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Manchester United joined by Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign Leicester City midfielder – reports

French champions Paris Saint-Germain have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, according to reports. The Foxes defensive midfielder is expected to be hot property this summer after another good season in the Premier League playing in Brendan Rodgers side.

It is not the first time that United have been linked to the Nigerian, who is one, if not the, best defensive midfielder in the Premier League. The 23-year-old will have spent two and a half seasons at Leicester when this season, which has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, eventually comes to an end.

During the 2019/20 season, Ndidi has played 29 times for Leicester, playing in the Premier League, the Carabao Cup and the Emirates FA Cup. The Nigerian has scored two goals and one assist, all in the league, playing a total of 2,224 minutes of football. Leicester were third in the league at the time football was suspended, sitting five point clear of Chelsea.

His dominant displays in midfield for Leicester has left to reports suggesting that United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would make a move for the Nigerian at the end of the season. This has also been backed as former United captain, Rio Ferdinand, urged Solskjaer to make a move the Ndidi so the player could add steel to his squad.

However, ESPN has reported that United’s interest in the player will be challenged with PSG now entering the race for the player. The Qatar-backed club who has been known to flaunt the cash is seeking a midfield enforcer this summer, which may give United a battle to win the race for the Nigerian, a player that would help complete this United squad.

The French champions have reported added Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey and Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko as potential targets this summer, should they not be able to sign Ndidi. Leicester have the player secured to a contract until the summer of 2024 after the player signed a new contract in the summer of 2018 – not long after he signed for the club.

Leicester signed £17 million Ndidi from Genk with the agreement coming in December 2016 and the player moving to Leicester as soon as the transfer window opened in January 2017. If they are to be interested in selling the player this summer, especially after United paid £80 million for Harry Maguire, a high fee will need to be paid for Ndidi.

It is reported that £45 million might seal the deal for the player this summer but because of the coronavirus pandemic, the value of players may decrease, however, with four years remaining on his contract, Leicester will hold all the cards. Ndidi recently stated his desire to remain at Leicester, which might be a blow for both United and PSG. He said:

“We are doing well and I am enjoying myself here. I still have a contract with Leicester.

“I am learning and trying to improve myself every day and I am doing okay here so no need to go anywhere.”

Leicester have done well this season but will need more reinforcement to take on the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City in a bid to win the Premier League for the second time in the clubs history. United, sitting in fifth place at the time the league was suspended have even more to do to gain ground on their rivals. Ndidi’s arrival could help them achieve that.

September Review: Mason Greenwood, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka shine in a poor month for Manchester United

Manchester United played five matches in the Premier League, UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup during the month of September.nIt was not a great month for United with just three wins, one of them on penalties, two draws and one defeat. It means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a poor record at the club, winning 14 times, drawing seven and losing seven of the 28 matches he has managed at the club.

United started the month at home in the Premier League against Leicester City after the two-week international break. United won that match 1-0 with Marcus Rashford scoring from the penalty spot. David De Gea kept his second clean sheet of the season. United weathers the Leicester storm and got back to winning ways. A 1-0 victory over FC Astana in the Europa League then followed with Mason Greenwood scoring his first goal.

After back to back wins, United were seeking to break into the top four once again away to West Ham United. It was a poor match for United, who were missing a number of players through injury with the Hammers winning 2-0 – a poor performance all round. A 1-1 draw with Rochdale in the Carabao Cup then followed, which saw United win 5-3 on penalties with Greenwood scoring his second goal for the club.

Some (slight) positivity then followed in the run-up to the Arsenal match at Old Trafford. Both teams have been poor this season but Arsenal were much higher than United in the league table. Scott McTominay opened the scoring but it was not enough for United, who made a defensive error which saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalise. October will need to see massive improvement from United. Solskjaer will know this.

Mason Greenwood – three appearances, 196 minutes, two goals.

The teenager, who turned 18 today (1/10) made three appearances for United in September. He started against FC Astana, scoring the only goal of the game but then suffered from a bout of tonsillitis which meant he missed the away match against West Ham, a 2-0 defeat for United. Greenwood was back in the team to face Rochdale, scoring United’s only goal of the game in a 5-3 penalty victory.

Daniel James – four appearances, 300 minutes, pace and ability.

The Welshman has proven himself as a great signing, a £15 million bargain if you will. Daniel James played four times during September, missing the Europa League match against Astana through injury. He was not able to add to his three-goal tally during the month but showed himself as an injection of pace in the squad which has helped the attack. He started the attack against Arsenal with Scott McTominay scoring.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – three appearances, 270 minutes, composed defending, an extra man on the flanks.

The 21-year-old right-back was a great signing this summer. He has improved United’s defence that much that when he is not playing, he is missed. Aaron Wan-Bissaka played three times for United in September and was missing from the Arsenal draw due to a bout of tonsillitis, which was a shame as he was missed, again. His worth to this United squad is going to be massive in the months to come.

Notable Mentions: Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay, and Marcus Rashford.

