Match Previews

Preview: Leicester City vs. Manchester United

With both teams losing late on to very different levels of opposition midweek in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup, they face one another at the halfway mark of the Premier League season is hope of getting their Christmas period underway in cheer.

Pressure is on both Claude Puel and José Mourinho to prove themselves up to their respected tasks over the busy time of year.

The King Power Stadium plays host to an often goal-fest of a fixture.

Kick-off: 19:45 (GMT)

Location: King Power Stadium

The Foxes

Position: 8th

Form –

Last 6 games: LLWWWW

To their credit, the only league losses that Leicester had suffered this season prior to a pounding at home to Crystal Palace last weekend came against ‘big-six’ sides in United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City (who they were beaten by in midweek), but draws were too often in the early stages of the campaign. Although, their recent bounce-back has enabled them to be in a place that suits their targets as a club.

Team news –

Regulars in the side Kasper Schmeichel, Danny Simpson, Wes Morgan, Riyad Mahrez, Demarai Gray and Jamie Vardy are all set to return.

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Extra-time in midweek will mean some players who expected to play in both that match and this clash may possibly be ruled out due to fatigue.

Injuries/suspensions –

  • Robert Huth (back in training)
  • Onyiyne Wilfred Ndidi (suspended)

Play style –

Since their dismissal of Craig Shakespeare, it’s evident that change of outdated and over-ambitious tactics in favour or more conservative ones has had a positive effect.

The biggest indication of their tactical change is that they now play a 4-2-3-1 formation rather than the almost iconic 4-4-2 that gifted them the title in 2015/16. That system began to come undone too many times under both Claudio Raneiri last season and Shakespeare this season, almost forcing to Puel to make sure a much more stable system was implemented.

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Wide men are still key to providing now lone striker Jamie Vardy (still adjusting to a new unfamiliar role) with opportunities. However, that play-making man in the offensive midfield trio is the key difference in the team’s attacking play. Their duo in the holding midfield spots gives more solidity too rather than an open formation such as the aforementioned 4-4-2 which needed two incredibly fit men to make it work. The full-backs, who were known for their tenacity under the treasured Ranieri, still cover large amounts of ground.

The Red Devils

Team news –

Regulars who were rested in midweek such as David De Gea, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Nemanja Matić, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata should all return.

Men who were given minutes such as Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku are all set to start.

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It’s not yet known whether Antonio Valencia will play a part in the match due to being taken off last weekend as a precaution.

Injuries/suspensions –

  • Eric Bailly; ankle (3 months remaining)
  • Michael Carrick; heart (unknown)
  • Marouane Fellaini; knee (4 weeks)

Past meetings –

United’s last 5 results against Leicester: WWWWD

Famously, in the teams’ first battle since Leicester returned to the top flight, the newcomers beat United 5-3 in a historic comeback (which was their only defeat in their last 12 trips to face Leicester).

The sides met 3 times last season – the first being the season-opening Community Shield match won thanks to a late Zlatan Ibrahimović debut.

Referee: Jon Moss

Match facts

  • United have won 13 of their 17 games against Leicester
  • United have conceded in 5 consecutive away games but have won the latter 3
  • Leicester have only managed to keep 3 clean sheets in their last 15 games in all competitions
  • Constant threat Vardy is just 1 goal away from reaching the 50 tally in the Premier League (his first came in that 5-3 win and also broke the Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record for goals scored in consecutive Premier League matches against United back in 2015)
  • The only ever-present man in the team this season for his side Marcus Rashford has scored or assisted 16 goals in 27 appearances so far – he managed just 15 overall last season

TV channel: Sky Sports Main Event

Enjoy the match!

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