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Youri Tielemans chased by Manchester United and Barcelona – would he improve United’s midfield?

Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is reportedly being chased by both Manchester United and Barcelona, despite the Spanish side being unable to pay his £46 million transfer fee. The Sun has reported the news, so that means you will need more than a pinch of salt when deciding if it is true or not.

That said, Leicester have financial problems after the coronavirus pandemic which stopped supporters from attending matches for the majority of 2020, ending up losing £408 million after tax during the financial year, which perhaps means the books will need to be balanced in order to avert anything damaging.

It is well known that Leicester will sell their players with Riyadh Mahrez, Harry Maguire and Ben Chilwell all leaving the club for big transfer fees in three of the last four seasons. It shows that every player has their eventual transfer price, added to the reported reluctance for the Belgian to sign a new contract.

Tielemans signed for Leicester in the summer of 2019 from AS Monaco, and at the time it was suggested that United were monitoring the player, however, no move materialised from the Old Trafford club for the player. This season, the Belgian has played every minute in the Premier League, scoring two goals and two assists.

Since making the move from Monaco, Tielemans has made a total of 120 appearances for Leicester, scoring 19 goals and 21 assists for the club, playing a total of 9,937 minutes of football. Tielemans largely plays as a central midfielder, also featuring as a defensive midfielder, playing a small role as an attacking midfielder.

Should Manchester United be interested in Youri Tielemans?

In a word, yes. Tielemans is a player that has proven himself in the Premier League. Leicester paid around £40 million for the Belgian in the summer of 2019 and in that short space of time, the player has shown his worth. If the £46 million fee that is being reported for the player is true, he could be a bargain.

His current contract at Leicester runs out in the summer of 2023, so at the start of next season he will be into his last year at the club. Leicester seem to want to sign him to a new contract, which seems to be something the player is reluctant in doing at this time – but that could change in the future.

It is suggested that along with United and Barcelona, Liverpool and Real Madrid have some interest in signing the player, which with both Spanish clubs hefty debts, should leave other clubs in with a chance of signing the player. Would he choose to remain in the Premier League or seek a new challenge elsewhere?

The Premier League is a more lucrative league and more competitive with multiple teams challenging to win the league title, when in Spain, it is largely contested between Barcelona and Real Madrid, although Atletico Madrid won the league last season – it is still something that does not happen all that often though.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is currently under heavy pressure at the club, sought to sign a midfielder in the summer, but did not end up doing so, which is one of the major problems right now. This should mean that they hold interest in proven players to strengthen the position at the club.

What could Youri Tielemans bring to Manchester United?

Tielemans is Premier League proven, despite this being just his third season in the league. This is the main attribute that United should be looking for. They don’t have the time to allow a player to settle in at the club, therefore he must be ready for the rigours of the most competitive league in the world.

The 24-year-old has ability and all the other ingredients to achieve at a bigger club. From his days at Anderlecht, before he signed for Monaco, the talent was there and he came to the Premier League with lots of praise. He can be a defensive or an attacking player and seems to switch when needed.

This is what United need. Nemanja Matic’s best days are behind him, despite some good form so far this season. Donny van de Beek does not seem to have a place at United, Bruno Fernandes is a more attacking player, Paul Pogba’s future is uncertain and Fred is not the midfielder United need.

Scott McTominay had a future at the club, but may not be a first-choice player in the squad. Tielemans is good defensively, averaging 1.6 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 0.9 clearances, 1.5 dribbles and 0.5 blocks per appearance, which is positive and a good reason why he should be on United’s watch list.

In an attacking sense, Tielemans averages 1.2 shots, 0.9 key passes, one dribble, and draws 1.7 fouls per appearance, which also shows he can contribute going forward. This is something that United need as there are not many players who can operate to a good standard in the midfield at the club.

Could Youri Tielemans help United complete their squad?

If Solskjaer wants to achieve at United, the midfield needs to be able to do its job on the pitch, which at this time, is not something that can be said. It is the weakest area on the pitch and it is letting the attacking wealth at the club down as the service has been lacking.

Tielemans averages around 62.3 passes per appearance this season, also averaging an 85.5% pass success rate, which is positive and would help United retain the ball in the midfield with the Belgian passing the ball to more players in the more advanced positions, also getting towards the goal himself.

As was shown in the 4-2 defeat to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday, Tielemans is capable of scoring some sublime goals, floating the ball in towards the goal, beating David De Gea and slotting the ball in at the far top corner of the goal. This is the type of midfielder that United should have at the club.