September was clearly not a great month for United. However, it does not mean that individual players did not perform. Axel Tuanzebe played four times for United, spending 274 minutes on the pitch, captaining United against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup. He defended well but made a mistake against Arsenal which his teammates failed to deal with. It is a team game after all. Tuanzebe will kick on though and improve.

Scott McTominay made three appearances, missing the Europa League and Carabao Cup matches, although he was on the bench. 270 minutes played and one spectacular goal at Old Trafford against Arsenal will make the player more determined to shine. Marcus Rashford made four appearances, playing 331 minutes of football, scoring one goal, a penalty, assisting another. Not the best performance from the 21-year-old though.

Who is your Player of the Month for September 2019?

A look at what lies ahead in October…

In October, United will play six matches, two of these before the international break, four after. United start the month away to AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Europa League (3/10) and they travel to face Newcastle United in the Premier League (6/10). After the international break, United face Liverpool at Old Trafford (20/10), Partizan Belgrade away (24/10), then away to Norwich City (27/10), ending the month away to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup (TBC 29/10).

What We’ve Learned: De Gea back to his best, defence improving, the midfield has the ability, creativity lacking, goals are lacking

Manchester United beat Leicester City 1-0 at Old Trafford, returning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to winning ways after two draws and one defeat in the three matches before this one. Marcus Rashford was the key to winning this game and giving United three points, putting United into the top four of the Premier League, at least until Sunday afternoon.

United opened the scoring in the eighth minute of the match with Marcus Rashford won a penalty after Caglar Soyuncu made a challenge against the England forward and the referee, Martin Atkinson gave the penalty. Rashford hit his effort low and to the right of Kasper Schmeichel, who went in the wrong direction, putting United in the lead at Old Trafford.

David De Gea made a great save to deny Leicester from an equaliser in the 30th minute of the match after Harry Maguire headed away a James Maddison corner which went straight to Ben Chilwell on the edge of the box, he then chested the ball down and volleyed towards goal for De Gea to tip the effort over the crossbar.

Daniel James was lively throughout the match, even having a shot on goal six minutes into the second half from 25-yards out, however, it was well off target not pressuring Schmeichel. Leicester then started to turn the pressure on which was not ideal thinking about the same happening against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Crystal Palace and Southampton.

David De Gea showing glimpses of the player we all knew the club had in there.

David De Gea has made some mistakes this season, especially during the time his contract talks were being aired in the media, whether it was speculation (lies) or the truth, at the same time, he was making mistakes. However, after the international break. De Gea seems to have found some form, performing a few good saves against Leicester City to deny them.

With rumours over the last few days suggesting that the player has now signed a new contract at the club, this could be why he’s found the form, seemingly settled that he will remain at the club for as long as they want him, digging deep to get United out of the rut they were in and back in the direction of a better season, which is a step in the right direction.

De Gea has kept two clean sheets at Old Trafford this season, out of the two matches played at the Theatre of Dreams in the Premier League, which incidentally, is the same number of home clean sheets he had in the Premier League last season, with 19 matches being played. Onwards and upwards for United this season. The right direction is ahead now.

The defence has improved this season but there is still a long way to go before the fortress is back.

Despite injuries leaving positions at bare bones and the fact that Aaron Wan-Bissaka was not fully fit to face Leicester on Saturday, the defence is improving this season. If you look at the five matches played, United have kept clean sheets twice in matches they would have conceded goals in last season. Harry Maguire and Wan-Bissaka are two reasons for this.

Against Leicester, Maguire’s former club, the England defender won 100% of his tackles, won seven out of ten duels, won five out of six aerial duels, having an 83% pass completion. The calmness under pressure and the leadership of Maguire have really helped United move forward this season, which is great to see. More is needed, of course.

United really need to work on avoiding injuries. Having Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot out at the same time is problematic as there are no other fullbacks at the club other than Wan-Bissaka and Ashley Young, who have first team experience. Brandon Williams and Ethan Laird, if fit, could make the step up, but will be a gamble. A gamble which could pay off.

The midfield has the ability to shine with Scott McTominay getting stuck in and Fred showing signs of improvement against Leicester City.

Scott McTominay should hold his head up high after his performance against Leicester on Saturday afternoon. He has been the victim of a lot of abuse from the social media faction of the fan base, most of it unwarranted – all because he’s not a big name in the game. A player that they can rep on Twitter and get all the W’s.

McTominay was also praised by Solskjaer after his performance, talking about sticking up for his team and his teammates. The Norwegian said; “If teams are trying to intimidate us, he [McTominay] is there. He is a leader.” That says a lot about the player and just how hard he works, also the fact that he’s not scared to get involved if something is not right.

I was also impressed with Fred and the fact the midfield has more dimension when you can see how well he can adapt. Yes, it was his first appearance of the season but you can see he put the effort in. Winning the ball and playing it towards Andreas Pereira showed good vision. Perhaps, with Fred seemingly playing well, the formation could change?

