Can Manchester United Return to Winning Ways Against the Champions?

Last updated: September 21, 2016 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 12.30pm
Venue: Old Trafford
Coverage: Sky Sports 1
Home form: WWWLL
Away form: WLDLW
Last season: Man Utd 1 – 1 Leicester
Competition: The Premier League

After a perfect start to life with Manchester United in the Premiership and 3 wins out of 3 games, the tables have now completely turned on Jose Mourinho, after United slumped to their 3rd loss in a row against Watford. Leicester may smell blood, but the Premier League champion’s form is not so hot either. After a comfortable win against new boys Burnley last weekend, Leicester lost to Chelsea in the EFL Cup in midweek, and now face a tough run of fixtures starting at Old Trafford.

Despite their recent form, the Red Devils are hot favourites at the bookies. Both the manager and the players have been heavily criticised in recent weeks after a string of tactical errors and poor performances respectively. Much of the criticism stems from exactly where to play each player. Wayne Rooney and Paul Pogba are central to this conundrum, with neither feeling they are being utilised effectively. In Rooney’s case however the question has been posed whether he himself can be effective in any position. Seemingly unable to play the quick, attacking football of the rest of his teammates, Mourinho faces pressure and difficulty going forward on if and where to play the United captain.

Leicester too are hardly in the best of form. They are currently sitting in mid-table with 2 wins, 2 losses and a draw. Although the champions won comfortably last week against Burnley, their frailties were highlighted in a 4-1 demolition by Liverpool and also a loss against Chelsea in the EFL Cup in midweek. The loss of N’golo Kante to Chelsea cannot be overstated, but Leicester may be without goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel once again, as he looks to recover from concussion. The fixtures certainly don’t ease up for Leicester after this one either. Southampton, Chelsea and Spurs all come in the next 4, which could make picking up points here all the more important. Leicester can leapfrog United with a win if any extra incentive was needed.

Team News

3 losses in a row is not something that usually happens to Mourinho. With the English media and football pundits placing much of the blame for United’s poor performances on Wayne Rooney, could this be the match he is dropped? Either way, expect changes in the starting 11.

Luke Shaw has picked up a minor groin tear and is unlikely to feature. Marcus Rojo or Matteo Darmian could fill in for the Englishman.

There are no fresh injury concerns for Leicester ahead of the fixture, though Kasper Schmeichel could miss out again with concussion.

New signing Islam Slimani is sure to start after scoring a brace in his last Premier League appearance.

Expected line-ups:

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): de Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Rojo, Fellaini, Pogba, Rashford, Rooney, Mata, Ibrahimovic
Subs: Romero, Blind, Young, Lingard, Herrera, Carrick, Schneiderlin
Injured: Jones, Martial
Doubtful: Shaw, Mkhitaryan
Not available:
Leicester (4-4-2): Zieler, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Mahrez, Amartey, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Slimani, Vardy
Subs: Hernandez, Okazaki, Musa, King, Hamer, Grey, Ulloa
Injured: Mendy
Doubtful: Schlupp
Not available: Wasilewski

So far this season

. . .
Manchester United this season Leicester this season
7th League Position 10th
1 (2) (at home) Wins (away) 2 (0)
3-1 vs. Bournemouth Biggest win 3-0 vs. Burnley
0 (0) (at home) Draws (away) 1 (0)
1-3 vs. Watford Biggest Defeat 1-4 vs. Liverpool
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (4) Top scorer Jamie Vardy, Islam Slimani (2)
Anthony Martial (2) Assist Leader Riyad Mahrez (1)
Y12, R0 Discipline Y7, R0
0 Failures to score 1
2 Clean Sheets 2
3 Both Teams to Score Games 3
3 Over 2.5 Games 4
2 Under 2.5 Games 1
  • United’s woes continued last week after they looked stuck for ideas about how to break down a resolute Watford. With Ibrahimovic up front though goals are always a possibility and if Mourinho can get the formula right, then United could spark back to life as a goal scoring force.
  • A poor defensive showing has meant that 4 of Leicester’s 5 Premier League games have featured over 2.5 goals. With Slimani and Vardy in fine goalscoring form, this trend is likely to continue.
  • Mourinho’s teams are usually defensively strong even when not at their attacking best but this has not been the case for United. They will be looking to tighten up to stop a Leicester team that has only failed to score once.
  • With neither team playing at their best and both teams to score bets paying out in 3 of each team’s 5 games, this looks life a safe bet.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
07/08/2016 FA Community Shield Leicester 1 – 2 Manchester United  Lingard 32′
01/05/2016 Premier League Manchester United 1 – 1 Leicester Martial 8′
28/11/2015 Premier League Leicester 1 – 1 Manchester United Vardy 24′
31/01/2015 Premier League Manchester United 3 – 1 Leicester Van Persie 27′
21/09/2014 Premier League Leicester 5 – 3 Manchester United Van Persie 13′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

It’s difficult to call this one without knowing what starting 11 Mourinho decides to field. This would gives us some indication on what approach he will take to try and turn the team’s fortunes around. Manchester United are big favourites at the bookies But we think that Leicester are very generously priced at around 5/1. Looking at the stats, both teams to score looks likely. You can get this and more bets at a great price at bet365.