During the summer, after Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the Theatre of Dreams was confirmed, there was a clamour on social media for Solskjaer to sign Ruben Neves from Wolverhampton Wanderers, as he would have had a massive presence in the centre of the pitch, but it never happened.

This was a shame for United, as it is clear to everyone that the midfield is the major problem at the club and when that has been resolved, United would start to tick much better on the pitch. It just makes me wonder if anyone at the club has the best interests of the club at heart, or just the commercial aspects of the club?

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Toothless United lose 4-2 at Leicester; Greenwood and Rashford both scored for United

Manchester United were beaten 4-2 by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. It was another big defeat for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side at the stadium, losing last season in the FA Cup. United unbeaten away run was now over. Mason Greenwood opened the scoring in the 19th minute of the match but Youri Tielemans equalised in the 31st minute. Leicester then found a second goal, scored by Çaglar Söyüncü in the 78th minute before Marcus Rashford levelled in the 82nd minute for United. Jamie Vardy put Leicester ahead again a minute later before Patson Daka completed the rout in the first minute of added time.

Leicester started the match in fine fettle, pressing United from the off and having an early shot on target. United seemed to be scared of the Foxes, which did not look good in the opening minutes but they soon got their grasp on the game and worked their possession in their favour. Solskjaer’s side needed to get a good result in this match. Mason Greenwood had a good run with the ball, shooting on goal but finding the clutches of Kasper Schmeichel. United ended up opening the scoring in the match with Greenwood beating Schmeichel from range, assisted by Bruno Fernandes – it was a stunning finish for the 20-year-old.

United’s lead lasted just 12 minutes with Youri Tielemans, assisted by Kelechi Iheanacho, grabbed the equaliser in the 31st minute of the match with Harry Maguire making an earlier mistake which led to the goal. It was another great finish in this match with the goals being scored from distance into the opposite corner of the net from where the shot came from on the pitch. United needed to go back to square one and find a way of making a difference in this match, which is going to be hard for them considering the form and mentality of this Leicester side, which is needed for them if they are to rise up the Premier League table this season.

The first half ended 1-1 with either team able to get the win at this stage. United had eight shots on goal, three of those were on target, one of those was scored. Three shots were off target and two were blocked. Leicester has six shots on goal, three of those on target and one was scored. One shot was off target and two were blocked. Leicester’s press was a problem for United and Maguire being rusty, having one training session before starting today after sitting out with a calf injury sustained in the defeat to Aston Villa, which was not helping United. That said, Solskjaer’s side needed to be more attacking in the second half of the match.

There were no changes for either team at the start of the second half. Both United and the Foxes looked determined to get a better result from this fixture, having chances in the early stages of the second half. Nemanja Matic had a good one, striking towards goal, but the ball going over the crossbar. Greenwood also had another good chance, which involved Schmeichel making the save, but the United forward being flagged for offside. Victor Lindelof became the first player to be booked in the match and Solskjaer brought Marcus Rashford back into the fray in the 65th minute, replacing Jadon Sancho.

United had a good chance between Cristiano Ronaldo and Rashford to find a second goal, but Ronaldo’s finish was saved by Schmeichel, but he was offside anyway. Leicester took the lead for the first time in the match minutes later after Patson Daka’s shot was saved by David De Gea but Çaglar Söyüncü managed to tap in a finish after Ayoze Pérez kept the ball in play. United look unable to gat anything from this match, which is going to delight those so-called fans who just want United to lose time and time again, which is pretty pathetic. They do understand that clubs that continue to switch the manager never really end up solving many problems?

United got back into the game with Marcus Rashford getting an equaliser in the 82nd minute, assisted by Victor Lindelof. But from the kick off, Leicester got ahead again through Jamie Vardy with Maguire just letting him volley the ball into the back of the net. United had found another defeat this season as this team was not going to find much to win matches with toothless displays like this one. There was tine for a comeback but it did not feel like one was on the cards. Patson Daka, in the first of five added minutes, got Leicester’s fourth goal of the match, securing the three points with United having to find a way to get back to winning ways in the league.

United take on Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening, another must-win European match, which at this moment in time, does not look too good for United. In a week’s time Solskjaer’s side will face a resurgent Liverpool, which will be a problem for this toothless United side, who seem to have a lot of work ahead of them in order to find a team with some kind of form. At the end of October, United face Tottenham Hotspur away from home, which could work out what happens with the club this season as result are not in favour of the manager, the coaches and the players. Not a good position to be in right now.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Conceded four goals at the King Power. Not a good result. Had no chance to save the efforts of Tielemans, Soyuncu and Vardy - even Daka's looked tough. United's defence let him down today. Made a fair few saves too.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

It was a positive performance for the right-back, just not positive for United. Did what he needed to do, but I would have liked to see more attacking play from the wide spaces.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Clumsy at times, especially for the booking after fouling Vardy. Got an assist for Rashfor's equaliser but it fell apart from there for United.

