Manchester United will travel to the King Power Stadium on Sunday to face Leicester City as they seek to make a late push on the top four. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s winning streak as interim manager ended at six successive Premier League wins as his United side were held by Burnley in midweek. However, that result in essence, was one point gained rather than two dropped as the Red Devils fought back from two goals down in the last five minutes of the match to salvage a draw and preserve the Norwegian’s unbeaten run.
Opponents Leicester City are not afraid of knocking down the big boys this season. They have already beaten top-four hopefuls Chelsea and Premier League champions Manchester City during the first half of the season. They also frustrated Liverpool at Anfield in midweek when they held the league leaders to a 1-1 draw.
But, in spite of those fantastic results against the big six opposition, Claude Puel has never won the hearts of Leicester City fans. Losses to bottom half sides and exits in cup competitions have put pressure on his job. He is one of the leading managerial candidates to be sacked and that in itself is not a surprise.
Here is all you need to know about this match.
Claude Puel could hand a debut to new signing Youri Tielemans. The Belgian was signed from Monaco on loan. Although the Frenchman has no fresh injury concerns, he could name the same team that impressively held Liverpool in midweek.
Marouane Fellaini will no longer be a name associated with the Manchester United first team. The Belgian has left Old Trafford to join Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng on a permanent deal.
Solskjaer is hopeful both Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba will overcome minor injuries to feature against the Foxes. The former signed a new five-year contract a few days back which will keep him at the club until 2024.
Marcos Rojo remains out of action while Chris Smalling has recovered from a foot injury and could make his first appearance in two months.
Leicester City have won just one of their last 21 league and cup matches against Manchester United. That was the memorable 5-3 win when Louis Van Gaal was at the helm of the Old Trafford club in September 2014.
The Foxes have won 13 points from losing positions this season. That is more than any other Premier League team ahead of matchday 25.
Claude Puel’s side have won just four home matches all season in the league. It is not surprising to see his relationship with Leicester fans being so edgy. Only Southampton, Crystal Palace and Huddersfield have fewer home wins than the Foxes.
Manchester United are seeking a fifth consecutive away win in all competitions. The last time it happened was during Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in-charge between September and October 2012.
The Red Devils are the only team to have received at least one yellow card in all their 24 matches this season.
Marcus Rashford could make his 100th Premier League appearance on Sunday.
Leicester City: Schmeichel, Pereira, Maguire, Evans, Chilwell, Gray, Ndidi, Mendy, Maddison, Albrighton, Vardy.
Manchester United: De Gea, Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw, Herrera, Matic, Pogba, Lingard, Martial, Rashford.
Prediction: Leicester seem to turn up against the big teams this season. They have already recorded some scalps and another one here against a rejuvenated Manchester United could probably save Claude Puel’s job for the short-term.
However, United are now much more convincing going forward than when these two teams met in the first match of the Premier League season. The Foxes also do not have a very good record at King Power against the Red Devils. They have won once in 12 home matches. Everything points to an away win in this one.
Predicted score: Leicester City 1-2 Manchester United