Analysis

Manchester United vs Leicester City: Match Preview | Premier League 2020/21

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image credit: @youtube / The Red Devils Africa

3 games in the space of 5 days, Manchester United’s fixture is as congested as they come and it is a good thing for Solskjaer’s men that United have already sealed a place in the Top 4. After United played on Sunday, one wouldn’t dare expect them to play again on a Tuesday, however, that is the case as Manchester United are lined up against Leicester City on Tuesday evening at Old Trafford.

Leicester, who must be having last year’s horror end to the season at the back of their minds, will be gunning for a victory on Tuesday as a victory would take them close to securing a place in the Top 4 of the table.

MATCH PREVIEW:

Will Solskajer give some much-needed rest to some of the key players?

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It has been a happy month for Solskjaer as his side secured qualification to the Europa League final, while also delaying Manchester City’s title triumph on Sunday against Aston Villa. However, a lot of the fans were surprised as Ole put out a strong starting XI against the Villians on the weekend.

With Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba, and Marcus Rashford all starting the game, Solskajer sent out a clear message of intent, but it does not look like the same starting XI will be fielded on Tuesday as well. With rivals Liverpool on Thursday night, Solskajer will want his players to be absolutely fit for that encounter as a United win could prevent Liverpool from finishing in the Top 4 this season.

Sunday, however, witnessed United trailing by a goal in the first half again, only to score 3 goals and make an amazing comeback in the second. Solskajer will not be a fan of this habit of his side as he understands that someday they will be punished for this and with a Europa League final in less than 3 weeks, United need to learn to defend better in the early stages of games and manage a comfortable win, no matter the size of the opponent.

Man United Injury News:

Playing a strong starting XI against Aston Villa came at a hefty cost for Untied as Harry Maguire was subbed off after 78 minutes, due to a knock in the ankle, and the Englishman is set to miss his first Premier League game for the Red Devils, since he joined them in August 2019. Anthony Martial and Phil Jones are still recovering from their long-term injuries and neither player is expected to be back before the end of the season. Daniel James will also be out for the game against Leicester as Solskjaer confirmed that the Welshman ‘will be out for a little while’ due to a knock. 

Brendan Rodgers cannot lose out on the Top 4 yet again, could they?

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What happens to Leicester City towards the business end of a season? The Foxes capitulated big time last season as they lost 3 games out of their last 5 and narrowly missed out on the Top 4. Something similar could take place this season as well with the Foxes on the verge of floundering their opportunity to play in the Champions League next season. 

Friday night was a forgetful one for Brendan Rodgers as his side was slammed 4-2 at home by Newcastle United, a club that was 17th in the table before they started the game. The likes of Wesley Fofana and Caglar Soyuncu, who look assured at the back for most of the season are leaking goals consistently in recent weeks while Wilfried Ndidi’s defensive contributions have dropped off a cliff since mid-April.

With Chelsea and Tottenham to follow the game against United on Tuesday night, a win would do a world of good to Leicester City as they will all but seal a place in the Top 4 with a victory against Manchester United. But with Kelechi Iheanacho the only one looking up to scratch, Rodgers will have to motivate his side to not recreate the scenes from last year, when ironically enough, their last game of the season was against Manchester United, as the Foxes lost 2-0 and were kicked out of the Top 4. 

Leicester City certainly have the quality, it is the mentality they will have to portray on Tuesday if they wish to play in Europe’s premier competition next season.

Leicester Injury News:

Jonny Evans, who was withdrawn due to a foot injury during the warm-ups before the Newcastle game has still not fully recovered and is a serious doubt for Tuesday. Wes Morgan and Harvey Barnes will continue to be unavailable for selection, quite possibly till the start of next season, after their respective long-term back and knee injuries.

PREDICTED LINEUPS:

Manchester United XI: Dean Henderson- Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Victor Lindelof; Harry Maguire; Luke Shaw- Scott McTominay; Fred- Mason Greenwood; Bruno Fernandes; Paul Pogba- Marcus Rashford

Leicester City XI: Kasper Schmeichel- Wesley Fofana; Timothy Castagne; Caglar Soyuncu- Luke Thomas; Ricardo Pereira; Wilfried Ndidi; Youri Tielemans; James Maddison- Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho.

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