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5 Harry Maguire

Made a mistake which immediately led to Leicester's equaliser in the first half of the match. He was always going to be rusty after an injury layoff though, especially after having just one training session before the match. Made another leaving Vardy to fire a volley into the back of the net just after United had equalised. Leicester scored two more goals, one of them Maguire could have helped to stop but he let Vardy volley into the back of the net.

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23 Luke Shaw

Provided width, which United were lacking on the attack, despite having both Greenwood and Sancho in the side positions.. An attacking display and defensively, he did what he needed to do.

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6 Paul Pogba

Lacklustre. Ineffective. Void of any presence in the game. Should be better than this. If he's going to offer nothing, he may as well just leave now.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Seems to have turned back the years and putting in a good show of form and fight in the midfield this season. Had a speculative shot on goal, which was not far off putting United ahead for the second time. It was a poor result for United, but Matic did well throughout the match.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Scored his fourth goal of the season, which was a fine finish from outside the box. United deserved their lead and Greenwood deserved his fourth goal of the season. Had a few chances throughout the match but was unable to get the better of Leicester. Replaced by Lingard in the 80th minute of the match.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Got the assist for Greenwood's opening goal of the match, scoring 30 goals and 21 assists in 59 Premier League appearances. Seemed unable to control the game when United needed that, so perhaps Donny van de Beek could have a go now?

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25 Jadon Sancho

Played well against Leicester but the critics will be out in force as he's not yet found the form he displayed in the Bundesliga. It's like people just use computer games to form opinions now, not real life. He will find his feet and perform for United. He was replaced by Rashford in the 65th minute of the match.

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7 Cristiano Ronaldo

Could have got a goal for United after Greenwood opened the scoring, but missed his chance. Seemed to be attacking very little and offering little going forward for large periods of the match. Something needs to give here and it won't be Ronaldo. United are in a pretty difficult predicament.

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Substitutes

10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Sancho 65'. Glad to see him back. Got an equaliser, which was important but United conceded again from the kick off. Not a good game to come back for, but one to learn from.

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39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Matic 80'. Should have been introduced at least ten minutes prior to his introduction. Had some involvement but was unable to inspire United from the midfield. United scored one and conceded twice with him on the pitch.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Greenwood 80'. Did not have much involvement in the match, other than a shot on goal. Again, should have been introduced much sooner in the match.

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Goals: Mason Greenwood 19′, Marcus Rashford 82′; Youri Tielemans 31′, Çaglar Söyüncü 78′, Jamie Vardy 83′, Patson Daka 90+1′

Assists: Bruno Fernandes 19′, Victor Lindelof 82′; Kelechi Iheanacho 31′, Ayoze Pérez 78′, 83′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba, Matic (McTominay 80′); Greenwood (Lingard 80′), Fernandes, Sancho (Rashford 65′); Ronaldo

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Dalot, Telles; Mata, Van de Beek

Bookings: Victor Lindelof 52′, Aaron Wan-Bissaka 85′, Paul Pogba 86′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Maguire returns from injury; Ronaldo, Greenwood, Fernandes and Sancho start against Leicester

Manchester United return to Premier League action, travelling to face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in a traditional 3pm kick off this 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:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Pogba, Matic;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Sancho;

Ronaldo

Substitutes:

Henderson; Bailly, Dalot, Telles; Mata, Lingard, Van de Beek, McTominay; Rashford

Leicester City:

Schmeichel;

Amartey, Soyuncu, Evans;

Pereira, Soumare, Tielemans, Castagne;

Maddison;

Vardy, Iheanacho

Substitutes:

Ward, Bertrand, Barnes, Albrighton, Perez, Choudhury, Vestergaard, Daka, Lookman

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.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Rashford, Ronaldo and Sancho to spearhead United’s attack? Foxes beaten?

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.

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.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Leicester City in the Premier League at the King Power Stadium on Saturday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

United will need to be strong in defence against Leicester as they have the players that could bully the defence and score goals with Jamie Vardy already scoring six times this season and Kelechi Iheanacho scoring three times. However, United’s attack will devastate Leicester if they are not in a position to control the game. Having David De Gea in goal is the best option for United at this time, as he has largely done well in all of the matches he has played so far this season. It is possible that he could be rested in the Champions League on Wednesday evening with Dean Henderson getting a rare start after his fatigue problems after catching coronavirus.

