Match Preview: Manchester United vs Leicester City

Match Preview

Manchester United host Leicester City as they gear up for their third league game of the season.

Manchester United come into the match on the back of an exhilarating 4-0 demolition of Swansea City. They currently sit top of the pile, with a staggering goal difference of +8 after just two games played. They’re on a roll after two 4-0 wins in succession, and they’ll be out to condemn the Foxes to a defeat similar to the 4-1 loss they tasted at Old Trafford, which gave Mourinho’s men a bit of breathing space after pressure was piled upon them with two consecutive league defeats.

Manchester United will be without Marcos Rojo, who resumed ball training on Wednesday after returning from a knee injury suffered at the end of last season. Luke Shaw and Ashley Young, however, are now fit enough to be in contention for the game, having recently played an hour each in the U23s match against Swansea this week. Despite their fitness, they would require a lot of time to force their way through to the starting 11, with Mourinho currently with a plethora of options in each position. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has re-joined the club on a one-year contract, will resume ball training this week and as per reports, has personally targeted October’s game against Tottenham to be the one in which he makes his return to first-team action.

Mourinho is likely to field almost an identical eleven to the one that started at Swansea, with Valencia, Bailly, Jones and Blind expected to retain their positions. Herrera could make a return to the line-up and replace Mata, particularly because Leicester have more combative midfields than both Swansea and West Ham, but on current form, it is difficult to see Mata or Mkhitaryan being dropped. Further up front, things could look very much the same except that Martial is expected to replace Rashford in the starting line-up.

Things look a little instable on the other side, as Leicester have had to deal with rumours of some important players leaving the club. Danny Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy are being linked to moves to Chelsea, while Mahrez has been aiming for a move away from the all summer. They kick started their campaign last week with a 2-0 victory over Brighton, having lost 4-3 to Arsenal on the opening day of the season. They will be confident coming into the match as they defeated Sheffield United 4-1 in the EFL Cup on Tuesday. They’ll be without Robert Huth and Wes Morgan, last season’s centre-back duo who’re out with knee and back injury, respectively. Danny Drinkwater is said to be unavailable through thigh problems, but it is unclear if it’s just a ploy as he edges closer to the exit door. Kelechi Iheanacho and Vicente Iborra are also out with injuries, so it looks probable that Ulloa, who has just renewed his contract, will come off the bench and play a significant role. Vardy and Maguire are expected to be fit enough to start, having suffered minor injury scares this week.

This will without doubt be United’s sternest test this season, and Vardy and co. could be tricky opponents to deal with. However, considering the form and the high spirits surrounding Mourinho’s men, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll drop points against Shakespeare’s side. But that doesn’t mean that Leicester stand no chance. They’re the most dangerous as underdogs, and their title winning season is enough evidence in support of this fact. This’ll be no doubt an exciting and fun to watch fixture, and could be the highlight of match week 3, which precedes a fortnight long international break.

I can see Mourinho’s men winning by a margin of at least two goals, and I’ll put my money on a 3-1 home victory.