Creativity is still an issue that needs to be resolved, as does the formation, which is not getting the best out of the players.

United still seem to lack the ability to create goals. Against Leicester, the only goal scored from form the penalty spot. Despite the likes of Daniel James and Harry Maguire having chances to score, there was little creativity in the team. Juan Mata is a good player but playing high pressing football is going to leave him chasing the game.

Solskjaer has Angel Gomes, who has been playing some good football at U23 level when he has played this season, also putting in some good performances during the pre-season tour of the summer, specifically, playing well against AC Milan in Cardiff, a game that United won in a penalty shootout. Gomes has not been tested in the first team this season.

United will face FC Astana in the UEFA Europa League at Old Trafford on Thursday and perhaps, with a trip to West Ham United on the horizon in the Premier League next Sunday, giving Gomes a shot against the Kazakhstani side would be a good thing for his development and for the club, seeing that a major problem could be solved with Gomes playing.

Goals are lacking but also something needed in order to win matches. It will only get tougher this season.

Now, I will state the obvious here. Football is about winning and to win goals need to be scored. United have scored just eight goals this season in the five matches they have played. Half of those were scored in one match, the 4-0 victory over Chelsea at the start of the season. This is clearly not enough goals from a club that has scored for fun in the past.

United has scored once against Wolverhampton Wanderers, a 1-1 draw. Once against Crystal Palace, a 2-1 defeat, once against Southampton, a 1-1 draw and now once against Leicester City, a 1-0 victory. That one goal was enough in the latest match but it will not be enough in future matches. United did well against Leicester’s onslaught, it may not work all the time.

Obviously, having Anthony Martial on the sidelines through injury, also losing Paul Pogba, and Jesse Lingard, who to be fair have not created many goals this season, but have in the past. I would have liked to see youth given a fair crack of the whip from the start today but United also needed to win. That pressure will be different on Thursday.

Solskjaer will have to get used to his squad playing twice a week for the foreseeable future with United facing FC Astana in the Europa League, kicking off a 20:00 BST on Thursday at Old Trafford, from there, they will travel to London to face West Ham United at 14:00 BST on Sunday at the London Stadium. The Carabao Cup sees fixtures coming thick and fast.

Ratings: United beat Leicester through Rashford penalty; De Gea, Maguire or McTominay the Man of the Match contenders

Manchester United beat Leicester City 1-0 at Old Trafford, returning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to winning ways after two draws and one defeat in the three matches before this one. Marcus Rashford was the key to winning this game and giving United three points, putting United into the top four of the Premier League, at least until Sunday afternoon.

United opened the scoring in the eighth minute of the match with Marcus Rashford won a penalty after Caglar Soyuncu made a challenge against the England forward and the referee, Martin Atkinson gave the penalty. Rashford hit his effort low and to the right of Kasper Schmeichel, who went in the wrong direction, putting United in the lead at Old Trafford.

David De Gea made a great save to deny Leicester from an equaliser in the 30th minute of the match after Harry Maguire headed away a James Maddison corner which went straight to Ben Chilwell on the edge of the box, he then chested the ball down and volleyed towards goal for De Gea to tip the effort over the crossbar.

Daniel James was lively throughout the match, even having a shot on goal six minutes into the second half from 25-yards out, however, it was well off target not pressuring Schmeichel. Leicester then started to turn the pressure on which was not ideal thinking about the same happening against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Crystal Palace and Southampton.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper who is rumoured to have signed a new contract with the club kept his team in the game in the first half after denying Leicester City from getting back into the game. De Gea kept his resolve and despite this not being a thrilling victory for United, it was a victory.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back did not look at his best, presumably not fully fit to start but put himself forward to help his team through an injury crisis. In defence though, the 21-year-old did everything he needed to, as would have been expected.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Ice Man made a mistake which James Maddison could have capitalised on in the first half but recovered well as the game grew on, which was good to see. The clean sheet and a return to winning ways could be enough to return his confidence, which seemed to slip recently.

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5 Harry Maguire

The £80 million man was not at the top of his game against his former club with some mistakes which would have tested the Old Trafford crowd a little. However, he overcame that and even had a headed effort on goal, which his former teammate stopped from putting United 2-0, which would have been great, in my opinion. He also produced some last-ditch challenges, which helped United limp to the finish line, taking all three points in this match.

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Ratings: United beat Leicester through Rashford penalty; De Gea, Maguire or McTominay the Man of the Match contenders

The club captain had a strong start in the game, despite some of distribution being somewhat questionable. However, his best moment in the game was finding Daniel James with a great pass. Young then started to go off the boil. Solskjaer had not availability to take him off, if that was ever a plan.

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31 Nemanja Matic

I was not all that enthused to see the Serbian starting against Leicester. I would have preferred to see a more attack minded player, such as Angel Gomes. Matic did enough to keep United ahead from their earlier penalty.

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39 Scott McTominay

For me, McTominay was United’s best player on the pitch today, with De Gea coming a close second. The Scotland international fought for every ball and put himself on the line a few times. For those who criticise him, I do wonder what it is they actually see, or how they perceive or understand the situations they can see?