De Gea has turned back the clock on his ability, showing the best of himself in many matches so far this season, and that will need to continue if United are to stand up and be counted as a Premier League title challenger this season. The club finished second last season, and at a point were in the top spot, but Manchester City’s resurgence, mainly their expensive squad of mercenaries led them to the title. United will need to show that kind of determination if they are to achieve anything to be considered success this season – which is evidently possible as they are just two points from the Premier League summit at this time.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw

The defence is going to be much weaker than it can be for the foreseeable future. Harry Maguire has not fully recovered from his calf injury and Raphael Varane suffered a groin injury during the international break, which saw France crowned as the UEFA Nations League winners, beating Spain in the final. Against Leicester, Solskjaer will need to stick with both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw in the fullback positions and test a new partnership in the centre of defence, probably with Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly. The duo have played together many times, but both can be liabilities at times, and this could be one of those times.

Solskjaer has both Phil Jones, who has started his comeback from a serious knee injury and Teden Mengi who could also come into contention to start against the Foxes, but I believe that the Norwegian manager will opt for experience and not rush youth or a player coming back from injury. Jones has played 180 minutes for the U23’s since making his return from injury, so has some minutes under his belt, so you never know, he could be opted ahead of either Lindelof or Bailly. I think this duo is the most likely though and hopefully United will have better luck with Maguire ahead of the Atalanta Champions League match next week?

Midfield: Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek

The midfield will be the problem area of the squad until some kind of strengthening can be done. It has been said during the international break that dropping Fred would be a good thing to happen and it would just so happen that he will not be available, along with Edinson Cavani as they could be playing on Friday evening in South America as Brazil take on Uruguay. With Nemanja Matic the only experience defensive minded midfielder, giving Scott McTominay that role could be beneficial in speeding up play, as long as Fred is not playing with him in a midfield two. Changing this formation and tactical approach could see United play much quicker.

Against Leicester, who have not had a good start to the season, United will need to be sure of their ability and push to win this match as another stuttered performance will not be good as the so-called supporters on Twitter will cause an uproar, if you even take notice of them in the first place. Staring Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek in this formation would be a good test to the strength of the team, possibly bringing Paul Pogba into the fray at some point in the game, to see how that works too. Providing it does, United could solve a problem, albeit temporarily a they look to make more permanent changes in the transfer market or beyond.

Forwards: Jadon Sancho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford

Solskjaer needs to change up his squad and feed them different tactics as the lacklustre style of play, keeping in mind the attacking players United have, is not good enough this season. United should be playing a quickly style of football and dominating with constant attacking, which should be enough for much of their opposition, at least in the Premier League this season. I think that Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the line as the striker, which is his best position these days, but he could operate in any of the three positions seeking to find space for other players. Fresh from scoring a hat-trick for Portugal, he will be up for scoring more Premier League goals.

I think Marcus Rashford will make his return from injury, which is at the right time but he will be a bit rusty, which means it will be better to get him started sooner rather than later. He has been in first team training for a number of weeks now, so he should have enough fitness, even if he has only played in one behind closed doors training match. Jadon Sancho should start on the right-wing, the position he was bought to play in. After his two assists for England during the international break, despite the criticism, I think he will start making his mark in the Premier League, which will come weeks after some kids said he was rubbish live on MUTV.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Phil Jones, Alex Telles; Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic; Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Elanga

United can name nine substitutes on the bench in the Premier League this season, utilising three of those. With the current injuries and unavailable players, Solskjaer will have to think about the players he has available and whether to trust youth or bring Phil Jones back into the fold. Dean Henderson will be the substitute goalkeeper with De Gea keeping his place in the team. In defence, I think having Jones over Teden Mengi would be better based on experience as United will need to win this match. I don’t have much confidence in Lindelof and Bailly, but they have worked well together in the past and need to be determined to try and win back their places.

In midfield, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic could all be called upon if needed. I think Van de Beek will start ahead of Pogba as he will want to show what he can do, which could also get him into the shop window ahead of January, with reports of him wanting to leave the Old Trafford club just over a year after he arrived. In attack, Anthony Martial, who scored his first goal of the season against Everton a fortnight ago, Mason Greenwood, who has been in fine form so far this season and Anthony Elanga, who could be seeking to fight for a place in United’s attack this season should all be available for the Leicester match.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Manchester United to change tactics in order to beat Leicester City?

