Leeds United vs Manchester United
Jermaine Beckford secured the winner at Old Trafford when the two sides met 18 months ago. Picture - Reuters.

The Carling Cup third round offers a special treat for the football connoisseur as Manchester United travel to Elland Road to face old-rivals Leeds United.

Memories of the old rivalry will come flushing back, although nothing will be as prominent as the famous victory Leeds secured 18 months ago in the FA Cup, when Jermain Beckford, who was in blistering form, secured a much-savoured 1-0 victory for the Leeds fans.

It is just one of the very few embarrassing defeats sustained by Sir Alex Ferguson's United, but such is the rivalry between the two sides that it left a long-lasting sour taste amongst the Red Devil supporters.

Leeds are currently ambling away at 11th in the Championship and Simon Grayson's side primary hope is in progressing to the top-flight again and play United at least twice a year. However, an encounter against the old, bitter rivals is a rare treat in recent times, and Elland Road will be hoping for another win.

Sir Alex Ferguson has a young squad at his disposal and he'll be looking at playing some of the younger players due to injuries hitting his squad. Javier Hernandez limped off against Chelsea in the weekend, and with Danny Welbeck already injured, Dimitar Berbatov could be saved for the weekend.

Such is the depth in United's squad that players of the quality of Michael Owen, Park Ji-sung, Fabio and Antonio Valencia haven't had enough game time, while Federico Macheda and Mame Biram Diouf are other options to start at Leeds.

Club veteran Ryan Giggs has called on the young players to make use of their opportunities and stake a claim for a first team place.

There are young players coming through at United but this is an important part of their career,'' Giggs told MUTV. When you look at the lads who came through in my age group, then those who followed; Wes Brown and John O'Shea for instance, when they got their chance, they took it.

Once you hit 17, 18 and 19, that is what you have to do. It doesn't matter whether it is if you get a chance to train with the first team, or in a match as a substitute, you need to make an impact. You need to force the manager not leave you out of the next game.''

However, Giggs will be involved at Elland Road to guide the young squad. Despite the youth, the occasion makes it the highlight of the Carling Cup third round fixtures.

Team News

Leeds United will be without defender Patrick Kisnorbo who is suspended for the game following his sending off against Bristol City. However, Grayson may opt to send out a different team to that which faced Bristol as they face Brighton on Friday.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is set to play a youthful team, including Paul Pogba and Will Keane although they will be guided by experienced strikers Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen. Giggs could come off the bench.

Match Fact

This will be the 107th meeting between the two, with Manchester United having the upper hand with 54 wins against Leeds' 26. There has been 35 draws between them.

In the Carling Cup, Manchester Unite have been victorious in all the four games they have faced Leeds.


Leeds will provide a spirited challenge, but with a good blend of experience and youth, United look likely to secure a narrow win at Elland Road.