The Premier League finally returns this weekend after a week’s break due to the international fixtures. Manchester United will be traveling to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City with both sides wanting to return to winning ways. Both sides have been inconsistent this season and both teams would be eyeing a fresh start after the international break. United’s season that started with great promise has been derailed a bit with the recent losses to Aston Villa and draw against Everton.
Meanwhile, Leicester City to have had disappointing draws against Burnley and Crystal Palace in their last 2 PL outings that have both finished 2-2. Even with recent results not going their way, United remains only 2 points off the top of the table. They would definitely want to stay in touching distance with the league toppers. While Leicester City has already had 3 defeats of their first 7 games. They have accumulated a total of 8 points to remain 13th in the table.
- This is a clash between two sides that just can’t keep a clean sheet. Both teams kept only a solitary clean sheet so far in the season. Coincidentally, both have kept their only clean sheet against Wolves in the league.
- Jamie Vardy has scored in each of his last 3 PL appearances. If he scores tonight, he would become the second oldest player to score in 4 consecutive appearances
- The Red Devils are looking to extend their unbeaten PL away run to 30 games. United have just lost one of their 15 PL away games against Leicester
The Foxes are missing Wesley Fofana and James Justin through long-term injuries. Wilfried Ndidi is also out with a hamstring injury. However, they should be boosted by the return of James Evans in central defense. Iheanacho who scored in the previous encounter should keep his place in the starting XI
Predicted Lineup: 4-4-2
Schmeichel, Castagne, Evans, Soyuncu, Bertrand; Lookman, Soumare, Tielemans, Barnes; Vardy, Iheanacho
United have a lot to ponder for in defense with both their regular central defenders not expected to play. Raphael Varane is expected to be out for a few weeks after he picked up an injury on international duty. Harry Maguire is not expected to face his former club as he still recovers from his injury. Fred and Edinson Cavani are out as well owing to their international commitments.
Predicted Lineup: 4-2-3-1
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood, Fernandes, Martial; Ronaldo
HEAD TO HEAD
United clearly have an upper hand in their H2H clashes. United have won 68 of the 133 games played with Leicester claiming 35 victories. Leicester though has won the last 2 meetings between these sides in all competitions. Although they haven’t won in the league since the end of August.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
You just cannot talk of Leicester City without mentioning their talismanic striker. Jamie Vardy has been in scintillating form this season and with no international duty for him over the last weekend, he should be fresh to pick up from where he left. He has scored 6 goals and 1 assist this season. He has also found the back of the net in his last 3 matches. No wonder he would be looking to add to his impressive tally.
Leicester’s Nigerian striker hasn’t been quite involved this season since his FA Shield heroics. However, he has enjoyed a successful partnership with Vardy since last season. Leicester’s goal-scoring has improved in the last 2 games since Iheanacho has been involved. He has 1 goal and 1 assist in his last 2 games and should be involved against a makeshift defense.
Ronaldo has already 3 goals in 4 PL matches this season. He was in impressive form in his hat trick for Portugal on the international form. With Ole coming in for criticism for benching him in the last match, Ronaldo will definitely be involved from the start. In the absence of Cavani, he will likely make the most of it against a leaky Foxes defense.
Bruno’s consistency has been one of the prime reasons for United’s strong form last season. However, he has scored only once since his opening day hat trick against Leeds. He found the back-of-the-net while on international duty and his link-up with Ronaldo will be something to look forward to.
This should be a cracking contest with plenty of goals in it given both teams have been leaking goals. Both teams would want to get back to winning ways to release the pressure on their respective managers. With Manchester United looking strong away from home, it will be interesting to see if they are able to continue their away form or will Leicester get the better of their rivals!!
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