Leicester City -v- Manchester United

Premier League

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

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Cavani, Rashford, Fernandes and Pogba key to beating Liverpool; Greenwood on the bench

Manchester United face Liverpool in the match that was rescheduled because of the protest against the Glazers which stopped the team leaving the Lowry Hotel in Manchester and also saw supporters enter the Theatre of Dreams when ended up with the match being postponed on safety grounds. Old Trafford now resembles a battle ground with barriers and fences erected to stop the same thing from happening on Thursday evening. United confirmed their place in next seasons UEFA Champions League on Sunday after their 3-1 victory over Aston Villa and will complete their three Premier League matches in five days with this match.

United were beaten 2-1 by Leicester City and if it was not for Caglar Soyuncu’s header in the 66th minute of the match, the club would have struggled to beat United. After the match, Liverpool supporters were moaning about match fixing, despite United using players from their squad list (25 players), which can also include as many U21 players as the manager chooses. You would think that United cost Liverpool UEFA Champions League football next season, when in actual fact, it was Liverpool that did that by becoming one hit wonders and having a very poor season as the Premier League champions, which is now a distant memory.

How United have faired against Liverpool in the Premier League.

United and Liverpool have played 58 times in the history of the Premier League and have a rivalled history. United have won 28 times, drawing 15 and losing 15. The Red Devils have scored a total of 77 goals with Liverpool scoring 63. United have been awarded five penalties, scoring three of them with Liverpool being awarded six and scoring five of them. United have kept 18 clean sheets with Liverpool keeping 15. In terms of discipline, United players have been shown 104 yellow cards with nine red cards whereas Liverpool have been shown 90 yellow cards and seven red cards. More fierce rivalry to be expected this weekend?

Earlier this season, United ground out a fraught 0-0 draw with Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League, knowing that they would face the club just a week later in the Emirates FA Cup at Old Trafford. In that match, United won 3-2 with Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes scoring the goals for United and Mohamed Salah scoring a brace for Liverpool. Last season at Anfield, United lost 2-0 but drew 0-0 at Old Trafford. This weekend, United will be seeking to defeat Liverpool, which might even dent their chances of a top four place this season, with them, at the time of writing, in sixth and four points adrift of Chelsea.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Liverpool in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Thursday evening…

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson

Dean Henderson looks to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s choice for the number one goalkeeper at United heading into the future. Some supporters do not think he will do a good job as they are against change. David De Gea has been calamitous over the past few seasons, but has shown his ability this season, especially against AS Roma in the UEFA Europa League semi-final second lag last week. But changes happen in football and we are powerless to stop it. Henderson is a great goalkeeper but some foreign fans seem to preach xenophobia in an English club having English players, which is part of the ruled and the identity of English football clubs. Henderson has my support moving forward but it will be hard seeing De Gea leave too, if he does.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw

Harry Maguire looks unlikely to play in any of the remaining Premier League matches after his ankle ligament injustice sustained against Aston Villa at the weekend. It is a major blow to United’s defence – even the people that have slated Maguire for the entire season are upset. You just cannot make it up. It is clear that he is the glue that binds this defence together and without him, United are much weaker. Against Liverpool, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw should all be recalled into the team with Axel Tuanzebe keeping his place after his performance against Leicester City, which showed him as the best defender in that defence. Tuanzebe deserves to play more football and his time could be now.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, Fred

No matter what anyone says, Scott McTominay and Fred are Solskjaer’s go-to players for the pivot positions in the centre of midfield. Many will suggest that McTominay is not a player that United need and they he should be sold but he is a player that gives his all. Some fans only want the best midfielders at the club but Manchester United is not a galactic club and should never be that. McTominay has seven goals to his name this season, equaling Anthony Martial’s efforts – who was having a bad season before his knee injury. Fred is a player that could well be replaced in the summer, as he’s not a typical United player and seems clueless at times but in terms of work rate, he gives his all which is good to see. He should be lauded for that.

Attacking Midfield: Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba

This is the area where the majority of the goals are this season. Usually, you will see Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford occupy these positions but as Greenwood played the majority of the match on Tuesday, he should be on the bench for this match. Those three players are responsible for 59 goals and 37 assists so far this season. With Greenwood on the bench, Rashford will move to the right with Paul Pogba filling in on the left, which is where he has played a few times this season. Pogba has six goals and seven assists to his name this season, which is a positive output considering the problems he has had. United should have enough experience and firepower here to cause Liverpool some problems.