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15 Andreas Pereira

The Belgian-born Brazilian started in the right-wing position but was also having to take on defensive duties, presumably because Wan-Bissaka was not 100% fit for this match. He impressed me with the energy he put into the game but could have perhaps read the game better, especially when Fred found him after recovering the ball - he could have scored United’s second goal.

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8 Juan Mata

The Spanish midfielder lacks pace but has a great mind to read the game. I though he did well, at times, and could have scored a goal himself. Having Angel Gomes on the pitch also could have been a masterstroke for Solskjaer though.

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Ratings: United beat Leicester through Rashford penalty; De Gea, Maguire or McTominay the Man of the Match contenders

The Welshman did not match Solskjaer’s record of scoring in his first three matches at Old Trafford. Not to worry though, he continued his development and did not disappoint in his fifth appearance for the club. He had chances to change the game, firing one shot over the crossbar, somewhat narrowly, and pressured the opposition consistently, which was great to see. To hear the crowd sing; “James, James will tear you part again” was great too. Something he should be proud of.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Won a penalty in the eighth minute of the match and took that penalty, beating Kasper Schmeichel, who was sent in the wrong direction. Rashford hardly had much involvement in the game other than scoring the penalty, however, in the last six minutes to the match, he took a free-kick which struck the crossbar, denying United from opening a two-goal cushion.

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Substitutes

17 Fred

Replaced Matic 67’. Despite this being his first appearance of the season, the Brazilian showed some quality both on an off the ball. At one point, he recovered the ball on the right, ran into the box and tried to play the ball to Pereira, who just missed receiving it. Fred should be starting more often and perhaps, with him off the mark now in terms of appearances, a switch to a better formation might be on the cards. 4-3-3 anyone?

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44 Tahith Chong

Replaced Mata 70’. I was glad to see some talented youth players given a chance. He had a spark and a drive about him which was not present in the game at the time he came on. Got forward a lot of the time and chased the ball the majority of the time. Got the better of Ricardo Pereira a few times, which was good to see and will build his confidence. Needs more time in the first team. A start on Thursday?

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Replaced James 90+1. The young defender came on in stoppage time and had minutes to get involved in the game. It was not enough time for him to get much involvement but I can see what he was afforded the time. His first competitive appearance this season. More to come from him in the next few weeks and months?

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Goals: Marcus Rashford 8′ (penalty)

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; Matic (Fred 67′), McTominay; Pereira, Mata (Chong 70′), James (Tuanzebe 90+1′); Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Jones; Gomes; Greenwood

Bookings: Daniel James 84′; James Maddison 75′, Ben Chilwell 90+5′

Confirmed Starting XI: Wan-Bissaka fit to start; Gomes, Greenwood and Chong on the bench against Leicester City

Manchester United welcome Leicester City to Old Trafford this afternoon in their fifth Premier League match of the season. After a great start at home resulting in Chelsea being beaten 4-0, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has been poor since, drawing with Wolverhampton Wanderers, losing to Crystal Palace and drawing with Southampton.

Brendan Rodgers’ team will be looking for their first victory over United at Old Trafford in more than 21 years with their last victory at the Theatre of Dreams in January 1998. Leicester have had a good start to the season, currently sitting in third place in the league, with United sitting in eighth after three poor results.

September sees United’s number of matches increase with the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup set to start with United facing FC Astana (19/9) and Rochdale (25/9) respectively this month. In order to get back to winning ways, turning the season around, Solskjaer will need to find the answers to the problem he faces; getting the best out of his team.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young;

Matic, McTominay;

Pereira, Mata, James;

Rashford

Substitutes:

Romero; Jones, Tuanzebe; Fred, Gomes; Greenwood, Chong

Leicester City:

Schmeichel;

Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell;

Ndidi;

Gray, Tielemans, Choudhury, Maddison;

Vardy

Substitutes:

Ward; Justin, Morgan; Albrighton, Praet; Barnes, Perez

United has played Leicester 128 times with United winning 66 matches, drawing 29 and losing 33 times. Leicester last defeated United on the 21 September 2014 in the Premier League, winning 5-3 at the King Power Stadium. In the last 10 meetings, United are undefeated, winning seven times, drawing three times. This time though it could be a tough match.

Key Players and Battles: Harry Maguire, Angel Gomes and Daniel James to lead the battles against Leicester City

Manchester United welcome Leicester City to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon in their fifth Premier League match of the season. After a great start at home resulting in Chelsea being beaten 4-0, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has been poor since, drawing with Wolverhampton Wanderers, losing to Crystal Palace and drawing with Southampton.

Brendan Rodgers’ team will be looking for their first victory over United at Old Trafford in more than 21 years with their last victory at the Theatre of Dreams in January 1998. Leicester have had a good start to the season, currently sitting in third place in the league, with United sitting in eighth after three poor results.

