Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he has selected Daniel James in his Manchester United starting lineup against Leeds because ‘everything about him’ suits the fixture.
United are looking to end a tumultuous week off the field with three points against their old rivals, who they thrashed 6-2 in the reverse fixture in December.
Solskjaer has opted for the same formula that was so successful against Leeds at Old Trafford, with James included in a rapid front three as United look to expose Marcelo Bielsa’s side on the break.
“You have to think about this game but also the run of games we’re facing,” Solskjaer told MUTV, as quoted by the MEN.
“Dan did really well against Leeds at home, his high energy, his one-against-one, his defending, everything about him suits this game.”
James starts alongside Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood in a dangerous attacking trident, with Bruno Fernandes in behind.
The Welshman put in his performance of the season as he scored in December’s rout, so it’s hardly a surprise to see him in the side again at Elland Road.
But it’s interesting that James’ inclusion has effectively come at the expense of Paul Pogba, who has lined up from the wide left position in recent weeks.
Pogba is on the bench this afternoon, with Scott McTominay and Fred in the familiar midfield axis.
The Frenchman’s absence shows the trust the United boss has in James to deliver against the side he came so close to signing for months before his Old Trafford switch.
Man Utd XI vs Leeds: Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Fernandes, Rashford, James, Greenwood.