Manchester United have named their team to face Leeds United this afternoon.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team head into the game at Old Trafford with the strange knowledge that their destiny, whatever that may be in the league this season, is still in their own hands – but also know that their home form needs to dramatically improve in order for those dreams to be positive ones.
That will need to start in the first league game against Leeds for 16 years and Solskjaer reminisced on the rivalry to ManUtd.com in the build up to the game.
“It was a good rivalry, it was a fierce rivalry,” he said. “Of course, they were flying high, they had a very good team and did well in the Champions League, so the games were high level, good quality and we knew that they were important games for us to be able to win the league. They had some very good individuals as well, like Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka. They had goals in that team that we had to really sort out. There were different ways to sort them out. Gary [Neville] had a few battles with Kewell, for sure. As derby games, they were also [fierce] off the pitch, as they should be. [Some of it was] good rivalry, and some not so good: outside the stadium and when you come off the coach and stuff. But that’s what [being a ] football [fan] is all about – helping your team.”
Solskjaer also paid a compliment to the man who will be in charge of the opposition this afternoon, Marcelo Bielsa.
“Yeah, of course he’s done a great job with Leeds and he’s done a good job with many other teams as well,” the United boss said. “I think he was in charge of that [Athletic] Bilbao team we played a few years ago. You see that there’s so much going on and to analyse those games takes a bit of concentration and time. You can see he’s a coach with all the details and he’s got his teams running. They’re the highest running and sprinting team in the league, probably the fittest team, so that’s one of the battles that we have to stand up to. It’s going to be a physical game.”
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