Manchester United hope to bounce back from their defeats by Manchester City and Watford when they take on Premier League champions Leicester City this weekend (12.30pm Saturday, Sky Sports 1).
Jose Mourinho’s men collected nine points from their opening three games, but successive losses in the last couple of weeks has seen confidence around the club take a major hit. While United were considered title favourites by some before the campaign got under way, many have now asserted they will struggle to match Manchester City in the weeks and months ahead.
It is far too early for the Red Devils to be ruled out of the championship race, but the bookies have them as long as 14/1 for the title now. So it is important that United get back to winning ways sooner rather than later, with Pep Guardiola’s side showing few signs of dropping many points at present.
Leicester’s comfortable 3-0 triumph over Burnley last weekend moved them up into 11th place after a slightly shaky start to the campaign in their first four matches. This was always going to be a difficult season for the Foxes after last term’s heroics and the strengthening of the division’s biggest clubs in the summer. Claudio Ranieri will be delighted that his side appear to have found their feet again in the last week or so.
Leicester are understandably considered underdogs by every bookmaker for their trip to Old Trafford this weekend, but they are used to upsetting the odds and have more than enough quality to spring yet another surprise.
Man Utd will have to make do without Phil Jones (knee) and Luke Shaw (groin), but Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan should be in line for selection after spells on the sidelines. Captain Wayne Rooney turned in yet another disappointing display in the loss against Watford and could drop out of the XI. Such a move would make it easier for the Red Devils to shift to a 4-3-3 formation, which in theory would get the best out of record signing Paul Pogba. Daley Blind could return to the heart of the backline to provide a better range of passing in defence, while Michael Carrick or Morgan Schneiderlin may be included to help shore up the midfield.
Leicester are unable to call upon the services of long-term absentee Matty James (ankle), but Papy Mendy (ankle) and Kasper Schmeichel (concussion) are hoping to be fit in time to feature. Algeria international striker Islam Slimani is likely to continue up front after his two goals in the victory over Burnley. Marc Albrighton and Riyad Mahrez (pictured) are favourites to start on the flanks again, while Daniel Amartey should continue alongside Danny Drinkwater in the centre of midfield. Pacey wide men Ahmed Musa and Demarai Gray could be important as substitutes, moreover, with the pair’s speedy and direct running giving Leicester the chance to stretch the game and get up the pitch quickly.
Our Preview’s Man Utd v Leicester Betting Tips
Man Utd may not suffer their third league defeat on the bounce this weekend, but they could also struggle to get back to winning ways against the champions. Leicester will sit deep, soak up pressure and attempt to hit the hosts on the counter-attack when possession of the ball changes hands. It will be important for United that their players do not neglect their defensive duties against a side who showed throughout last term that they can be both incisive and decisive on the break.
A 2-2 draw could be the best betting option in the correct score market this weekend, with Mahrez – a threat from free-kicks and penalties as well as in open play. He is this preview’s betting tips’ choice to find the back of the net at any time.
- Correct Score Betting Tip: Manchester United and Leicester City to draw 2-2 @ biggest betting odds of 17/1 with BetVictor.
- Goalscorer Betting Tip: Bet on Riyad Mahrez to score at anytime @ best odds of 37/10 with Unibet.
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Greg Lea is a freelance sports writer. Read the articles that he has written at Just Bookies.