By Nick Ware

18th Jun, 2021 | 1:40pm

Manchester United set to start Dean Henderson in Premier League opener v Leeds United

Manchester United have made an early decision to start Dean Henderson over David De Gea in their Premier League opener against Leeds United, according to Manchester Evening News.

The early Premier League fixtures were released earlier this week, and the most mouthwatering clash to emerge from the opening round was the pairing of old rivals Leeds and Manchester United.

The Whites will travel to Old Trafford on August 14 (subject to TV changes), which means there are nearly two months until they meet.

However, despite the substantial amount of time between now and then, it appears that the hosts have already made one major decision to their starting line-up.

The MEN have reported that England goalkeeper Henderson is set to oust long-serving star De Gea and take his place in the starting XI versus the Whites.

De Gea, who joined from Atletico Madrid in 2011, is currently on Euro 2020 duty with Spain and his return could be delayed, but Henderson is set for a delayed return himself after pulling out of England’s camp through injury.

The Spaniard started 26 Premier League games last season, and he was chosen over Henderson for the Europa League final, but he is likely to be absent for their opener against Leeds.

No debate over here

Strangely enough, given our issues with goalkeepers over recent years, there is no debate in the Whites ranks over who will take their place in between the sticks at Old Trafford.

Illan Meslier has nailed down a starting spot under Marcelo Bielsa, and he was among the most impressive performers in the Premier League last season, belying his tender 21 years.

The Manchester United fixture seems a long way off, so it seems strange that they are making firm decisions with so much time until then, especially during a hectic transfer window.

At least it gives us even more chance to prepare and analyse Henderson’s game and what his weakness are compared to De Gea’s.

That’s not to say Bielsa will take a newspaper’s word for it that Henderson will start, but it’s never a bad thing to hear some inside whispers on what their personnel could be.

Bielsa is always one step ahead, so he’ll be keeping a close eye on developments over the course of the summer, and you can bet he is already initiating his plan to beat them after failing to do so twice last season.

In other Leeds United news, a plane has been spotted in Leeds bearing a special Kalvin Phillips banner before England’s clash v Scotland on Friday.