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Preview: Manchester United v Leicester City – Barclays Premier League 2015/16

Old Trafford, Manchester

Barclays Premier League 2015/16

Sunday 1st May 2016, KO 14:05 BST Live on Sky Sports 1 HD

Referee: Michael Oliver

Assistant Referees: Gary Beswick and Lee Betts

Fourth Official: Craig Pawson

Manchester United face Barclays Premier League champions-elect Leicester City at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. United are in better shape at this stage of the season, winning their last four matches and earning a place in the Emirates FA Cup final against Crystal Palace in three weeks time. Manchester United have not conceded a goal at Old Trafford in the Premier League since the 3-2 victory over Arsenal on the 28th February, playing four league matches at home since – against Crystal Palace 2-0, Aston Villa 1-0, Everton 1-0, and Watford 1-0. That is good form going into the match against a resurgent Leicester City, who are one victory away from clinching the Barclays Premier League title for the first time in their history, despite a year ago looking like relegation fodder in the league. That is a great story for English football and the fact they have not brought expensive world-class players should show the rest of the league that big names no longer mean years of success. Determination, strength, and character (don’t call me Brendan Rodgers) are the key to winning the league, amongst other things, of course.

Manchester United are still within a chance of earning a top four finish this season and it will hinge on Arsenal and/or Manchester City dropping points with Manchester United winning each and every league match left this season, which is a bit much to ask for, but that is what needs to happen. United are currently five points shy of Arsenal, who currently occupy the fourth place in the league. Arsenal will have played 36 matches at the time of this being published, which gives United two matches in hand, the first against Leicester on Sunday. Should Arsenal beat Norwich City, Arsenal will be eight points ahead of United, which if United won their two matches in hand, could see them two points behind the North London side. Manchester City currently occupies third place in the league, with them facing Southampton in the later afternoon kick-off on Sunday, after United’s match. Them dropping points could be key to United getting into the top four also, with them being level on points with Arsenal, with a better goal difference. Chances are one of the two teams will drop points at some stage, they have both played one more match than United, which could see United getting into the top four through the back door. It could have all been very different should United have beaten both teams twice this season.

United have a good record in the Premier League against Leicester City, playing nine matches at Old Trafford, with United winning six, drawing twice and losing just once. United beat Nigel Pearson’s side 3-1 at Old Trafford last season, but this is a completely different Leicester City side, and much better than the one which beat United 5-3 at the King Power Stadium last season. United and Leicester drew 1-1 earlier in the season with Jamie Vardy scoring on the 24th minute of the match and Bastian Schweinsteiger equalising at the end of the first half. Both players will be unavailable for their respective teams for this match, through suspension and injury. United are in better form in the league than they were back in November; that match started a six-match winless record in the league, which saw Louis van Gaal slaughtered by the media in the run-up to Christmas, with rumours surfacing about his sacking, which never happened. United are unbeaten in their last two league matches, four in all competitions. Their home performances recently have seen them not conceded a goal at home in their last four matches in the league, which goes back to the start of March. It was the 28th February when United last conceded a league goal at Old Trafford. This will be a very interesting match, many will be backing Leicester City, as it will mean they have won the league. Even Manchester United supporters are hoping that their team lose, which is piss poor support and those people are not supporters of the club, they will probably latch onto the Leicester City bandwagon in the summer, which is no real loss. Come on UNITED!

Manchester United Statistics (Domestic League):

Based on Barclays Premier League 2015/16 [statistics are taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 34 matches, won 17, drawn 8, lost 9 and currently have 59 points

Scored 42 goals (1.24 goals per match) and conceded 30 goals (0.88 goals per match)

Longest unbeaten streak is 7 matches

Clean sheets 50%

Leicester City (Domestic League):

Based on Barclays Premier League 2015/16 [statistics are taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 35 matches, won 22, drawn 10, lost 3 and currently have 76 points

Scored 63 goals (1.80 goals per match) and conceded 33 goals (0.94 goals per match)

