Noel Whelan has admitted he is “terrified” by the aerial threat of Harry Maguire Victor Lindelof and Marcus Rashford as Leeds United prepare for their visit to Manchester United on Sunday.
The former Leeds striker and lifelong fan at Elland Road, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has suggested the defensive duo – as well as Marcus Rashford – will all pose a serious threat at Old Trafford.
Leeds have conceded the joint-second-most goals in the Premier League, 24, with a third of those having been scored from free-kicks and corners.
The Whites were undone from a cross and a corner against Newcastle on Wednesday night, although they still managed to run out 5-2 winners.
Having seen his old side seriously struggle to cope with aerial duels this term, Whelan has admitted the physical presence Manchester United possess is a real concern ahead of Sunday.
Whelan told Football Insider: “Well I’m terrified because of set-pieces – Harry Maguire, Lindelof, obviously very good defenders, good at attacking the ball from set-pieces.
“You’ve also got Rashford in there who’s a good size so, obviously, set pieces you’ve got to look at. We’ve got to be streetwise and try to limit the amount of corners we give away.
“Easier said than done – if we’re going to give away corners, we’ve got to defend a lot better. It’s a game where you’ve got to be concentrating for 90 plus minutes because you know there are players out there that will hurt you.”
Maguire scored his only goal of the campaign from a header against Newcastle back in October, while Lindelof is yet to find the back of the net.
Rashford is Manchester United’s top scorer this season, with his goal against Sheffield United taking him to 12 for the season.