Leeds name a 16-man squad to face United in Perth
Manchester United’s attention has turned to the second game of Tour 2019 against Leeds United, whose head coach Marcelo Bielsa has announced a 16-man squad for their trip to Australia.
The Yorkshire club boarded a flight to Perth on Saturday ahead of facing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Reds at Optus Stadium on Wednesday, which will be shown live on MUTV at 12:00 BST. They will then travel across the country to Sydney for another fixture against Western Sydney Wanderers.
Leeds’ maverick coach, Bielsa, has taken the unusual decision to split his squad in two, with half of his players heading Down Under and half staying at home to work on fitness ahead of the new season.
A statement on the club’s official website also confirmed that Bielsa had not flown to Australia with his players. It stated that the Argentinian would remain in the UK until early in the week, when he would then travel to Perth to take his place on the bench for the game against United.
🇦🇺 | #LUFC can confirm the squad for our 2019 Australian Tour, which will see the Whites take on Manchester United and Western Sydney Wanderers— Leeds United (@LUFC) July 13, 2019
The following players travelled to Australia on Saturday:
Kiko Casilla, Kamil Miazek, Barry Douglas, Liam Cooper, Stuart Dallas, Gaetano Berardi, Bryce Hosannah, Clarke Oduor, Adam Forshaw, Pablo Hernandez, Jack Harrison, Kalvin Phillips, Jordan Stevens, Mateusz Bogusz, Kemar Roofe, Patrick Bamford.
United forward Juan Mata has expressed his admiration for Leeds boss Bielsa ahead of Wednesday’s fixture in Perth and explained why he has plenty of respect for the creative thinker.
“I really, really like him and admire him,”Mata told us earlier this week in Australia.
“He is a legend of the game in terms of being a manager. The way his team plays, every team that he has managed plays to win and plays offensive football, plays with bravery and not fearing the loss. I like that.
“I think he is a very honest man, a brave guy, he likes the fans to enjoy the football, not only the result but based on the way they play. So Leeds will be difficult. They mark man to man, Bielsa's teams are difficult to play against, so it will be tough and especially at this time in the season. But I wish them the best and I wish him well because I really like him.”
REIGNITING AN OLD RIVALRY
United and Leeds are, of course, historic competitors in English football who have enjoyed many great battles on either side of the Pennines. The last competitive match between the two clubs was a League Cup tie back in September 2011 and, although that clearly precedes Mata’s time as a Red, he is intrigued by the link.
“Since I came to Manchester I started hearing that there was a big rivalry back in the years between United and Leeds,” said Juan, who has embraced United history since his January 2014 transfer.
“To be honest I want to see that, I want to see how it could be - a game in the Premier League between the club. It was a shame that Leeds could not get promoted last season, but hopefully they can do it and we can live another vibrant game between us, like back in the day.”
Leeds will be the second of six pre-season games being shown live on MUTV this summer. The club's official television channel is available on MUTV.com, the MUTV app, Amazon Fire, Roku, Xbox and Apple TV.