Leicester City vs Manchester United preview: Hosts to continue excellent form against Premier League top six?
Paul Pogba battles with James Maddison at Old Trafford | Photo: Getty/ Plumb Images

Leicester City vs Manchester United preview: Hosts to continue excellent form against Premier League top six?

Claude Puel's troops welcome the Red Devils to the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon as the visitors aim to edge into the Premier League top four.

daniel-orme
Daniel Orme

Manchester United will be aiming to break into the Premier League top four on Sunday night as they travel to the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City

The Red Devils currently sit in sixth position in the league standings after they came from two goals down to draw with Burnley in mid-week. However, they are only two points behind Arsenal in fourth so could potentially finish the weekend in the Champions League positions with a win in the East Midlands.

Elsewhere, Claude Puel's Foxes have dropped down to 11th in the table despite their morale-boosting 1-1 draw at Anfield on Wednesday.

Key Battle 

Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the reigns from Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, one of the key men to benefit has been Paul Pogba. In seven games since the Norwegian's arrival, the midfielder has been in inspired form having had a hand in ten goals, including six strikes of his own and four assists.

The Frenchman has been so key to United's turnaround in form is that he is now the top-scoring midfielder in the Premier League. 

The men that will be given the task to keep Pogba quiet will likely by Nampalys Mendy and Wilfred Ndidi. The two have become Puel's first choice partnership in the centre of the park and will be in direct competition with Pogba. Should they manage to keep the United man quiet, that will give Leicester a platform to claim a positive result.

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What happened the last time the two teams met? 

The two teams actually came together on the first day of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign. Squaring off at Old Trafford, an entertaining clash was produced as United squeezed to a slim opening day victory. 

The hosts got off to the perfect start as Pogba blasted home his first goal of the season from the penalty spot in only the third minute. Leicester probed throughout the first-half and were somewhat frustrated to not be on level terms at the break. 

Luke Shaw all-but polished the game off as he bustled into the Foxes' penalty area late in the game and finished well past Kasper Schmeichel. Jamie Vardy threatened a late comeback for the visitors as he nodded home in the closing stages but there was not quite enough time for Puel's troops to earn a point.

Team News

Puel has already confirmed that deadline day signing Youri Tielemans will be subjected to late tests before making his debut. The Belgian midfielder joined the club on-loan from AS Monaco until the end of the season

As part of the deal that saw the youngster arrive at the King Power Stadium, fellow midfielder Adrien Silva went in the opposite direction to sign for the Ligue 1 club. Andy King is also not available after he joined Championship side Derby County on loan. 

The only injury that Puel has to concern himself with is utility man Daniel Amartey who remains ruled out until at least March.

Meanwhile, United will not be able to call on the services of Marouane Fellaini after the midfielder's departure to the Chinese Super League was confirmed. Marcos Rojo also remains ruled out.

Pogba and Anthony Martial, meanwhile, should be free to return to action.

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Predicted Line-Ups

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Chilwell, Maguire, Evans, Pereira; Mendy, Ndidi; Gray, Maddison, Albrighton; Vardy. 

Manchester United: De Gea; Shaw, Lindelöf, Jones, Young; Matic, Mata, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Lukaku.

Managers' Thoughts

Despite what looks like a tough test this weekend against Leicester, United boss Solskjaer has suggested that his side are in a positive mind set as they head to the King Power Stadium. 

He said: "We've had now six weeks together. We've found out what strengths, weaknesses we've got.

"I think we've risen to most of the challenges, maybe of course the setback of the two Burnley goals we conceded, maybe they will make us move to the next level because I think we've given ourselves a chance now to get into the top four maybe earlier than we thought."

Puel, meanwhile, has called on Leicester to earn another eye-catching result against the Premier League big boys this weekend. 

The Frenchman said: "I hope, to show these good qualities against United. We know we can make a difference.

"If we can give a good feeling, a good spirit and a good attitude on the pitch, we can give our best all the time on Sunday and it would be fantastic if we can give a reward to our fans because at home we did not perform well enough. Against United, it would be perfect."

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