Forwards: Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani, fresh from signing his new contract at the club, even if it is just an extra season, will be in full confidence ahead of the Liverpool clash. He played just over 20 minutes in the defeat to Leicester and it was only the second in eight matches that he had not scored. Having scored 15 goals and assisted four times so far this season, he is a player that knows that he’s the best striker at the club and can also create chances and open up ore space for other players to find the back of the net. He is lethal with his headers and will be a tricky player for Liverpool’s back four to contend with. Cavani will be looking forward to facing Liverpool at the Theatre of Dreams just as much as he will to play inside a full stadium, which could happen next season.

Substitutes: David De Gea; Eric Bailly, Alex Telles, Brandon Williams; Juan Mata, Amad Diallo, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek; Mason Greenwood

Solskjaer heavily rotated his squad against Leicester, although it was not a bad team, or a youthful one at that. The fallout from that has been funny to watch with Trevor Sinclair wanting a points deduction but when Manchester City did similar, twice, nothing was said at all. Whatever makes these people relevant, right. David De Gea will be back on the bench, should he be needed. In defence, Eric Bailly, Alex Telles and Brandon Williams will be available. In midfield, Juan Mata, Amad Diallo, Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek will be there, should they be needed and in attack, Mason Greenwood will be the only attacking player on the bench. United have enough firepower, experience and ability to get a rise out of Liverpool. Who will they blame then?

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Greenwood and Diallo combine against Leicester, despite United losing 2-1

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Leicester City in the Premier League. Luke Thomas opened the scoring in the tenth minute of the match with Mason Greenwood equalising five minutes later, assisted by Amad Diallo, who made his Premier League debut alongside Anthony Elanga this evening. Leicester managed to find another goal through Caglar Soyuncu in the 66th minute of the match, which was enough to get them the win, which funnily enough put pressure one Liverpool’s hopes of achieving UEFA Champions League football this season, so it is not all bad.

Despite the ten changes made to the team from the victory over Villa, United started well and many of the younger players were showing good signs of technical ability in the game. That said, Leicester broke forward and opened the scoring in the tenth minute of the match with 19-year-old Luke Thomas scoring his first Premier League goal of the season, assisted by Youri Tielemans. United looked to get straight back into the swing of things though with Mason Greenwood scoring his seventh Premier League goal of the season, assisted by Amad Diallo, which was a good start for the Ivorian. Leicester should not write United off.

It was a pretty fair result that both teams got a goal in the early stages of the match but there was not really many great moments that came after the goals. United, obviously, looked like a team that had not played together before, which was the case for many of the players on the pitch but Leicester did not really show an advantage, which much have been a worry for Brendan Rodgers. Surely a team like Leicester should have been pressuring United a lot more than they did. United had the most possession in the match, having one shot on goal, which was on target and was turned into a goal. Leicester has three shots, one on target – their goal.

At the end of the half, it was 1-1 all between the two sides with Leicester needing to do a lot more to get something from this match. There was still a chance that they could drop out of the UEFA Champions League places in the league, playing 36 matches this season with Liverpool having two games in hand, which would add more pressure, especially if United won this match. The draw would be acceptable for United, who sit seven points clear of Leicester – with a game in hand, in their bid to secure second place in the league this season. Edinson Cavani was warming up at the end of the first half, which was not a good sign for the Foxes.

There were no changes by either side at the start of the second half. Kelechi Iheanacho had a shot on goal, assisted by Marc Albrighton in the first minute of the match but the shot was blocked. Wilfred Ndidi also had a shot but David De Gea made the save. In the 54th minute of the match, Greenwood had a shot after the ball was played in by Alex Telles. However, the shot was blocked. Ndidi had another shot two minutes later, but Leicester would need to try a lot harder to breach the United defence. Axel Tuanzebe was pretty clued up against Iheanacho, which was great to see from the fringe player.

Solskjaer was seeking to change things up after the hour mark of the match with Cavani and Marcus Rashford getting ready to come on. Leicester had tried to pepper the United goal with chances from Iheanacho and Ndidi before any changes were made by Leicester did not seemingly have an advantage. Cavani and Rashford replaced Greenwood and Anthony Elanga in the 66th minute of the match. As soon as the change was made, Leicester took the lead through Caglar Soyuncu, which was a shame. United now needed to get back up to speed in the match, coming from behind for the second time in the game.

It was a shame United were behind again in this match but looking at the players on the pitch, Leicester should really be taking more advantage. This will be something that many journalists will not talk about as United are losing, therefore that is the bigger story. Solskjaer made his final substitution in the 79th minute of the match with Bruno Fernandes replaced Diallo. United had just over ten minutes, plus added time, to find another equaliser and possibly a winner in this match. The fact Leicester were winning was a blow to Liverpool, who could now face a blow in breaking into the Champions League placed this season.