September sees United’s number of matches increase with the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup set to start with United facing FC Astana (19/9) and Rochdale (25/9) respectively this month. In order to get back to winning ways, turning the season around, Solskjaer will need to find the answers to the problem he faces; getting the best out of his team.

United has played Leicester 128 times with United winning 66 matches, drawing 29 and losing 33 times. Leicester last defeated United on the 21 September 2014 in the Premier League, winning 5-3 at the King Power Stadium. In the last 10 meetings, United are undefeated, winning seven times, drawing three times. This time though it could be a tough match.

Key Players: Both United and Leicester have many key players to get the job done. However, Leicester have the advantage here based on the fact they are ahead of the game in terms of player development.

Manchester United: David De Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba, Angel Gomes, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Daniel James, Anthony Martial

Leicester City: Kasper Schmeichel, Jonny Evans, Ben Chilwell, Wilfred Ndidi, Marc Albrighton, Youri Tielemans, James Maddison, Hamza Choudhury, Demarai Gray, Jamie Vardy

Key Battles: Harry Maguire v Jamie Vardy, Angel Gomes v Wilfred Ndidi, and Daniel James v Jonny Evans.

Key Battle One: Harry Maguire v Jamie Vardy

The £80 million former Leicester City defender will have a good insight on his opposition ahead of the clash at Old Trafford on Saturday. Maguire has had some clumsy moments for United, another for England during the international break but he will be seeking a return to the best of his abilities ahead of this game. He will have to deal with a tricky striker that goes by the name of Jamie Vardy.

Vardy has scored 110 goals in 274 appearances for Leicester since the 2012/13 season, averaging two goals in five matches, which is a good return for a striker. This season, Vardy has scored three goals in four appearances in the Premier League, showing that he is in the kind of form to grab a goal against United. Maguire will need to get the better of his former teammate.

Key Battle Two: Angel Gomes v Wilfred Ndidi

Angel Gomes has not yet played a minute of competitive football this season, nor has he been included in the match day squad for any of the four matches played so far this season. With the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup commencing this month, that will need to change if he is to get some development in at the club. He is a quick and creative midfielder, who plays in an advanced role.

One Leicester player that could stand in his way is Wilfred Ndidi, the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League based on his statistics last season. Gomes would need to be on top of his game if he was to win this battle but it would be a good experience for him also. He does need to play in order to develop. The few minutes he has played for the first team, at least competitively, it not enough for him to develop his game.

Key Battle Three: Daniel James v Jonny Evans

Daniel James is close to matching a record set by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 23 years ago – scoring a goal in each of his three appearances at Old Trafford. The Welshman has scored twice, one against Chelsea, the other against Crystal Palace in both matches played at the Theatre of Dreams. To score again this weekend would make Solskjaer proud and the Old Trafford faithful will roar his name once again showing how good his signing was.

Former United defender Jonny Evans could perhaps stand in his way of the limelight. In each of his goals scored, including the one for Wales during the international break, James cut in from his position, most of the time from the left. Avoiding the right-back, Evans would be the man to stop him from scoring. The Welshman could match that record after all. For £15 million, potentially rising to £18 million, he’s a bargain.

Manchester United to switch to a ​4-3-3 formation against Leicester City with Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood starting?

Manchester United welcome Leicester City to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon in their fifth Premier League match of the season. After a great start at home resulting in Chelsea being beaten 4-0, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has been poor since, drawing with Wolverhampton Wanderers, losing to Crystal Palace and drawing with Southampton.

Brendan Rodgers’ team will be looking for their first victory over United at Old Trafford in more than 21 years with their last victory at the Theatre of Dreams in January 1998. Leicester have had a good start to the season, currently sitting in third place in the league, with United sitting in eighth after three poor results.

September sees United’s number of matches increase with the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup set to start with United facing FC Astana (19/9) and Rochdale (25/9) respectively this month. In order to get back to winning ways, turning the season around, Solskjaer will need to find the answers to the problem he faces; getting the best out of his team.

United has played Leicester 128 times with United winning 66 matches, drawing 29 and losing 33 times. Leicester last defeated United on the 21 September 2014 in the Premier League, winning 5-3 at the King Power Stadium. In the last 10 meetings, United are undefeated, winning seven times, drawing three times. This time though it could be a tough match.

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper is once again linked to signing a new contract at United, also with Juventus in the media linked to signing the player as a free agent, which could well be something that affects his form with mistakes being made this season already. In order to solve this, the player needs to decide whether he wants to stay or move on.

From there, things can work themselves out. More mistakes and the more of a liability De Gea will become. Sergio Romero will be waiting in the wings. De Gea has been great for United but over the past six years, the club has stagnated. It could all change if Solskjaer is given the time to create something, which has started to show, which could see the player remain at the club and fight to win league titles and more in the future.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United’s defence has had some investment this summer and there is no doubting that after time, it will work out for United. However, the defence has conceded some poor goals already this season and they have not yet taken on the might of Manchester City and Liverpool. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has a 75% chance of playing this weekend and it is suggested that Luke Shaw is ready to return.

Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire will keep their places with rotation expected this month with the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup commencing for United. These extra matches, with United playing twice each week, could see Axel Tuanzebe and even Brandon Williams both given chances in the first team, which would be great to see.

Midfield Three: Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Angel Gomes

The midfield has not been at its best when playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Switching to the 4-3-3 formation might give some extra help in this area rather than putting more players in advanced roles. There has been a lack of creativity also. Paul Pogba has not been in form and does not seem happy. He may need to deal with his unhappiness himself though.

If fit, he has a 75% chance of playing, he should play on the left of midfield and Angel Gomes on the right and Scott McTominay playing in the centre, also becoming the defensive-minded midfielder. Between Gomes and Pogba, creativity should be flowing. If, however, Pogba does not perform, he should not play until he’s going to give his all for this club.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Daniel James

There is plenty of pace in United attack this season. However, there is not a lot of experience either. Marcus Rashford has gone off the boil once again and he needs to find his form. Benching him will also give him a rest ahead of the rest of the money. Anthony Martial, if fit, should lead the line with Daniel James on the left and Mason Greenwood on the right. This could be a devastating forward line if given the chance.

However, I fully expect James to be switched to the right with Rashford starting on the left, which in my opinion, is a waste of James’ ability, who is much better on the left. It’s the position he has scored from, even for Wales this week. United don’t have a right-winger, which is why Greenwood could play here as he likes to cut into the centre of the pitch and has the pace to succeed in this role.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Ashley Young, Axel Tuanzebe; Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Nemanja Matic; Marcus Rashford

The bench is important for United as there could be players here that could win the game or come on to defend the lead, which could be the difference between United winning all three points, taking one, or even none. Having a mixture of youth an experience would be good here. I would like to see Brandon Williams and James Garner involved, which could happen this month.

For now, though, the usual suspects could be on the bench. Solskjaer will need to find the balance in his team and the players to come off the bench and perform when they are needed. He does make some changes too late in the game for my liking though. In order to give players enough time to get stuck in, substitutions may need to come much earlier in the game.

Preview: Daniel James looking to match scoring record as Manchester United must beat Leicester City

Manchester United -v- Leicester City

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 14 September 2019, KO 15:00 BST

Referee: Martin Atkinson Assistants: Lee Betts; Constantine Hatzidakis Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett

VAR: Stuart Attwell Assistant VAR: Peter Kirkup

Manchester United welcome Leicester City to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon in their fifth Premier League match of the season. After a great start at home resulting in Chelsea being beaten 4-0, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have been poor since, drawing with Wolverhampton Wanderers, losing to Crystal Palace and drawing with Southampton.

Brendan Rodgers’ team will be looking for their first victory over United at Old Trafford in more than 21 years with their last victory at the Theatre of Dreams in January 1998. Leicester have had a good start to the season, currently sitting in third place in the league, with United sitting in eighth after three poor results.

September sees United’s number of matches increase with the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup set to start with United facing FC Astana (19/9) and Rochdale (25/9) respectively this month. In order to get back to winning ways, turning the season around, Solskjaer will need to find the answers to the problem he faces; getting the best out of his team.

Form: Leicester in better form than United with three wins and two draws this season (competitively) so far. United need to return to winning ways.

Manchester United: DLDWWW (* denotes friendly)

Southampton 1-1 D, Crystal Palace 2-1 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 D, Chelsea 4-0 W, AC Milan 2-2 (5-4 on penalties) W*, Kristiansund 1-0 W*

Leicester City: WWWDDW (* denotes friendly)

Bournemouth 3-1 W, Newcastle United 1-1 (4-2) W, Sheffield United 2-1 W, Chelsea 1-1 D, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 D, Atalanta 2-1 W*

Top Scorers: Daniel James aiming to match a record set by his manager 23 years ago with three goals in three appearances at Old Trafford?

Manchester United: Solskjaer’s side has scored seven goals in four competitive matches this season, which is problematic considering they have not won a match since the 4-0 victory over Chelsea on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Goals: 3 – Daniel James, 2 – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford

Assists: 2 – Paul Pogba, 1 – Andreas Pereira, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay

Daniel James has scored three times this season, twice at Old Trafford. If he scores against Leicester on Saturday, he will become the first player since Solskjaer himself to score in his first three appearances at the Theatre of Dreams, a feat the Norwegian achieved 23 years ago.

Leicester City: Rodgers’ side has scored as many goals as United this season but has three more points on the board after winning twice and drawing twice so far this season. They will be a threat to Solskjaer’s side with United still trying to find their form which was masked after Chelsea victory at the start of the season.

Goals: 3 – Jamie Vardy, 1 – Harvey Barnes, James Maddison, Wilfred Ndidi, Youri Tielemans

Assists: 2 – James Maddison, 1 – Ben Chilwell, Caglar Soyuncu, Jamie Vardy, Youri Tielemans

Leicester have some very good players in their squad this season, which could be something that puts them ahead of United, at the present time anyway. This will be a tricky match for United and the fact that Leicester have not won at Old Trafford since 1998 could see another record broken.

