Why are Man Utd playing Leeds twice in a row in the Premier League? Reasons for fixture double header revealed

Bruno Fernandes Manchester United Leeds 2021-22Getty

Since their return to the Premier League, Leeds United have butted heads with Manchester United to bring us a number of unforgettable contests.

While most of the time it hasn't gone in Leeds' favour - particularly at Old Trafford - the rivalry goes deep and always promises fans a feisty affair on the field.

The battle of the Lancashire and Yorkshire roses is a staple fixture in English football. Leeds first travel across the Pennines to Manchester to take on Erik ten Hag's side at Old Trafford - and will do so without a permanent manager - on Wednesday, before hosting their local rivals at Elland Road on Sunday.

But why exactly have we ended up in a position where the two sides are playing their Premier League fixtures against one another back-to-back? GOAL explains below...

Why are Manchester United and Leeds United playing twice in a row?

United had an incredibly busy January for fixtures and the same can be said for February, where they play eight games through the course of the month.

Leeds have had a difficult time of things in 2023 and head into Wednesday's contest under the caretaker charge of their backroom staff - including new coach Chris Armas, who served under Ralf Rangnick in United's dismal 2021-22 campaign.

It remains to be seen whether or not the club will be able to appoint a permanent manager in time for the weekend. GOAL understands they are interested in Rayo Vallecano's Andoni Iraola.

Armas will return to Old Trafford before welcoming his former employers to Elland Road four days later. This is because the original Manchester United vs Leeds United fixture - the first of the two this week - was meant to be played in September; in the gameweek that was postponed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

United are still competing in all four competitions and so the potential for fixture congestion towards the end of the season could only increase, thus the Premier League has decided to play the game as soon as possible.

Two games in a week gives Leeds a good chance of improving on that fateful record against United since returning to the top flight. They have failed to beat their rivals and shipped 14 goals in the four games played, losing three and drawing one.

How to watch Manchester United vs Leeds United

For fans in the United Kingdom, the first of the two games, to be played on Wednesday evening, will not be broadcast on live television.

Highlights will be available on Sky Sports' official YouTube channel after full-time.

The game is available as usual for overseas viewers on relevant platforms.

The second meeting between the two clubs on February 12 will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK.

Manchester United vs Leeds United rivalry explained

A rivalry based on geography, United and Leeds are separated by the Pennines in the north of England. United sit in the county of Lancashire, while Leeds are in Yorkshire.

Some 40 miles separate the two clubs, whose rivalry can be tied back to the 15th Century War of the Roses.

In the last meeting, United wound up 4-2 winners at Elland Road, with Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Anthony Elanga all getting on the scoresheet for the visitors.

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