After suffering a 3-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in their previous encounter last weekend, the Foxes will be looking to get back to winning ways while cementing a place in the Champions League for next season. A win against the Red Devils can guarantee that feat and a draw will also be enough to secure fourth spot if Chelsea lose to Wolves on the final day of the campaign.
But opponents Man United have been the division’s form side alongside neighbours Manchester City since the restart of top-flight football having won five of their eight league games, drawing the other three.
Back in 2014, the newly-promoted Foxes faced Louis Van Gaal’s United at King Power Stadium as they looked to continue an impressive start to life in the Premier League and further dent the visitors’ title charge.
Stuttering opening 60 minutes
United took control of the contest from the first minute and played some impressive free-flowing football during the first period, with a lot of their expensive talent and quality on show against a Leicester side who were aiming to make it back-to-back victories for the first time that season.
It was the Red Devils who opened the scoring on Filbert Way in the 13th minute as a defensive error allowed Radamel Falcao to cross the ball to the back post for Robin Van Persie to head home via a deflection from close range. Their lead was doubled moments later when Argentina international Angel Di Maria found half-a-yard of space on the edge of the box before excellently dinking it over the onrushing Kasper Schmeichel.
Summer signing Leonardo Ulloa pulled a goal back for Nigel Pearson's side just two minutes later as he met a Jamie Vardy cross from the right-side and superbly headed the ball into the corner to give Foxes fans hope. However, Ander Herrera made sure United would restore their two-goal advantage moments after the half-time break with a cheeky flick following Di Maria’s effort, as United looked to have sealed the three points.
But Leicester still believed and were awarded with a chance to get back into the contest when Vardy won the ball back before being fouled by Rafael inside the box and referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot. David Nugent stepped up and converted the kick past David De Gea, as the Foxes grabbed an unlikely lifeline. And just moments later, City found a leveller. Leicester won possession high up the field and Dean Hammond had a shot from range which was controlled by Vardy, before the ball fell to home debutant Esteban Cambiasso who drilled home to send the King Power into delirium.
The game dramatically turned on its head with only 11 minutes to go after Ritchie De Laet’s pass found Vardy and he took a touch before side-footing the ball into the corner past David De Gea for his first Premier League goal – a special moment in front of the Kop. Leicester didn’t finish there though as they scored a fifth goal to wrap up a famous victory.
Vardy was heavily involved once again when he drove through on goal and was fouled by Tyler Blackett inside the penalty area. The United defender was sent off for his troubles and it got a lot worse for the visitors as Ulloa confidently stuck away the spot-kick to seal a well-earned 5-3 win for the Foxes in just their fifth game back in the top-flight for over 10 years.
A mixed 2014/15 season for both clubs
Many Leicester fans thought this was the start of a good run, but following that win, Pearson’s men failed to win any of their next 13 in the league – a run which spanned from September 21st until December 29th and many feared for their Premier League status. However, winning seven of their final nine outings saw City retain their top-flight status for another campaign and they did it with a game to spare.
The defeat for United left them in 12th position with only one win in their opening five league matches under Van Gaal. But the Red Devils turned it around to finish the season in fourth place and qualify for the Champions League for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson departed Old Trafford.