Saturday, March 25, 2017

Prediction: Leicester City vs Manchester United

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

Manchester United travel to Premier League champions Leicester City on Sunday looking to rediscover their winning touch in the league after three consecutive draws. Struggling Foxes have an agenda of their own as they look to stay afloat and above the dropping zone which is agonizingly near.

Leicester City

The total of 21 points after 23 matches is by all standards a disappointing tally for reigning champions Leicester City. Claudio Ranieri’s men are a shadow of their last season’s selves as they sit in 16th place and only two points ahead of Crystal Palace, who are first under the line. The relegation tussle promises to be as exciting as the top 4 battle with six team currently in danger of going down to the Championship. What a blow that would be, and an unprecedented scenario as well, to see the reigning champions drop out in their title defense season. Leicester City have struggled at back with their defenses vulnerable and exposed, although many people tend to believe that the absence of N’Golo Kante has been the crucial aspect in Leicester’s struggles as Ranieri failed to replace his power engine in the midfield, despite bringing in a couple of players who were expected to fill in his shoes. Jamie Vardy’s lack of form upfront has been another worrying aspect. The England striker has managed only 5 goals thus far, whereas the entire team scored mere 24.

Team News

Want-away striker Leonardo Ulloa is having problems with his thigh injury and is likely to be out of contention for the following match.

Midfielder Daniel Amartey is yet to return from the African Cup of Nations, whereas Islam Slimani is suffering from a groin strain.

Manchester United

The Red Devils are in a strange position at the moment. Despite going 13 Premier League matches without a defeat, Manchester United failed to make a significant push toward the top of the table and are still sitting in sixth place in the table, four points behind fourth-placed Liverpool. The latest goalless draw against Hull City has effectively ruled them out of the title race and the top 4 finish is something Jose Mourinho and his men are desperate to achieve. Therefore, the forthcoming match at King Power Stadium is a must-win game for Manchester United who cannot afford to drop any more points. The Red Devils fans will find some optimism in the fact their team is unbeaten in last 5 matches against Leicester City, whereas they will also be hoping that United will be able to nail the third consecutive win against the Foxes. Mourinho’s men are keen to shake off the frustrations and the Portuguese tactician is expected to go full power ahead against Leicester City, with the strongest team available.

Team News

Phil Jones is racing against his fitness after suffering a hamstring injury against Hull City, but Chris Smalling is likely to be given a starting berth against Leicester.

Anthony Martial remains overlooked by Mourinho as Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expecting another run from the off, while defender James Wilson still remains unavailable due to his ACL injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in 13 Premier League matches
  • Leicester have lost last three Premier League games
  • Red Devils are unbeaten in last 5 meetings with the Foxes
  • Ranieri’s men failed to score in last 4 league matches
  • There have been goals on both sides in last six meetings between the two sides

Conclusion

Leicester City are not the same team they were last season and their struggles are likely to continue against much more quality side Manchester United. The Red Devils are determined not to lose pace behind top 4 sides and a win is a definite must for Jose Mourinho’s men, which is why we expect to see an openly-contested match.

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

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