MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Manchester United will face Leeds United in a friendly in Australia next year during their pre-season tour, the first meeting between the old English rivals since 2011.
The Premier League club said on Tuesday that they would play two friendlies in Perth, against A-League side Perth Glory on July 13 and Leeds four days later.
Manchester United and Leeds have enjoyed a feisty rivalry over the years, with the fixture dubbed the Pennines derby.
Yet since Leeds fell out of the top flight in 2004 they have only met twice, with the Yorkshire side edging an FA Cup tie 1-0 in 2010 and the Manchester club winning 3-0 in their last meeting seven years ago in the League Cup.
Leeds are currently third in England’s second-tier Championship.
Both of Manchester United’s matches will take place at Perth’s 60,000-seat Optus Stadium.
It will be the fifth time the Premier League club have visited Australia, having played their first matches there in 1967, and their first trip to Perth since 1975.
“Our pre-season tour is an integral part of the squad’s preparation for the forthcoming season and after what will be a 44-year absence since we last played in Perth we are delighted to be returning to Western Australia to play not just one, but two games against Perth Glory and Leeds United,” Manchester United Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement.
The Old Trafford club, who host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday, have suffered a poor start to the season and are down in eighth spot with 20 points from 12 games.
(Reporting by Toby Davis in London; Editing by Ken Ferris)