Leicester City -v- Manchester United
King Power Stadium, Leicester
Saturday 16 October 2021, KO 15:00 BST
Referee: Craig Pawson Assistants: Lee Betts, Dan Robathan
Fourth Official: Andy Madley
VAR: Darren England Assistant VAR: Eddie Smart
Manchester United return to Premier League action, travelling to face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in a traditional 3pm kick off on Saturday afternoon. It has been a positive international break for some United players with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick in his last match, extending his international goals record for Portugal. United need to get back to winning ways in the league this weekend, righting the wrongs from the lacklustre 1-1 draw with Everton a fortnight ago. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to start finding the best of his talented team, which is why he’s got so many critics at this time.
United head into a busy period where they will face Leicester (A), Atalanta (H), Liverpool (H) and Tottenham Hotspur (A) before the end of the month, with Atalanta (A), Manchester City (H), Watford (A), Villarreal (A), Chelsea (A) and Arsenal (H) all coming before the end of November. Solskjaer will need to get the right results otherwise the pressure will intensify and the muppets on social media, who thing they are qualified to make adult decisions, will be calling for his head some more. These so-called supporters seem to proclaim that they have all the answers without actually giving any answers other than Ole out, which is pathetic.
Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: DWLLWL
Everton 1-1 D, Villarreal 2-1 W, Aston Villa 1-0 L, West Ham United 1-0 L, West Ham United 2-1 W, BSC Young Boys 2-1 L
Goals: 5 – Cristiano Ronaldo, 4 – Bruno Fernandes, 3 – Mason Greenwood, 2 – Jesse Lingard, 1 – Fred, Anthony Martial, Alex Telles
Assists: 7 – Paul Pogba, 3 – Bruno Fernandes, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane
Leicester City – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: DLDWLD
Crystal Palace 2-2 D, Legia Warsaw 1-0 L, Burnley 2-2 D, Millwall 2-0 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 L, Napoli 2-2 D
Goals: 6 – Jamie Vardy, 3 – Kelechi Iheanacho, 1 – Marc Albrighton, Harvey Barnes, Ademola Lookman, Ayoze Pérez, Youri Tielemans
Assists: 2 – Harvey Barnes, Kelechi Iheanacho, Ricardo Pereira, Youri Tielemans, 1 – Jamie Vardy
Previous meetings with Leicester City and their connections with Manchester United.
United and Leicester have met 30 times in the Premier League. United have won 19 times, drawn eight times with the Foxes winning the remaining three matches. United have scored a total of 63 goals, winning four penalties and scoring three of them. The Foxes have scored just 26 goals, winning two penalties and scoring both of them. The Red Devils have kept 14 clean sheets with the Foxes keeping just two. Discipline has been an issue in this fixture with United players receiving 38 yellow cards and one red card and Leicester players being shown 35 yellow cards and three red cards. This should be a fiery match.
Over the years, there has been many players who have donned the shirts of both United and Leicester, whether just at academy level, or for the first team also. The likes of John Curtis, Mark Robins, Danny Drinkwater, Matty James, Ron-Robert Zieler, Brian Carey, Colin Gibson, John Doherty, Robbie Savage, Keith Gillespie, Ritchie De Laet, Tom Cleverley, Jonny Evans, Tom Lawrence, Michael Keane, Jesse Lingard, Nick Powell, Danny Simpson, Harry Maguire have all played for both teams. Maguire is perhaps the most expensive player to be involved in a transfer with his £80 million fee paid in the summer of 2019. There were some talented played named here.
Team News: Leicester have three players ruled out and one doubt with United having one player out through injury, two still on international break but up to three returning to action from injury.
Raphael Varane (Groin) is the main injury for United at this time and he will be out for a few weeks, which is a major blow for the club. Marcus Rashford and Amad Diallo have returned to training with Rashford training for a number of weeks, however, Harry Maguire still seems to be out of action. Solskjaer will also be without both Fred and Edinson Cavani as Brazil and Uruguay face each other in a World Cup qualifier on Friday evening, in South America, so both will be missing from this match, which is hardly a blow but it means that United will need to set up differently and possible even play different players, which could be a good thing.
Wesley Fofana (Ankle), Wilfred Ndidi (Thigh) and James Justin (Knee) have all been ruled out of the clash with United at the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The was once a time that with Ndidi missing, it could be costly for the Foxes, but with the addition of Boubakary Soumare this summer, the Foxes are fine without him. Jonny Evans (Ankle) has a 50% chance being available to face his former club, but will no doubt be subject to a late fitness in order to gain a place in the squad. Leicester will be hoping he is fit as he is one of the best central defenders at the club – he could be key for the Foxes.
Predicted Starting XI: Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Fred and Edinson Cavani all set to miss clash with the Foxes. Solskjaer will need to get his team playing a better brand of attacking football.
United started the season in good form, which has returned but in fits and starts but of late, they seem to have been lucky – which is not ideal. Solskjaer will need to find the right balance in the squad that he currently has in order to get the results that are needed to guide United back to glory, which is the next step for the club after almost eight seasons out of a proper title race. Solskjaer and his players know what they need to do in order to achieve things and they will need to work hard to achieve that – after all, United need to start winning trophies so we can see that they mean nothing to the so-called fans who incessantly moan on Twitter about Solskjaer.
Against Leicester, I think David De Gea will keep his place in goal as Dean Henderson has not had a good enough run at first team football this season, which could come in the Champions League against Atalanta. With both Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane injured, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly will partner in the centre of the defence with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw in the fullback positions. A three-man midfield consisting of Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek could be interesting. In attack, Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the line with Marcus Rashford making his comeback and Jadon Sancho also starting.
Match Prediction: The Foxes were tough to beat last season but their form this season has not been the greatest. United will need to dig deep and find the momentum to get them through October.
Last season, at the King Power Stadium in a match that was played on Boxing Day, United drew 2-2 with the Foxes. Marcus Rashford opened up the scoring in the 23rd minute of the match, assisted by Bruno Fernandes. Harvey Barnes equalised eight minutes later, assisted by James Maddison. Then Fernandes, assisted by Edinson Cavani, scored what should have been the winner in the match in the 79th minute but an Axel Tuanzebe own goal in the 85th minute of the match saw the two sides grab a point each, which was not ideal for either at that time – although Leicester still bottled the Champions League places – for a second time.
At Old Trafford, Leicester beat United 2-1 last season. Luke Thomas, assisted by Youri Tielemans opened the scoring in the tenth minute of the match but Mason Greenwood, assisted by Amad Diallo equalised five minutes later. It was an even match from there but Çaglar Söyüncü assisted by Marc Albrighton found the winner in the 66th minute of the match, which was a blow for United – but they did finish above Leicester as they fell out of the top four for the second time in two seasons. Solskjaer will be seeking to find some form against Leicester this season, at least go for the double over the midlands club.
Leicester City 1-3 Manchester United
Written by John Walker