It is a longer shot than we would usually advise, but odds of +800 are tempting given how often it has already happened this season.
Back Manchester United to win after being a goal behind (+800)
|Leeds United vs Manchester United Information|
|What||Leeds United vs Manchester United|
|Where||Elland Road, Leeds, England|
|When||Sunday, 25 April 2021, 09.00 AM EDT|
|How to watch||NSBC Sports|
It is a remarkable record. Manchester United have been behind in 14 of their 32 Premier League matches this season, yet they have still found a way to win nine of them. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have recovered 28 points from losing positions, which is an astonishing 12 more than second-placed Leicester City.
United are the comeback kings, particularly away from home. Throughout the season it has been tempting to write off the Red Devils’ ability to come back from the brink, yet the pattern has continued up to now. With odds of +800 available, it is worth backing United to overturn a deficit for a 10th time this campaign.
Manchester United will want to finish as close to Manchester City as possible, but the Premier League title is heading to the Etihad Stadium, not Old Trafford. Still, a comfortable second-place finish would represent a positive outcome in 2020/21, particularly if it is combined with success in the Europa League. Solskjaer may have played down the importance of trophies in an interview last month, but United are a club defined by silverware and the manager’s position will be strengthened if he picks up a piece.
United go into this game in terrific form, having won each of their last five Premier League fixtures. Two of those triumphs came on the road, meaning Solskjaer’s side remain unbeaten on their travels this season. They are seeking to become only the third team – after Arsenal in 2001/02 and 2003/04 – to go through an entire Premier League campaign without tasting defeat away from their home ground. United will draw confidence from their away record as they prepare to visit Elland Road.
They will also not panic if they fall behind to a Leeds team that could come flying out of the traps. United conceded the first goal in their most recent away game, before bouncing back to beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1. Two more comeback wins would see them match the Premier League record set by Newcastle United in 2001/02 when Bobby Robson’s side amassed 34 points from losing positions.
Solskjaer would no doubt prefer his team to take the lead more often, but United has often made up for slow starts with strong finishes. We could be in for more of the same on Sunday.
After a 6-2 loss at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture, Marcelo Bielsa was advised to become more pragmatic by an army of pundits. Yet that missed the point. True, the Argentine’s attack-minded style of play can be exploited on occasion, but it also allows Leeds to punch above their weight. Bielsa will feel vindicated by his team’s recent results against Manchester City and Liverpool, with Leeds beating the former and earning a deserved point against the latter.
Whichever way you look at it, the Whites are enjoying an excellent season. A top-half finish would be a fine achievement in the club’s first season back in the Premier League, and while Leeds have conceded more goals than any other team in the top 12, they have scored more than most sides in the division.
We can expect Bielsa’s team to play on the font foot on Sunday, and they could be rewarded with an early goal. Leeds were disappointing in the first half against Liverpool and they will want to ensure there is no repeat of that when their old rivals make the trip to Yorkshire. Leeds are unbeaten in their last five outings, and Solskjaer’s side should not expect a straightforward contest.
Manchester United are not a perfect team and there are still doubts over whether Solskjaer really can lead them to the Premier League title. However, it is hard to criticize the character of the current side. Their ability to come from behind so often would not be possible if there was discord in the dressing room. United fans have a team they can be proud of again, and the spirit in the camp is evidenced by the never-say-die attitude when they concede the first goal.
United have overturned a deficit to win exactly half of their 16 away games this season. That is an extraordinary record, and while a wager with odds of +800 is a long shot by nature, such an appealing price means it is worth having a punt on the Red Devils making it nine victories from behind in matches held on opposition territory.
Leeds will want to make an impression early on, and United’s tendency to start slowly could see them fall behind against energetic opponents seeking to make their mark. As the game wears on, though, the visitors’ superior quality will likely make the difference. United have also had slightly more time to prepare for this match, and there is a chance that Leeds’ high-octane style will see them tire in the second half.
Manchester United are the Premier League’s comeback kings, and this could be another game in which they show it.
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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