Manchester United continue their tough week in the Premier League by welcoming Leicester City to the Theatre of Dreams on Tuesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have already confirmed their place in the top four this season and will play in the UEFA Champions League next season. Brendan Rodgers’ side are not guaranteed anything at this stage and will need to win to make it easier to finish in the top four this season, or face the option of slipping out of the Champions s League places, which is where they want to be. United need to reach 75 points to confirm their second-placed finish in the league this season.
United have progressed this season, no matter what the negative, agenda-driven supporters on social media say. Sometimes when you are that set by an agenda, you do not want to see anything else, therefore believe the agenda. United have already qualified for the Champions League, need five more points to secure second-placed in the league and ended their semi-final hoodoo after reaching the final of the UEFA Europa League where they will face Villarreal on Wednesday 26 May 2021 in Gdansk, Poland. United have scored more than 100 goals this season and look to be on the rise. Don’t let the agenda driven muppets get you down.
How United have faired against Leicester City in the Premier League.
United and Leicester have played 29 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 19 times, drawing eight times and losing twice. United have scored a total of 62 goals, winning four penalties and scoring three of them. Leicester have scored 24 goals, winning two penalties and scoring both of them. United have kept 14 clean sheets in total against Leicester with the Foxes keeping just two. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 38 yellow cards with one red card also being shown. Leicester have been shown 35 yellow cards with three red cards also being shown. United have an advantage based on these statistics.
United and Leicester met at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day this season, resulting in a 2-2 draw with Marcus Rashford opening the scoring in the 23rd minute, Harvey Barnes equalising in the 31st minute, Bruno Fernandes restoring United’s lead in the 79th minute. However, an own goal by Axel Tuanzebe in the 85th minute meant the teams took a point each. In this fixture last season, at Old Trafford, United won 1-0 with e penalty scored by Rashford in the eighth minute of the match. United were also beaten by Leicester in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup this season, so will be looking to avenge that result on Tuesday.
Here is my predicted starting XI to face Leicester City in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening…
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
David De Gea sat out of the 3-1 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday after featuring for United in the 3-2 defeat to AS Roma, which earned the club an 8-5 aggregate victory and therefore a place in the UEFA Europa League final against Villarreal on the 26 May 2021 in Gdansk. United will need to rotate players this week, therefore De Gea should start against Leicester City at Old Trafford, in which United will need a win start to secure their second-placed finish in the Premier League this season. De Gea played well in Rome and made some very important saves to keep his side in the game, and therefore win. His experience and class could well be required against Leicester, whose season could be falling apart after their defeat to Newcastle United.
Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly, Alex Telles
Solskjaer will need to rotate his defence, not only because this is the second of three matches in five day period but because Harry Maguire received an ankle injury against Villa on Sunday. Therefore, Aaron Wan-Bissaka should keep his place at right back with Axel Tuanzebe and Eric Bailly forming a central defensive partnership. Alex Telles could also start at left-back with Luke Shaw getting a rest ahead of the Liverpool clash on Thursday. United have already qualified for the UEFA Champions League next season and need just four points to secure their second-placed position. Not only that, winning could add further pressure to Manchester City’s title charge, which will show whether they are a great team or not, as the media will proclaim.
Midfield: Donny van de Beek, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba
The midfield will be important against Leicester, as it was when they faced them in the FA Cup and were knocked out of the competition. A three-man midfield might be worth fielding in this match and the likes of Donny van de Beek, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba could be the right fit for this match. Matic has not played a lot of minutes this season and seems to be a player to bring on in the late stages of matches to protect a lead and help the defence. However, he has a lot to give and could well help United for a period of time. Of course, he may not last the full 90 minutes with Leicester’s young side pressuring him. Paul Pogba will give his all and Van de Beek will need the regular match time to find his feet at the club.
Forwards: Amad Diallo, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford
A 4-3-3 formation could be a good change for United at this stage of the season, giving a much stronger midfield, without the pivot. Mason Greenwood could lead the attack as the lone striker in this formation, fresh from his goal against Villa which saw him break Wayne Rooney’s record of 15 goals as a teenager for United, scoring his 16th Premier League goal. Amad Diallo was withdrawn from the match day squad against Villa and could well be ready to start for his club in a match that will have less pressure on him. He needs to start at some time – it might work well for him and United. Marcus Rashford could start on the left, with Daniel James injured, although Solskjaer might decide to bring some youth players into the squad.
Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Victor Lindelof, Brandon Williams; Juan Mata, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Scott Mctominay; Edinson Cavani, Anthony Elanga
Three substitutes is all Solskjaer will have in the Premier League, so he will need to pack his bench with players who can make an impact. Dean Henderson will no doubt be on the bench, refreshing himself to start against Liverpool on Thursday. In defence, Victor Lindelof and Brandon Williams could be available with at least one of them expected to be used. In midfield, Juan Mata, who could actually start, Fred, Bruno Fernandes and Scott Mctominay could also be available, if required – there is a good chance they could be. In attack, Edinson Cavani could be kept for Thursday with Anthony Elanga also added to the squad, depending on whether he plays for the U23s on Monday evening as they play their last Premier League 2 fixture of the season.
Written by John Walker