United were trying to get back into the match but the chances they had were not able to change the match. There were three minutes added on at the end of the match and it would seem that Leicester will win this match and Manchester City will be the Premier League champions, needing United to lose to secure that as they could not beat Chelsea at the weekend. I guess that is how the small teams win titles now. United have done well in this match. There was nothing to lose as they have already achieved a top four finish this season. Obviously they would like to finish second, which is still likely.

United will be back in action at 20:15 BST on Thursday 13 May 2021 at Old Trafford as they welcome Liverpool to the Theatre of Dreams following their postponed meeting almost a fortnight ago. United will have three matches left in the Premier League this season and a weekend’s break before they face their penultimate match, again at Old Trafford, this time against already relegated Fulham on Tuesday 18 May 2021 at 18:00 BST. United will hope to be in a position to field weaker teams in the last few matches so they can rest the majority of the players for the UEFA Europa League final which will be played in Gdansk on Wednesday 26 May 2020.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Unable to stop Thomas' effort on goal in the tenth minute. Made a save to deny Iheanacho. The defence were at fault for much of the match, as was expected.

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33 Brandon Williams

Lacked match fitness, but he has not been playing regularly, like he was last season. Seems to play better on the left. Perhaps needs a season on loan.

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3 Eric Bailly

Did well against Vardy, who was largely quiet against United. Bailly needs to do more to become a starter at the club.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Finished a lot better than he started. Dealt with Vardy at times. He was the better defender in this defence. Needs to play more. Has the ability - which will get better the more he plays.

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27 Alex Telles

Was unable to provide the same play as Shaw on the left. Targeted by Leicester at times. United rely on the left-back attacking, which did not happen tonight.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Helped to shield the back four as much as he could. He played an effective game. Soyuncu beat him to the ball to head in the winner though. Good to see him play a full game.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Did not get stuck into the game which indicated he needs to play more. He needs to find his form. It has been a tough season for him. He will get there, eventually.

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16 Amad Diallo

Had a good Premier League debut. Saw Thomas' mistake and jumped on the ball to assist for Greenwood to bet the equaliser. It was good to see him play. He was replaced by Fernandes in the 79th minute.

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8 Juan Mata

Played his part in the match and kept the attacking players together at times. United rarely threatened though, even when Cavani and Rashford were on the pitch - they did improve United though.

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36 Anthony Elanga

Offered pace and energy on his Premier League debut. It perhaps came too early for him. He will build on this performance. It was his first time against a full first team. He was replaced by Rashford in the 66th minute of the match.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Scored his 12th goal of the season, which was great to see. He had some moments on the ball but United were short of ability to push Leicester - who should have scored more against this team. Cavani replaced him in the 66th minute.

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Substitutes

21 Edinson Cavani

Replaced Greenwood 66'. Had presence on the pitch and got forward in the right positions. Sadly could not get another goal this season.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Elanga 66'. Came on as Soyuncu scored the winner. Got forward at times but United were not really threatening the Foxes.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Replaced Diallo 79'. Came on for eleven minutes plus added time. Tried to change the game. It was not meant to be for United.

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Goals: Mason Greenwood 15′; Luke Thomas 10′, Caglar Soyuncu 66′

Assists: Amad Diallo 15′, Youri Tielemans 10′, Marc Albrighton 66′

Manchester United: De Gea; Williams, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles; Matic, Van de Beek; Diallo (Fernandes 79′), Mata, Elanga (Rashford 66′); Greenwood (Cavani 66′)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Lindelof, Shaw, Wan-Bissaka; Pogba, McTominay

Bookings: 

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Elanga and Diallo make Premier League debuts against Leicester

Manchester United continue their tough week in the Premier League by welcoming Leicester City to the Theatre of Dreams this 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.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Williams, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles;

Matic, Van de Beek;

Diallo, Mata, Elanga;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

Henderson; Lindelof, Shaw, Wan-Bissaka; Pogba, Fernandes, McTominay; Cavani, Rashford

Leicester City:

Schmeichel;

Castagne, Fofana, Soyuncu;

Albrighton, Ndidi, Tielemans, Thomas;

Perez;

Iheanacho, Vardy

Substitutes:

Ward; Amartey, Pereira, Fuchs; Maddison, Choudhury, Mendy, Praet, Maswanhise

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.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-3-3] De Gea to captain United? Diallo, Greenwood and Rashford to spearhead attack against Leicester City?

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

Preview: Champions League confirmed with United close to finishing second. Time to beat Leicester City?

