Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Prediction: Leicester City vs Manchester United

Prediction: Manchester United to win and both teams to score

Odds: 18/5

Bookmaker: 888Sport

José Mourinho’s Manchester United will be looking to react to their shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Bristol City as they travel to face Leicester City on Saturday evening.

A festive clash will see the Foxes also look to get back to winning ways following their own elimination thanks to a penalty shoot-out defeat to Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Leicester City

Despite Claude Puel having had a considerable impact since arriving in the East Midlands, Leicester City have now lost back-to-back games in all competitions for the first time since September. Before the cup defeat at the hands of the Sky Blues, the Foxes fell to an eye-catching 3-0 reverse to Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium, their first loss to a team in the bottom-half of the Premier League in over ten months. Sitting eighth in the league standings, a victory over Manchester United would go a long way in ensuring their pursuit of European football got back on track.

If they are to overcome the Red Devils however, they will need to work on their defensive efforts. The Foxes have so far conceded 26 goals so far in league play, one more than rock-bottom Swansea City. As a matter of fact, they have only managed to keep two clean sheets in their last eight home games. Their scoring record on home turf is eye-catching though – their defeat against Crystal Palace only the second time since February that the former champions have failed to net at the King Power Stadium.

Team News

Puel only has two long-term absentees to worry about for the visit of Mourinho’s men. Robert Huth and Matty James are both missing with a foot and Achilles problem respectively. There could be some considerable changes following Leicester’s extra-time excursions in the week. Shinji Okazaki played the full 120 minutes so is unlikely to start with the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez all sure to return to the starting line-up.

Manchester United

Whilst the Red Devils still sit second in the Premier League standings, their chance to catch neighbours Manchester City is decreasing by the day. They remain 11 points behind their great rivals despite consecutive league victories over Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion. Mourinho’s troops in fact have in fact won six out of their last seven games in the Premier League, scoring 16 goals in the process. They have also claimed maximum points during their last three away games and scored nine goals in that time, a statistic that could worry the Foxes.

Nonetheless, they have not kept a clean sheet away from Old Trafford since October so Leicester could profit from that. If they do not score at the King Power Stadium, it will be the first time that they have failed to keep a clean sheet in six consecutive away Premier League games in over three years. The Red Devils do however boast the joint-best defensive record in the entire league having only conceded 12 goals in 18 games during 2017/18.

Team News

United can welcome back midfield star Premier League Paul Pogba to Premier League action after serving his suspension. Defender Antonio Valencia has been ruled out however after sustaining a hamstring injury in the 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. The veteran is joined on the injury table by long-term absentees Michael Carrick, Eric Bailly and Marouane Fellaini.

Key Facts To Consider

  • Manchester United won the last clash between the two at the King Power Stadium 3-0
  • The Red Devils have the far better record between the two sides (W64, D28, L33)
  • Leicester City have only won one out of the last 18 clashes against Manchester United
  • The Foxes have conceded 11 goals in their last four matches against the Red Devils
  • There has been 29 goals scored in the last eight clashes between the two teams

Conclusion

Judging from the past statistics, it might be fair to assume that there could be goals in this one. Jamie Vardy could be a good bet having found the net in three of his last eight games against United. Supporters should expect a tantalising clash with both sides aiming to get back to winning ways following disappointing results in the Carabao Cup in mid-week. Whilst Leicester will provide a terrific test for Mourinho’s men, the Red Devils possess enough talent to earn victory.

Prediction: Manchester United to win and both teams to score

Odds: 18/5

Bookmaker: 888Sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is currently a second-year football journalism student at the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately four years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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