Leeds United chairman Ken Bates says Manchester United's second string could make a genuine challenge for the Barclays Premier League title.

Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to make wholesale changes from his side that faced Chelsea on Sunday for the League Cup tie against Leeds on Tuesday, with the likes of youngsters Paul Pogba and Will Keane starting alongside the experienced heads of Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov.

A host of injury problems at Old Trafford has displayed proof of the club's strength in depth, as they've won their first five Premier League games of the season, and Bates says United's second team is of such strength that it could finish as high as second in the league.


"Manchester United have scored 16 goals in their last three games, so Fergie must be terrified at the mere thought of coming here to Leeds!" Bates joked.

"Of course we know that Fergie is going to mix and match his side but it doesn't matter if they bring their reserve team because if they played their entire reserve team in the Premier League they would still finish runners up."

United will be looking for revenge after Leeds defeated them in the FA Cup third round in 2010.

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