.

Manchester United midfielder Fred has billed the Red Devils’ clash with old adversaries Leeds United as “an English football Clasico”, with a fierce rivalry set to be rekindled on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will see their next Premier League outing take them to Elland Road, with a first top-flight visit to that part of Yorkshire set to be played since October 2003.

There will be no supporters in attendance this weekend, amid an ongoing coronavirus-enforced lockout, but there promises to be plenty of passion on show in a contest that Fred considers to be worthy of sitting alongside the biggest of sporting derbies.

“Definitely, it’s an English football Clasico,” the Brazil international midfielder has told the Red Devils’ official website of facing Leeds.

“We get a feel for this anticipation from social media.

“The fans are excited about this game, as are we of course. We haven’t had a midweek game this week, so the anticipation for the next game increases and it’s a derby game against a massive rival.

“It’ll be a really tough game but we’ll be preparing well for it this week.”

The Red Devils have taken in two League Cup trips to Elland Road since their last Premier League outing there over 17 years ago.

They have emerged victorious in both of those contests, scoring three times in each, but did suffer a memorable 1-0 defeat to Leeds in an FA Cup clash at Old Trafford in January 2010 when the Whites were a third tier outfit.

A nine-year gap was taken in between a League Cup meeting in 2011 and a Premier League game in 2020, but two fierce foes returned with a bang at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer’s side secured a memorable 6-2 win over the Whites in December, with two efforts from Scott McTominay inside the opening three minutes getting the Red Devils off to a dream start.

Fred added on that encounter: “I don’t know if it was our best performance of the season, [but] 6-2 was a great result of course. I think we’ve had better performances this season.

“Scott’s two goals very early on helped us to control the game, but they’re very difficult opponents, playing with such high intensity, they’re very strong and always looking to attack.

“We’re prepared for this, we know how they play and we’ll aim to be at our very best to get the win.”

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