The Foxes haven’t hit the heights of last season’s form yet, but will still provide a stern test for Jose Mourinho’s men, who have lost their last two league games.
Northampton win unlikely to affect Mourinho’s plans
The Red Devils did, however, progress in the EFL Cup during the week against Northampton Town, while Leicester were knocked out by Mourinho’s former side, Chelsea. The question is, how many of United’s second string can keep their place for this weekend’s game?
David de Gea, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly and Paul Pogba should all return to the side after they were rested in midweek, and Luke Shaw will return at left-back provided that he has recovered from the injury he suffered against Watford last week.
Chris Smalling is likely to keep Daley Blind out of the side as Bailly’s centre-back partner, as Mourinho would have been unimpressed by the Dutchman’s mistake to concede a penalty against Northampton.
Another midfield conundrum for United boss
Whilst there’s not much for Mourinho to consider at the back, he has more selection issues to contend with in midfield.
Captain Wayne Rooney has been heavily criticised for his recent performances, but given that United boss has refused to add to that negative press for the club’s number ten in the last few days, it should be expected that the veteran forward will start once again versus Leicester.
However, after losing the last two league matches, Mourinho will know he has to change something to improve the club’s fortunes this time around – and that alteration could come in midfield. Pogba and Rooney will both play but the Portuguese coach may opt to leave out Marouane Fellaini, despite the Belgian’s decent form thus far this term, to add a more creative player to the side.
Ander Herrera could be the man to partner Pogba in a deeper midfield two behind Rooney after the Spaniard put in an impressive performance against Northampton. Michael Carrick and Morgan Schneiderlin also played well in that match and are equally valid candidates to start against Claudio Ranieri’s men.
Ibrahimovic and Rashford to return
As for the front three, Mourinho is likely to bring Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford back into the side, with the former playing centrally and the latter on the left.
With Anthony Martial out and Ashley Young perhaps not the best choice to start, there is a vacant spot on the right wing. Henrikh Mkhitaryan might appear there but was rushed back too quickly in his first start against Manchester City a few weeks ago, so Mourinho might be better off deploying Juan Mata in that role.
Mata started United’s first three league games this season, all of which ended in victories, and the playmaker’s presence in the side can hopefully lead to a similar result against the Foxes on Saturday lunchtime.
Predicted XI: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw; Herrera, Pogba; Mata, Rooney, Rashford; Ibrahimovic.