Manchester United -v- Leicester City

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Tuesday 11 May 2021, KO 18:00 BST

Referee: Craig Pawson Assistants: Ian Hussin, Richard West

Fourth Official: Mike Dean

VAR: Jonathan Moss Assistant VAR: Marc Perry

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.

Manchester United: WLWDWW

Aston Villa 3-1 W, AS Roma 3-2 L, AS Roma 6-2 W, Leeds United 0-0 D, Burnley 3-1 W, Granada 2-0 W

Leicester City: LDWWWL

Newcastle United 4-2 L, Southampton 1-1 D, Crystal Palace 2-1 W, West Bromwich Albion 3-0 W, Southampton 1-0 W, West Ham United 3-2 L

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood have scored 73 goals between them this season with Leicester City’s whole squad scoring 89 goals this season.

Manchester United Goals: 27 – Bruno Fernandes, 20 – Marcus Rashford, 15 – Edinson Cavani, 11 – Mason Greenwood, 7 – Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, 6 – Paul Pogba, 5 – Own Goal, Daniel James, 2 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Amad Diallo, Fred, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Donny van de Beek

It will be very hard to deny that United have progressed this season. They currently have 70 points in the Premier League this season – four more than last season, and have already qualified for next seasons UEFA Champions League, which was achieved after the final match of the season last season. In the last six matches, United have won four, drawn once and lost once, with the defeat coming against AS Roma last week with United earning a place in the UEFA Europa League final on aggregate. United have scored 16 goals, conceded seven, keeping two clean sheets.

Leicester City Goals: 18 – Kelechi Iheanacho, 15 – Jamie Vardy, 13 – Harvey Barnes, 11 – James Maddison, 8 – Youri Tielemans, 4 – Own Goal, 3 – James Justin, Ayoze Pérez, 2 – Marc Albrighton, Timothy Castagne, Jonny Evans, Dennis Praet, Cengiz Ünder, 1 – Daniel Amartey, Hamza Choudhury, Wilfred Ndidi, Luke Thomas

Leicester are not have a great end to the season.They have not won in the last two matches, losing to Newcastle United and drawing with Southampton, after beating them in the FA Cup semi-final. They weekend they will take on Chelsea for the FA Cup, which could end their season on a high, but they will need to be on top of their game. There is a chance that Brendan Rodgers’ side could miss out on Champions League football against next season with Chelsea leapfrogging them this weekend after they beat Manchester City. Leicester will need to beat United to have a chance of staying in the top four ahead of their last two matches.

Team News: Four players out of action for United with Leicester also likely to miss for players ahead of the Old Trafford clash on Tuesday evening.

Phil Jones (knee), Anthony Martial (knee) and Daniel James (other) have all been ruled out for the foreseeable future, although Martial is back in individual training and could be back in action for the final match of the season, which will give United a boost ahead of the UEFA Europa League final. Harry Maguire (ankle) came off against Aston Villa on Sunday and has already been ruled out of the clash with his former club but there is much hope that his injury is not as bad as it seems, although he will undergo a scan of his ankle on Monday to find out the seriousness of the injury. Hopefully he could be back in action against Liverpool.

Wes Morgan (lower back), Harvey Barnes (knee) and James Justin (knee) have all been ruled out of the visit to Old Trafford to face United for the third time this season. Jonny Evans (ankle/foot) is currently being assessed regarding his injury and has a 50% chance of featuring against his former club. However, it is likely that he too will miss the clash with United. Leicester were dealt a blow in the 4-2 defeat to Newcastle United on Friday evening and now sit fourth in the Premier League with Chelsea leapfrogging them after their victory over Manchester City on Saturday. It is possible that Leicester lose a UEFA Champions League position again.

Predicted Starting XI: Solskjaer will need to rest players against Leicester keeping his side fresh for the Liverpool clash on Thursday.

Solskjaer will need to rest a number of his players ahead of the clash with Liverpool on Thursday evening with United playing three Premier League matches in five days after beating Aston Villa 3-1 on Sunday afternoon. David De Gea should return in goal having faces AS Roma on Thursday evening. Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly and Alex Telles could all start with Aaron Wan-Bissaka keeping his place in defence. In midfield, a three-man midfield of Donny van de Beek, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba, keeping his place from Sunday could help with Amad Diallo, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford linking up as a three-man attack.

Match Prediction: 29 matches played between United and Leicester in the Premier League with United winning 19 times, drawing eight times and losing twice. United looking to avenge FA Cup defeat?

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.

Manchester United 2-1 Leicester City

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW