Manchester United’s rivalry with Leeds is one of the fiercest in the world, dating back before the clubs were even formed.
It’s more than football, it’s the War of the Rose and the White, hatred on both sides of the Pennines in Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Only 40 miles separate these once giants of England, who fought for Champions League honors 20 years ago.
An example of the bitterness on the pitch was the disgust on the part of both sets of loyal fans.
In the early to mid 2000s, it was a battle of hard tackles, red cards, drama, and whirlwind to the very end.
Then Leeds went out of the game, falling in the leagues before a triumphant comeback under the well-loved Marcelo Bielsa.
These days, both teams are fighting to stay in the Premier League, with the other fighting for the power they once had at the top.
United have fallen out of favor, no longer the dominant force of the past, with problems off the field and an all-star team flopping down on it.
Ralph Rangnick has struggled to get this group of supposed world-class footballers you fear to be mentally weak to leave again.
But now they have a chance to redeem themselves from their fans on Elland Road by going to the lions’ den at 2pm today.
United legend Roy Keane would be thrilled with this match, the marker for the start of the season.
The Irish midfield legend would have made sure he got the first tackle this afternoon by sending an early message to Leeds.
Paul Pogba, Fred, Scott McTominay and company must do the same and prove themselves worthy of wearing the Red Devils jersey.
On the other hand, Leeds have their iconic heavyweight midfielder in David Batty, a legend in these parts of Yorkshire.
He would have been the same and made sure that he was the one who sent shivers down United’s spine.
The Whites are now in a relegation battle, and they need all the spirit of their former hero to get out of it.
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They are only five points away from the reset zone, and those below them have games in hand.
Meanwhile, United are in fourth place, but it’s a miss here and Arsenal, West Ham, Tottenham and Co. will be licking their lips.
In fact, both of these teams must now show off the derby struggle that the game is famous for, or face obscurity.