Longest unbeaten streak is 10 matches

Clean sheets 43%

Top Scorers (all competitions):

Manchester United: 14 – Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney, 8 – Juan Mata, 7 – Memphis Depay, Marcus Rashford, 6 – Ander Herrera, 5 – Jesse Lingard, 5 – Own Goal, 4 – Marouane Fellaini, 2 – Daley Blind, Chris Smalling, 1 – Matteo Darmian, Adnan Januzaj, Andreas Pereira, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger

Leicester City25 – Romelu Lukaku, 12 – Ross Barkley, 7 – Arouna Koné, 6 – Aaron Lennon, 5 – Ramiro Funes Mori, 4 – Gerard Deulofeu, Kevin Mirallas, 1 – Tom Cleverley, Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy, Leon Osman

Manchester United Form: WWWWLW

Last Six Matches (all competitions): Everton 2-1 W, Crystal Palace 2-0 W, Aston Villa 1-0 W, West Ham United 2-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 L, Everton 1-0 W

Leicester City Form: WDWWWW

Last Six Matches (all competitions): Swansea City 4-0 W, West Ham United 2-2 D, Sunderland 2-0 W, Southampton 1-0 W, Crystal Palace 1-0 W, Newcastle United 1-0 W

Head to Head:

Played nine matches at Old Trafford in the Barclays Premier League:

Manchester United: Won 6, Drawn 2, Lost 1 – Scored 16 goals, conceded 6 goals and kept 4 clean sheets

Leicester City: Won 1, Drawn 2, Lost 6 – Scored 6 goals, conceded 16 goals and kept 1 clean sheets

Manchester United Squad:

Manager: Louis van Gaal

Goalkeepers: 1. David De Gea, 20. Sergio Romero, 40. Joel Castro Pereira, 50. Sam Johnstone;

Defenders: 4. Phil Jones, 5. Marcos Rojo, 12. Chris Smalling, 23. Luke Shaw, 30. Guillermo Varela, 33. Paddy McNair, 36. Matteo Darmian, 37. Donald Love, 38. Axel Tuanzebe, 41. Regan Poole, 43. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, 49. Joe Riley;

Midfielders: 8. Juan Mata, 11. Adnan Januzaj, 16. Michael Carrick, 17. Daley Blind, 18. Ashley Young, 21. Ander Herrera, 25. Antonio Valencia, 27. Marouane Fellaini, 28. Morgan Schneiderlin, 31. Bastian Schweinsteiger, 35. Jesse Lingard, 44. Andreas Pereira, 47. James Weir;

Strikers: 7. Memphis Depay, 9. Anthony Martial, 10. Wayne Rooney, 39. Marcus Rashford, 48. Will Keane

Doubts/Injuries: 3. Luke Shaw (broken leg), 11. Adnan Januzaj (hamstring), 31. Bastian Schweinsteiger (MCL knee ligament), 49. Will Keane (groin) [injury details from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Leicester City Squad:

Manager: Claudio Ranieri

Goalkeepers: 1. Kasper Schmeichel, 12. Ben Hamer, 32. Mark Schwarzer;

Defenders: 2. Ritchie De Laet, 5. Wes Morgan, 6. Robert Huth, 13. Daniel Amartey, 17. Danny Simpson, 27. Marcin Wasilewski, 28. Christian Fuchs, 29. Yohan Benalouane, 30. Ben Chilwell;

Midfielders: 4. Danny Drinkwater, 8. Matty James, 10. Andy King, 11. Marc Albrighton, 14. N’Golo Kanté, 15. Jeff Schlupp, 22. Demarai Gray, 24. Nathan Dyer, 26. Riyad Mahrez, 33. Gökhan Inler;

Strikers: 9. Jamie Vardy, 20. Shinji Okazaki, 23. Leonardo Ulloa

Doubts/Injuries: 23. Leonardo Ulloa (back) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: 29. Jamie Vardy (one match) [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Predicted Formation/Starting XI:

Score Prediction:

Manchester United 1-0 Leicester City

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