United Briefing: Fred excited for 'Clasico'
Manchester United midfielder Fred has described the Reds’ rivalry with Leeds United as like ‘an English football Clasico’.
The term is usually reserved for the Barcelona v Real Madrid fixture that divides Spain twice a season but, this weekend, all eyes will be on Elland Road.
That’s because United will travel across the Pennines to take on our fierce Yorkshire rivals in the league in Leeds, for the first time in 18 years.
And the players are just as hyped for the fixture as our supporters, according to the Brazilian.
“Definitely, it's an English football Clasico,” the 28-year-old said. “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 Reds will be keen for a repeat of the first meeting of the season with Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
We ran out 6-2 winners on that occasion and were two goals to the good after just three minutes, thanks to Scott McTominay’s brace.
Despite the convincing scoreline, Fred knows that Leeds can be tricky customers, as their solid showing during this season’s Premier League – after 16 years outside of the top-flight – shows. The Whites beat leaders Manchester City only two weeks ago and have taken points from Chelsea and Liverpool recently, too.
“I don't know if it was our best performance of the season, [but] 6-2 was a great result of course,” he replied when asked if that was United’s stand-out showing in 2020/21. “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.”
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY?
The United players returned to training on Wednesday, and we should have some fresh images from the Aon Training Complex for you later in the day.
There will also be an early team news update from both camps, ahead of Sunday’s big clash.
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
Co-chairman Joel Glazer published an open letter to all United fans.
The Premier League announced the dates for our upcoming fixtures with Liverpool, at Old Trafford, and Aston Villa, at Villa Park.
We revealed that there would be a chance to put your questions to Marcus Rashford, in our latest fan Q&A, too.
Meanwhile, don’t miss our match preview for the full lowdown on Leeds v United.