Second v Third as Leicester Face Manchester United
Last updated: December 23, 2020 by Leon Marshal
|Venue:||King Power Stadium|
|Last Meeting:||Leicester 0 – 2 Man United|
Boxing Day features a clash between second and third in the Premier League table as Manchester United travel to the King Power Stadium to meet Leicester City. United have the best away record in the league, but will they triumph over the Foxes?
Leicester beat fellow top-four rivals Tottenham 2 – 0 to secure second place in the Premier League table during the Christmas period for the second consecutive year. It was a first Premier League away win against Spurs since their 1 – 0 victory in their title-winning 2015-16 season. Jamie Vardy was the leader of the Foxes pack, scoring from the penalty spot deep into added time at the end of the first half. The points were made safe in the 59th minute, Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld heading Marc Albrighton’s excellent cross into his own net.
Vardy’s goal was his 11th goal of the season, helped in part with his side enjoying the highest number of penalties in the league (8). The England striker has been directly involved in seven goals in seven Premier League away games against Spurs, more than any other opponent.
The scoreline could have been higher against Tottenham, James Maddison had a goal chopped off with the VAR review showing a needle margin offside after he had controlled and finished a marvellous ball three minutes from the restart.
Kasper Schmeichel had a busy day keeping the fantastic duo of Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane at bay, keeping a precious clean sheet against one of the best-attacking sides. The return of Johnny Evans, alongside Fofana, was rewarded with a solid display at the back with the cover of Wilfred Ndidi pivotal.
Brendan Rodgers will be satisfied by his sides immediate response after Wednesday’s under-par 2-0 defeat at the hands of Everton. It was Rodgers first win over Jose Mourinho in his eighth attempt. The win leaves them four points behind the Champions, and it will be interesting to see if they maintain their run this season having failed to secure Champions League football last season despite being second for the majority of the season. Brendan Rodgers will still be looking for his talisman’s inspiration against yet another top-four contender for a perfect boxing day gift. They, however, don’t have a good record against their visitors, winning just twice in 28 games and have lost the last four games in this fixture.
Manchester United had to wait 16 years to renew their league rivalry with Leeds United, and many fans will think it was worth the wait as the Red Devils won the War of the Roses in spectacular style, winning 6-2 at Old Trafford.
Scott McTominay gave his side a dream start, scoring after just 67 seconds, finding the bottom corner after an Anthony Martial pass. Remarkably, the youngster who had only ever scored seven goals in 94 appearances, scored again within a minute to become the first player to score twice inside the first three minutes of a Premier League game.
Bruno Fernandes and Victor Lindelof increased the home sides lead, with Leed’s Liam Cooper getting one back for the Yorkshire team in the 42nd minute.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s decision to start Daniel James raised a few eyebrows pre-game, but the manager’s decision was vindicated, the 23-year-old using his blistering pace to outrun the defence and scoring to restore United’s four-goal margin. It became a five-goal margin when Fernandes scored from the penalty spot to claim his second of the game. Stuart Dallas pulled another back for Leeds in the 73rd minute, a sensational strike that gave David De Gea no chance. A fitting end to an incredible game that was full of goal-mouth action with 41 shots in total. Leeds despite the scoreline played their part, registering 17 shots themselves, and rarely gave the Manchester side any breathing space or time on the ball.
Manchester United have had great success on their travels this campaign, netting at least three in all six away wins. In the game against Leeds, they netted six goals for the first time since they beat Arsenal 8 – 2 back in 2011. Their creative aspect of the game has improved, not coincidently after the arrival of Bruno Fernandes. The 26-year-old has been at the heart of everything that Manchester United do, scoring and assisting in 7 different games; only Mohammed Salah (9) and Matt Le Tissier in 1994 (8) have more. United have had the highest number of penalties (32), scoring (27) in all competitions, which are the highest numbers than any side in Europe’s top five leagues.
The win against Leeds puts Manchester United right at the top among the other title contender, not forgetting they still have a game in hand lagging just five-point behind the league leaders. They will be facing Leicester with less rest than their opponents, due to an EFL Cup quarter-final clash with Everton on Wednesday.
Brendan Rodger’s side has secured second place for Christmas for the second successive year.
Leicester has won twice as many away games (6) as they have won at home (3).
Manchester United sit third in the Premier League table after an impressive run of five games, winning four and drawing once against Manchester City.
Scott McTominay gave a man of the match performance against Leeds but went off injured; he’s a doubt for the Leicester game.
|Leicester (4-2-3-1):||Schmeichel, Justin, Fofana, Evans, Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Albrighton, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy|
|Subs:||Ward, Amartey, Fuchs, Thomas, Under, Mendy, Praet, Iheanacho, Perez|
|Manchester United (4-3-3):||De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Pogba, Fred, Fernandes, Rashford, James, Martial|
|Subs:||Henderson, Tuanzebe, Cavani, Mata, Lingard, Bailly, Dalot, Matic, Beek, Telles, Greenwood|
So Far This Season
|Leicester This Season||Man United This Season|
|9 (6)||Wins (away)||8 (6)|
|5 – 2 v Man City||Biggest Win||6 – 2 v Leeds|
|0 (0)||Draws (away)||2 (0)|
|0 – 3 v West Ham||Biggest Defeat||1 – 6 v Spurs|
|Vardy (11)||Top Goal Scorer||Fernandes (9)|
|Y30, R0||Discipline||Y20, R1|
|4||Failures to Score||3|
|36%||Both Teams to Score Games||69%|
|64%||Over 2.5 Goals||69%|
|36%||Under 2.5 Goals||31%|
- The two sides have met 28 times; The Red Devils have been dominant with 19 wins against The Foxes two wins with seven draws between them.
- United have an average of 2.15 goals per match while Leicester City has an average of 1.86 goals scored per game.
- Jamie Vardy is tied on 11 goals with Heung-Min Son and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, two goals behind Mohammed Salah (13) in what looks like an exciting golden boot mini-league.
- Leicester have just two wins against their visitors; they will not be short of confidence, having beaten Spurs in their previous game.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|26/07/2020||EPL||Leicester 0 – 2 Man U||Fernandes 71’|
|03/09/2019||EPL||Man U 1 – 0 Leicester||Rashford 8’|
|03/02/2019||EPL||Leicester 0 – 1 Man U||Rashford 9’|
|10/08/2018||EPL||Man U 2 – 1 Leicester||Pogba 3’|
|23/12/2017||EPL||Leicester 2 – 2 Man U||Vardy 27’|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Leicester have long been a favourite of the neutrals, they average 14.7 shots per game and have scored 26 goals in the league, mainly scored by the evergreen Jamie Vardy. They also have some exciting support players such as Timothy Castagne, James Maddison and Youri Tielemans. United have not been the best of opponents for them, but expect to see plenty of fight on Boxing Day.
United’s 6-2 result against bitter rivals Leeds was a much-needed win at Old Trafford for the club. Their away form has been excellent, only marred by the fact that they have been slow starters in games, often giving their opponents a goal or two headstart. Continue this trend against Leicester, and they could get punished.
All indicators point to a Manchester United win here. Head-to-head, Leicester hasn’t beaten United in the last six games, and their recent league form is very inconsistent, losing half of their last six. Their biggest hope is that United’s tough midweek game against Everton may fatigue some players. That said, we are going for a 3-1 win for United, available @ 18/1 with bet365.