Manchester United vs Leicester City Preview: Can the Foxes put a halt to United's impressive start?

Manchester United vs Leicester City Preview: Can the Foxes put a halt to United's impressive start?

Leicester City take the journey up North to Old Trafford, the home of the current league leaders, in search of their first points on the road this season.

TomSykes_1884
Tom Sykes

With the Premier League season well underway, Leicester City claimed their first victory of the new campaign with a 2-0 win over Brighton at the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes earned a comfortable victory against the Seagulls, having taken the lead after just 52 seconds through Shinji Okazaki.

For Saturday's hosts, it's been a sublime start to the new campaign after a second consecutive 4-0 victory came away to Swansea City maintained the Red Devils' 100 per cent start to the 2017/18 season.

With the two sides meeting in Saturday's late kick off at Old Trafford, can Craig Shakepeare's side build on victory last weekend and put a stop to United's emphatic start?

Key players making good impression

With the opening two games of the new campaigns out of the way, both sets of supporters should be encouraged by the performances of key players within the squad.

To the delight of the Foxes faithful, summer signing Harry Maguire has made a big impression since joining the club from a Hull City. Whilst looking like an accomplished centre back in a defence that earned their first clean sheet against Brighton, Maguire has also provided evidence of his aerial threat from set pieces. Maguire rose highest from a Riyad Mahrez corner to double the Foxes lead, having provided an assist on the opening day against Arsenal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goals goals goals 

In regards to the Foxes attack, Craig Shakespeare's side have impressed early on, having scored five goals in the opening two games. In the absence of summer signing Kelechi Iheanacho, duo Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki have scored two goals apiece. On top of that, Riyad Mahrez has impressed despite expressing his desire to leave the club. Mahrez, who looked superb against Brighton, has registered three assists already.

Manchester United have started the 2017/18 season in impressive fashion. With two clean sheets in as many games, it is the attack that has stolen the headlines.

Having scored three of United's eight league goals this season, £75m Belgian Romelu Lukaku has made a superb impression under Jose Mourinho. Lukaku, who had a superb record on home soil for Everton last season, opened his account at Old Trafford with a debut brace against West Ham United.

Despite struggling to adapt to life in the top flight last season, Midfield duo Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have produced impressive displays which have proved pivotal to United's strong start as they have stormed to back-to-back 4-0 victories.

Whilst failing to live up to his £90m price tag last year, Pogba has registered excellent stats and will be expected to provide a similar display against Leicester at Old Trafford. Having scored twice and assisting twice, along with the four assists registed by Mkhitaryan, the dangerous pair have contributed to eight goals combined. Anthony Martial has been used by Mourinho as an impact substitute and has certainly lived up to his mass potential. Despite playing just 25 minutes of Premier League football so far, Martial has contributed to three of United's eight goals and will be pushing for a start ahead of Marcus Rashford on Saturday.

 

Away-day blues

With Saturday's trip to Old Trafford set to pose a hugely difficult task for the Foxes, and their away form in the Premier League doesn't make good reading for Leicester City supporters since the climax of the remarkable title winning campaign. 

Last season, the Foxes failed to register an away victory until the departure of manager Claudio Ranieri. Under the guidance of Craig Shakespeare, the Foxes registered away victories to West Ham and West Brom. However, following the loss to Arsenal on the opening weekend of the season, the Foxes have earned just two away victories in the league from their last 20 outings.

Last season, the Foxes lost both meetings between the two sides, including a 4-1 loss at Old Trafford in September, with first half goals coming from Chris Smalling, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.

Team News

Leicester City could welcome back the returns of Danny Drinkwater and Kelechi Iheanacho ahead of the visit to Old Trafford having returned to full training, Craig Shakepeare confirmed. Shakespeare also confirmed that Wes Morgan and Jamie Vardy will feature, but Robert Huth remains absent. 

In the United camp, Marcos Rojo remains a long term absentee and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who signed a new one-year deal this afternoon, will also be out for some time. Luke Shaw and Ashley Young have returned to full training and featured in midweek with the under-21s.

Predicted line-ups

Manchester United: David de Gea; Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Daley Blind; Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba; Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial; Romelu Lukaku

Leicester City: Kasper Schmeichal; Danny Simpson, Harry Maguire, Wes Morgan(c), Christian Fuchs; Riyad Mahrez, Wilfred Ndidi, Danny Drinkwater, Marc Albrighton; Jamie Vardy, Shinji Okazaki

 

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