Manchester United will sign off from their 2019 tour of Perth on Wednesday with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ready to renew the club’s rivalry with Leeds United.
Leeds have not played in the Premier League since 2004 and the two teams have met only in the occasional cup tie in the past 15 years.
But the feeling is still there, partciularly between the fans, and Solskjaer said he was expecting another competitive match before his players head to Singapore.
“I want my players to go out there and try and win and that’s the same with (Leeds boss) Marcelo (Bielsa),” he said.
“We’re competitors, if you play a game you want to win but, of course, it’s going to be using fair methods; if it’s Leeds, Liverpool or Perth Glory, you just want to win the game.
“Of course I know about the rivalry and the history, so I think it’s going to be a tough game tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.
“The more you play against each other the more the rivalry will flare up again and you want games against the biggest clubs. If we see Leeds back in the Premier League, you’ll see the size of the game. It’s a great occasion for both sets of supporters because there were some fantastic games.”
Asked if he was worried about potential trouble between the two sets of fans, the Norwegian added: “I wouldn’t think so, no. If you make the effort to come across here and watch your favourite team, football is the reason you’re here, to support your own team.”
Optus Stadium looked spectacular before Saturday’s game. Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images
Solskjaer was asked whether any of his players had issues about the Optus Stadium surface during Saturday night’s 2-0 win over Perth Glory.
West Coast AFL player Nic Naitanui faces a spell on the sidelines after picking up an ankle injury following Friday night’s game against Collingwood, with concerns the firmness of the Optus Stadium ground was a contributing factor.
“The lads didn’t mention anything, (a few) slipped a couple of times but I don’t think there’s any concern, no,” said Solskjaer, who was joined today by defender Victor Lindelof.
Talking about playing in an oval stadium, Solskjaer added: “You’re used to having fans screaming right on top of you but it’s a fantastic stadium, the fans were amazing. The noise was still there but we’re used to playing with fans a little bit closer but it is what it is.
“I think they did a very good job of making it comfortable for the players.”
United’s No.1 keeper David De Gea, who sat out Saturday’s 2-0 win over Perth Glory, is set to figure on Wednesday with Solskjaer hopeful the Spaniard is set to sign a new long-term deal.
“Hopefully we can agree with David, as I’ve said a few times,’ said the United manager. “That will be up to David to announce when that happens, if and when.”
Tickets are still available for Wednesday night’s match, which kicks off at 7pm. To purhcase, CLICK HERE