Former Aston Villa and England striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has tipped Leeds United to win away to Manchester United this weekend.
The Lowdown: A new season begins
After a long summer, the Whites return to Premier League action on Saturday lunchtime with a mouthwatering game on offer.
Leeds make the trip to their bitter rivals, looking to get their campaign off to a flying start as well as avenging last season’s 6-2 defeat at Old Trafford.
The Latest: Pundit makes bold claim
While the hosts will be the understandable favourites to pick up all three points, Agbonlahor told Football Insider that he could see Marcelo Bielsa’s side pulling off a huge result:
“Having a more competitive pre-season than a lot of teams is a brilliant plan for Bielsa. If I was a manager, I’d want to test my team against the best. You’re gonna get more out of it if the opposition is harder.
“That is gonna stand you in good stead for playing Man United away in the first game of the season. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Leeds go and beat them on the first game of the season.
“Anything can happen on the first game. Not all teams are as fit as each other and it’s gonna be a boiling hot day. So I fancy Leeds to be in a better position to win that game than Man United because of their pre-season.
“So it really wouldn’t surprise me if they went and beat them at Old Trafford.”
The Verdict: Victory would feel huge
After last season’s ninth-place finish, expectations are high going into 2021/22 and a win on Saturday would only increase that feeling, given the magnitude of the occasion.
Bielsa will hopefully adopt a fearless approach against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, showing the same attacking football and endless pressing that were on show last season.
A win, or even a draw for that matter, would feel like a statement, showing that last year’s performance wasn’t a one-off and suggesting another top-half finish could be on the cards.
In other news, Bielsa is thought to be frustrated about Leeds’ quest to sign one player. Read more here.
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