Team News: Solskjaer sweating on the return of five injured or ill players ahead of the Leicester match; youth should see more involvement in this team with creativity still a major problem.

Solskjaer will be sweating on the fitness of at least five of his players ahead of this match against Leicester. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard (illness) and Anthony Martial all have a 75% chance of facing Rodgers’ side on Saturday. Luke Shaw has been on the sidelines also but there is a suggestion that he could be fit and ready to play.

Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah will be out of action for this match which may see some of the clubs talented youth players drafted into the first team with Mason Greenwood now a regular, at least from the bench, with Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong looking to further their development into the first team.

Rodgers is expected to be without three players; Wes Morgan who has a back injury, Matthew James, and Daniel Amartey who are both long-term absentees from the Leicester squad this season. Leicester will be heading to United full of confidence after their start to the season and Marc Albrighton feels his side could scalp United.

Predicted Starting XI: A formation change with Marcus Rashford starting on the bench, if Anthony Martial is fit to start with the likes of Mason Greenwood and Angel Gomes included from the start?

Solskjaer needs to find a way that his team can succeed. This season, 16 players have been used with some talented youth players not getting a look in. This will need to change or the team will continue to stagnate. Giving Rashford a rest and starting both Gomes and Greenwood could see United change matches, which is what they need to be doing.

Match Prediction: United have history on their side against Leicester but these things are not certain. In order to win, Solskjaer team will need to be much better than their opposition – are they though?

United has played Leicester 128 times with United winning 66 matches, drawing 29 and losing 33 times. Leicester last defeated United on the 21 September 2014 in the Premier League, winning 5-3 at the King Power Stadium. In the last 10 meetings, United are undefeated, winning seven times, drawing three times. This time though it could be a tough match.

Manchester United 1-1 Leicester City

Back to Old Trafford, back to reality for Manchester United

With the International Break done and dusted, Manchester United return to Premier League action this weekend, welcoming Leicester City to Old Trafford. The former champions find themselves third in the table and are also one of three sides who are unbeaten in the league. Let’s take a look at how both squads shape up for the clash, by seeing how their players have fared over the break.

Manchester United

Starting close to home, four of United’s players were selected to represent England in qualifying matches for next summer’s European Championships. Aaron Wan-Bissaka received a maiden call-up but was forced to drop out on account of a back injury. That was particularly unfortunate for the Croydon-born right-back, who would’ve no doubt been eager to make his England debut, after impressing over the last 18 months and earning the move to Old Trafford.

Jesse Lingard was also selected but later dropped out due to illness. The two who were able to play were Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford, who both started and the played the full 90 in the first match against Bulgaria. Rashford won a penalty and switched from playing on the wing to playing up front for the last 15 minutes or so as England swept Bulgaria aside 4-0.

Maguire had the honour of briefly captaining the side for these minutes and preserved their clean sheet. Their next game proved to be one of the most entertaining of the break, as they beat a spirited Kosovo side 5-3, with Maguire playing from start to finish and conceding a contentious penalty, while Rashford emerged as a substitute for the last few minutes.

Further afield, David de Gea has seemingly lost his place as Spain’s first-choice goalkeeper, this after a dramatic loss of form over the last few months. The 28-year-old, who is reportedly on the verge of signing a contract extension with United, did not play against Romania in Spain’s first UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier of the break. He returned to the starting line-up to keep a clean sheet against the Faroe Islands, in a 4-0 win for La Roja.

In the same qualification group, Victor Lindelöf scored his third goal for Sweden when they defeated the Faroe Islands 4-0. They were then held to a 1-1 draw at home to fellow Scandinavians Norway, which prompted United’s centre-back to criticise his own performance. In all honesty, he has not been at his best this season and will be looking to bounce back after playing 180 minutes with his nation.

Scott McTominay featured heavily for Scotland over the past week, starting both of their qualifying matches. They were beaten 2-1 by Russia, before suffering a hammering at the hands of Belgium, losing 4-0. In that game, United’s towering centre-midfielder picked up a booking that will see him miss the Scots next encounter, away against Russia during the next International Break, in around a month’s time. He played a total of around 170 minutes.

August’s Player of the Month, Daniel James, started both of Wales’ games this past week. He played the full 90 minutes as Wales picked up three points in their qualification group with a late 2-1 victory over Azerbaijan. The speedy winger then started and scored the winner in their friendly against Belarus, before being given a rest, early in the second half. This goal was particularly pleasing for United supporters, who noted that James has scored three strikingly similar goals coming off the left flank already this season.

Frenchmen Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial were unable to play a part in their country’s games during the break, owing to injury. Pogba was initially selected for Les Bleus but was forced to drop out, as he suffered an ankle injury late on in United’s last game away at Southampton. Martial missed out on selection and that game, owing to a thigh injury suffered during United’s defeat to Crystal Palace the week prior.

