This weekend will see another frantic round of fixtures wherein Claude Puel’s Leicester City will aim to pile more misery on Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
The Foxes have enjoyed an upturn in form since the Frenchman took over from Craig Shakespeare. Leicester have won 5 of the last 10 games, drawing 2 and losing 3—they sit comfortably 8th in the league—only five points separating the 2015/16 Champions and Tottenham Hotspur. However, they will go into this game on the heels of a penalty shootout defeat against Manchester City in midweek. Despite the loss, Leicester should be upbeat and determined to put that disappointment behind with a good result on Saturday. The home side had won four matches in a row before last weekend’s surprise 3-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium to relegation-threatened Crystal Palace.
Manchester United are suffering another wobble again in the season. The Red Devils failed to defend the League Cup after going out in midweek away to Championship side Bristol City, whose spirited performance thoroughly merited the historic result. Mourinho’s side are still hanging by a thread by all accounts when it comes to the chase for the league title, largely due to their rock-solid record at Old Trafford.
United’s results away from home have also gradually improved as they racked up consecutive wins on the road against the likes of Arsenal, Watford and West Bromwich Albion in the last few weeks. It will be interesting to see if they could add a good Leicester City side to that list.
The visitors ran out 2-0 winners when the sides met at Old Trafford in August thanks to second-half strikes from substitutes Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini.
United will still be without Eric Bailly who is set to miss the next two or three months in order to undergo surgery on his injured ankle. Captain Michael Carrick and fellow midfielder Marouane Fellaini have been notably absent in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, Leicester City are again expected to be without experienced defender Robert Huth due to foot injury as well as former Manchester United midfielder Matty James who is out with an Achilles problem.
- United have lost just two of the 23 Premier League encounters between the sides—winning 15 and drawing six.
- Mourinho has won all 4 encounters against Leicester since he took over the reins at Old Trafford.
- Jesse Lingard has scored in each of his last three Premier League away matches, netting four goals in total.
Riyad Mahrez – Leicester City
Alongside Demarai Gray, Riyad Mahrez is the most talented footballer that Leicester City have got in their ranks. The 26-year old has scored and assisted a combined total of 9 goals in 17 starts, indicating that he is approaching his very best in 2017/18 under the new manager.
Gifted with a natural ability to go both ways with the ball and a left foot as good as anyone’s in the PL, it’s imperative that he is given the ball in the right areas where he could really hurt United’s back-line which has looked shaky in the last few weeks.
Paul Pogba – Manchester United
Paul Pogba needs little introduction as everyone is aware of his quality and the range of skills the midfielder could pull out on a given day. United’s struggles without Paul Pogba is evident from the contrast in results and in particular; that is, performances with him as compared to those without him.
With the imposing French midfielder in their side, the Red Devils score almost twice as much as they do without him. The team also defends better and as a result win a much higher percentage of games. Very few players have as great an impact on a match that Pogba does; as he does so on as strong squad as is Manchester United is just a demonstration of the calibre of player he is. It’s up to him to show that in the coming weeks.
Manchester United’s strong away form to continue.
Leicester City 1-3 Manchester United