Leicester City vs Manchester United Preview: Both sides aiming to react to Carabao Cup exits

José Mourinho's Manchester United travel to the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening in what is anticipated to be a fiery festive clash.

Leicester City vs Manchester United Preview: Both sides aiming to react to Carabao Cup exits
Manchester United take on Leicester City on Saturday evening | Photo: Getty/ Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA

Manchester United travel to the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening to do battle with Claude Puel's Leicester City.

Both sides will be looking to recover from exhausting defeats in the Carabao Cup in mid-week and keep their pursuit of successful seasons underway.

Back to winning ways?

Coming into the clash in the East-Midlands, both sides arrive on the back of defeats. The Red Devils fell to a shock 2-1 reverse at the hands of Championship outfit Bristol City to exit the League Cup at the quarter-final stage.

Leicester meanwhile were unlucky to succumb to a penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester City to suffer the same fate. The loss for the Foxes also made it consecutive defeats for the first time since September following their surprise 3-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Crystal Palace last weekend.

Claude Puel then will hope to mastermind a victory against the Red Devils in order to get the Foxes' season back on track after a slight hiccup. Currently sitting eighth in the Premier League table, they are only five points behind former title rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

United however lag 11 points behind Manchester United in the race for the Premier League crown despite earning victory over West Bromwich Albion and Bournemouth.

 

United dominance

The East-Midlanders meanwhile will find it increasingly difficult considering the Red Devils' excellent record over their opponents. Having clashed 125 times throughout history, Manchester United have claimed 64 victories and only lost 33 clashes, with a further 28 ending in stalemate.

That is not the whole story however. United have only lost one out of their last 18 games to the Foxes in all competitions - Leicester's only victory coming in the form of an outstanding 5-3 win back in 2014.

As a matter of fact, the Red Devils claimed a 3-0 victory the last time the two teams came together at the King Power Stadium. Henrikh Mkhitaryan opened the scoring before Zlatan Ibrahimović doubled the lead a little over a minute later. Midfielder Juan Mata secured the victory with a well-taken third in the second half.

The Foxes also fell to defeat the last time the two came together. Then managed by Craig Shakespeare, goals from Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini condemned the 2015/16 Premier League champions to defeat back in August.

Team News

The opening goal-scorer from that match back in August, Paul Pogba, could make his return to Premier League football following suspension. He has so far been brilliant in his second season back at Old Trafford having found the net on three occasions and provided six assists so will be a huge boost to Mourinho.

Wide-man Jesse Lingard is sure to be included after he scored his seventh goal in all competitions in the 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion last time out. The likes of Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Eric Bailly will not be joining him on the pitch after being ruled out through injury.

The only injuries that Claude Puel has to contend with meanwhile are the knocks sustained by Matty James and Robert Huth. The duo are ruled out with an Achilles and foot injury respectively but are reportedly close to a return.

Midfielder Wilfred N'didi can return to the squad after serving his suspension for his yellow card picked up against Crystal Palace. Jamie Vardy will hope to return to the starting line-up and net again after scoring his first goal in five games against Manchester City.

 

Predicted Line-Ups

Leicester City - Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell; Gray, Iborra, N'didi, Albrighton; Mahrez, Vardy.

Manchester United - de Gea; Rojo, Smalling, Jones; Lingard, Matić, Pogba, Mata, Rashford; Martial, Lukaku.