Having won just 1 out of their last 5 games, Manchester United are determined to put their bad form behind them. The trip to Leicester City marks the start of a daunting run of games that could be make-or-break for their Premier League season.
Despite their troubles at Old Trafford, the Red Devils remain in cruise control in away games. Leicester are experiencing serious issues themselves & struggling for wins. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side hope to capitalize on the Foxes’ struggles and get a dominant win to regain their winning momentum.
Leicester City Likely XI
Schmeichel, Pereira, Soyuncu, Vestegaard, Castagne, Lookman, Tielemans, Choudhary, Barnes, Iheanacho, Vardy
Brendan Rodgers’ side will miss some key players in Wilfried N’Didi, Wesley Fofana, James Justin& Jonny Evans because of injury troubles.
Manchester United Likely XI
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw, Matic, Pogba, Greenwood, Bruno, Sancho, Ronaldo
United face defensive issues of their own with Harry Maguire & Raphael Varane both doubtful for the game. Anthony Martial is also a doubt after limping off against Everton.
Leicester City vs Manchester United preview
Man United’s performances before the international break were extremely disappointing. They were nowhere near how they should perform with the kind of quality in the squad. Solskjaer hopes that a case of Déjà vu happens for his side, who were also struggling before the break in October last year.
Last season, United bounced back from the 1-6 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur strongly by picking up form from the October period onwards. They normally come back strongly from international breaks.
While all is not lost – with the Red Devils 2 points behind league-leaders Chelsea – United has to improve their performances to get wins from their big games ahead. That means they have to play more fearless, quicker attacking soccer to dissect opposition sides.
Solskjaer must create an identity in his side’s playing style & get them operating as a stronger unit. He also has to build things around top goal-scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward is craving for better delivery in the final third. If he gets his wishes, Ronaldo should automatically improve the team’s momentum by banging in clinical goals.
Bruno Fernandes is picking up form. He aims to continue his good run by tormenting Leicester with his clever forward movement, intelligent delivery into the box & take more shots to test Kasper Schmeichel.
Mason Greenwood is goalless ever since shifted out wide. But with Rashford still recovering, he’ll likely get another chance to impress & be determined to get into more viable scoring areas around the penalty area to get his vicious shots onto the gaol.
Jadon Sancho is impressing everyone with his dribbling ability & tendency to carry the ball forward, but still lacks that cutting edge. He must regain his clinical touch against Leicester & create major chances – because another underwhelming performance could see him fall down the pecking order.
Paul Pogba & Nemanja Matic should be ordered to hold down the midfield line against Leicester – as United looks to play on the front foot. Pogba looks to create chances with his incredible vision & set up big chances, while Matic aims to cut down Leicester’s swift-breaks and ensure United fully controls the game.
Leicester are experiencing a rough patch of form themselves. Having won just 1 of their last 5 league games, Brendan Rodgers’ side has fallen off from last season. Despite their shaky form, the Foxes still have enough quality to trouble United.
They’ll probably be encouraged by the Red Devils’ recent form & trouble them with swift counter-attacks. With PL top-scorer Jamie Vardy at the helm, anything is possible. Despite his age, Vardy still looks extremely sharp up top & should look to capitalize on United’s defensive shakiness with smart off-the-ball runs & get into key scoring areas.
He’s also got a dangerous Kelechi Iheanacho behind him to help stretch United’s backline. Iheanacho’s ability to carry the ball forward & clinical finishing ability should help increase Leicester’s chances of scoring. Harvey Barnes & Ademola Lookman will both look to be chaotic in carrying the ball forward down the wings, while Youri Tielemans aims to create big chances from midfield.
The Red Devils have conceded in their last 4 league games. It’s high time they get a clean sheet. Eric Bailly & Victor Lindelof have to hold things down at the back and prove to be just as strong as United’s first-choice defensive duo. They must be extremely sharp in reacting to danger, maintain composure in defence & put in clutch challenges to keep Vardy & Iheanacho quiet.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka & Luke Shaw also must work extremely hard to nullify Leicester’s supply from the wings. As United plays more on the attack, the wing-backs have to be smart in carrying the ball forward & more importantly – deliver dangerous crosses into the box for Ronaldo & co to convert. David de Gea is there to save United from danger time & again with his brilliant shot-stopping ability, but he’ll hope for a quieter afternoon.
United can’t just rely on riding on their impressive away PL run in this. They’ll have to work harder, be smarter & more clinical in the attack to outplay Leicester and get back to winning ways in the league.
Leicester are having a mini-crisis right now & look lost without some key players. That’s why I think United will scrape a hard-fought 2-1 win.