Outside manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s preferred players so far this season, Marcos Rojo returned to action with Argentina after not taking the field in their friendly against rivals Chile. He started and completed 90 minutes in their next match against Mexico. The tough-tackling defender picked a customary yellow card in this match, as La Albiceleste ran out 4-0 winners. He seems likely to leave United sometime soon, either in January or next summer.

Experienced midfielder Nemanja Matić featured in both of Serbia’s games this past week, starting and playing the full 90 as they were defeated 4-2, by reigning European and Nations League champions Portugal. He dropped to the bench for their second qualifying fixture against Luxembourg but emerged to see out the final 10 minutes or so of their 3-1 victory. At youth level, Mason Greenwood made his debut for England’s under-21 side, remarkably at just 17.

He appeared twice as a substitute in their qualifiers for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, with the next edition set to take place in June 2021. His maiden appearance came against the Turkish under-21 side, as England fought back late on to win 3-2. Greenwood followed this up with a more lengthy appearance against the Kosovo under-21 team, playing the last half-hour as England won 2-0. Angel Gomes and Brandon Williams were involved with the England under-20 squad in their U20 Elite League fixtures.

Williams started both games at left-back, while Gomes started the first game against the Dutch under-20s and dropped to the bench for the second match, against the Swiss under-20 side. They were not defeated, drawing the first game goalless, before claiming a late 1-0 win in the second. Winger Tahith Chong received a call-up to the Netherlands under-21 squad to face their counterparts from Cyprus in their only qualifying fixture during the break.

He stepped off the bench for the last 20 minutes as they emphatically won the match 5-1. United’s academy also had reason to celebrate this past week. Reserve team midfielder Ethan Galbraith made his senior debut for Northern Ireland, albeit in a friendly against Luxembourg. On-loan goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara meanwhile, made his senior debut for the Republic of Ireland, in their friendly against Bulgaria.

Leicester City

Kasper Schmeichel kept two clean sheets, although Denmark were held to a surprise goalless draw against Georgia in their qualifying group. The Danes had thumped Gibraltar 6-0 in their earlier fixture. Ben Chilwell sat out England’s match against Bulgaria but returned from injury to start in the eight-goal thriller against Kosovo. Former United defender Jonny Evans meanwhile, also featured for 90 minutes for Northern Ireland, as they were defeated 2-0 by Germany in their qualifying fixture.

He sat out the earlier friendly against Luxembourg. Impressive defender Çağlar Söyüncü played the full 90 in one of Turkey’s qualifying fixtures over the break, picking up a booking but also keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win against minnows Andorra. Talented midfield players Youri Tielemans, Dennis Praet and James Maddison were all selected to represent their nations. Tielemans started both of Belgium’s games, the 4-0 thrashing of Scotland, which preceded a victory over San Marino by the same score-line.

Compatriot Praet made a substitute appearance in the San Marino game. Maddison was unable to make his international debut, as he remained on the bench for both England’s games over the past week. Leicester’s Nigerian internationals, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho did not feature in the Super Eagles’ recent fixture, a 2-2 draw against Ukraine. Regular defensive midfielder Ndidi was not called up, while deputy striker Iheanacho was selected but did not take the field.

Manchester United vs Leicester City

United were victorious in both league fixtures against the Foxes last season. They kicked off 2018/19 with a 2-1 win over Leicester at Old Trafford, with Pogba and Luke Shaw scoring for the Red Devils and Jamie Vardy getting a late consolation for the visitors. This match, of course, came to a short while after players on both sides progressed to the latter stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The return fixture at the King Power Stadium yielded a 1-0 win for United, courtesy of an early goal from Rashford. This particular fixture is likely to be more difficult for United on this occasion. Leicester’s key players have been in good form of late, and many of them have been able to get some rest over the International Break.

Vardy in particular, is in good formhas a decent record against United and the other clubs in the top six and has been able to recharge his batteries over the break. This fixture will also be the first time Harry Maguire faces one of his former sides since his world-record move to United, the next being in November when the Red Devils travel to face Sheffield United, the English centre-back’s boyhood club.

As strange as it may seem, United manager Solskjaer is probably a little envious of some of the players his opposite number, Brendan Rodgers will have at his disposal this weekend. Tielemans, Maddison, Ndidi and Chilwell are, among others, a few players who would be in and around United’s current preferred starting XI.

Solskjaer will no doubt be keeping an eye on them and he will have also warned his players of the qualities of these players and the dangers they will bring.

In Closing

Without a doubt, United need to get back to winning ways as soon as possible. Their league fixtures this month will each be a challenge, but claiming victory in one of the more difficult matches will only boost their confidence that much more. The first game after the International Break is never easy and it will be the same for Leicester, of course.

The Foxes, however, will be relishing playing United, particularly at this point in time. United’s performances prior to the break were error-strewn and they will be facing a high-flying side, with less preparation time than for any of their previous league fixtures. Nevertheless, they need to get back on track.

Written by Shiven Nayager

copyright: JW