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Preview: Leicester City vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups
15/10/2021 11:31:03

Manchester United will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they head to the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon (3:00PM, 16 Oct) to take on an inconsistent Leicester City.

The Red Devils are currently fourth in the table, with 14 points to show from their opening seven matches of the season, while Leicester sit down in 13th, picking up just eight points from seven games this term.

We say: Leicester City 1-2 Manchester United

Leicester's overall form this season has to be taken into account when picking a prediction here. A draw would not be a surprise, and the Foxes are, of course, also more than capable of winning it, but Man United are so strong on their travels, and we believe that the Red Devils will just about do enough to record a narrow victory at the King Power Stadium.

Match preview

There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a disappointing start to the season for Leicester, who would have once again had ambitions of challenging for a top-four finish this term; that could still be the case, but the Foxes currently look well short of a side capable of claiming a Champions League spot.

A record of two wins, two draws and three defeats from seven matches has seen Brendan Rodgers's side collect eight points, which has left them down in 13th position in the table.

Leicester lost back-to-back league fixtures against Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion in the middle of September, while they have shared the points with Burnley and Crystal Palace in their last two league fixtures, both of which have finished 2-2.

The Foxes also have work to do in the Europa League this season, as a total of one point from two matches has left them bottom of Group C; they started with a 2-2 draw against Napoli before suffering a 1-0 loss to Legia Warsaw at the end of September.

The FA Cup holders will view this match as the perfect chance to kickstart their season, and they are unbeaten in their last three games against Man United in all competitions, including a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford in the Premier League back in May.

Man United, meanwhile, will enter the contest off the back of a 1-1 draw with Everton before the international break; Anthony Martial sent the Red Devils ahead at Old Trafford, but Andros Townsend levelled for the visitors, who also had a late winner disallowed by VAR for offside.

The 20-time English champions have only picked up one point from their last two in the league, having also lost at home to Aston Villa on September 25, but a record of four wins, two draws and one defeat from seven games has seen them collect 14 points, leaving them in fourth spot in the table.

There is pressure building on head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the club are only two points off the top of the Premier League entering the next set of fixtures.

Man United have work to do in the Champions League despite beating Villarreal at Old Trafford at the end of September, and they are now staring at a daunting run of fixtures which includes two European games against Atalanta BC, in addition to league games with Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Man City.

The Red Devils have lost just one of their last 15 Premier League away games against Leicester, recording nine wins in the process, while their incredible unbeaten run on the road in the league now stands at 29 matches, since a 2-0 loss at Liverpool in January 2020.

Team News

Leicester will be without the services of Wesley Fofana, James Justin and Wilfred Ndidi through injury, but Jonny Evans could hand the Foxes a huge boost by featuring in the middle of the defence.

Evans did not represent Northern Ireland during the international break due to a mixture of injury and illness, but the defender might play against his former club on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy could play as the front two, having both scored against Palace before the international break, while Ricardo Pereira and Boubakary Soumare are pushing to make the first XI.

As for Man United, Marcus Rashford is expected to return to the squad, having recovered from a shoulder operation, while Amad Diallo has a chance of being involved after overcoming a thigh issue.

The Red Devils will definitely be without Raphael Varane due to a groin problem, though, while Harry Maguire is also unlikely to play, having not yet returned to training due to a calf injury, so Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof are in line to play as the two centre-backs.

Fred and Edinson Cavani will also not be available due to international commitments, meaning that Paul Pogba could drop into a midfield two alongside Scott McTominay, with Jadon Sancho playing off the left, Mason Greenwood off the right, and Bruno Fernandes operating just behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:

Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Bertrand; Lookman, Soumare, Tielemans, Barnes; Vardy, Iheanacho

Manchester United possible starting lineup:

De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo

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