Man Utd host Leicester at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday evening. The sides last met back in October as the Foxes ended a 29-match unbeaten away run for United with a 4-2 victory. That win made it two victories in a row for Brendan Rodgers against the Red Devils. The visitors have won five of their last seven and could be facing Rangnick’s team at a good time.
Man United Form
The Red Devils had a relatively strong start under interim coach Ralf Rangnick, especially in the league. The resulting form has been very disappointing with just three wins in 11 across all competitions. After following three successive 1-1 draws with two league wins in a row, they’ve now won once in five.
A poor away performance saw the side burgle a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid. A 0-0 home draw with relegation-threatened Watford came next before a humiliating 4-1 loss in the Manchester derby. They bounced back to beat Tottenham 3-2 as Cristiano Ronaldo netted a hattrick in a relatively average team display. Their last match saw a tepid 1-0 home exit to Atletico in the Champions League.
Man United Team News
Man Utd had a mixed time on international duty. Raphael Varane took a knock but recovered to play a few days later. The same applies to Paul Pogba. Both should be fit to start for United in this one. Edinson Cavani got injured for Uruguay and will be a major doubt, especially with the long travel required from South America.
The side appears to have a clean bill of health otherwise. Rangnick will need to pick between his less-than-ideal right-back options, decide if Marcus Rashford should start after some poor form, and see whether Fred is fresh enough to play. The latter is only expected to be a substitute after his involvement in Brazil.
Man United Motivation
United have only the league to focus on now. A top-four finish will define their season’s success or failure. They, therefore, need to see this match as a must-win, with a draw being considered a very poor result.
Rangnick’s side tends to play much more conservatively against any strong opponent, pressing less and sitting deeper. It’s not clear whether this season’s version of Leicester will count as a top opponent.
It’s been a very disappointing season for Leicester. They have lost 11 of their 26 league matches with a negative goal difference. Things have picked up of late with six wins across nine matches in all competitions. After a 2-1 loss at Wolves, they won four in a row including in the UEFA Conference League at Randers and at home against Rennes (2-0).
After the latter victory, they gave a reasonable account of themselves but were eventually beaten 2-0 at Arsenal. A 2-1 away loss at Rennes came next but they still progressed into the next round on aggregate. Leicester’s most recent Premier League match saw a 2-1 win against Brentford as Timoty Castagne and James Maddison were on target.
Leicester Team News
Leicester continues to have a nightmare season on the injury front. Castagne is back in defence but Wesley Fofana and Ryan Bertrand are doubts for this match. Jonny Evans returned as a substitute against Brentford after a long-term injury and is expected to start at center back.
Wilfred Ndidi’s season looks to be overdue to a knee complaint and Jamie Vardy is not quite ready to return after injury. Kelechi Iheanacho could lead the line with Patson Daka being another option. Nampalys Mendy could replace Ndidi in the engine room.
Rodgers’ side are not mathematically safe from relegation just yet and could finish as low as 13th this term with Brighton just three points below them. Realistically, they also can’t finish any higher than the ninth as Wolves hold a 10-point lead over them.
Leicester would take a draw here and are probably going to have one eye on facing PSV in midweek in the Conference League. A relatively defensive approach is expected as we saw at Arsenal. The first goal could be a key.
Man Utd have won 1 of their last 5 matches in all comps
United have won 6 of their last 9 home PL matches (D2, L1)
Man Utd have kept 3 clean sheets in their last 5 PL matches at Old Trafford
Man Utd have seen under 2.5 goals in 5 of their last 6 home matches (PL)
Leicester have won 1 of their last 8 away PL matches
LCFC have lost 5 of their last 6 away PL matches
Leicester have conceded 2+ goals in 10 of their last 14 away PL matches
Rangnick’s side could have just about enough to nick a win in this match but it’s far from certain. Leicester are very poor travellers even though they probably will dominate some periods of this match (as they did against Arsenal recently, before losing). If the visitors are to nick a win, they may do it like Watford did: sitting deep and frustrating the hosts.
SIGN UP TO OUR BET CENTRAL PLAYBOOK
Get weekly emails packed with the best tips and sports content.
Get ahead of the game now – fill in the contact form below.