Friday, 23 September 2016

Match preview: United v Leicester City

United welcome champions Leicester to Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime with the Reds looking to avoid a third consecutive league defeat. 

Claudio Ranieri's side- who achieved the impossible as 5,000/1 outsiders last term- have lost both of their away games so far with an opening day defeat at Hull followed by a disappointing 4-1 reverse at Anfield.
However they did enjoy a 3-0 success in Brugge on their Champions League debut and club record signing Islam Slimani scored twice on his first Premier League appearance in last weekend's 3-0 victory against Burnley. 

Kasper Schmeichel has overcome concussion but has a muscle strain which could delay his return so former United keeper Ron-Robert Zieler may continue to deputise for the visitors. 
Marcin Wasilewski is banned after his midweek sending off against Chelsea and Nampalys Mendy will not be risked. 

United will assess the fitness of Luke Shaw (groin), Anthony Martial (head injury) who were both substituted at Watford and Henrik Mkhitaryan (thigh) is also a doubt having not featured since the derby. 

Marcus Rashford is in contention to start following impressive recent form while Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera both could keep their places after impressing in the midweek win over Northampton.

United boss Jose Mourinho hit out at the "football Einsteins" following the recent run of defeats, and said:

"We had a bad week, I know the world is full of Einsteins and I know that they tried to delete 16 years of my career and an unbelievable history for Manchester United to focus on a bad week with three bad results.
"The fans have of course been disappointed, I understand completely because I have been disappointed also but I am sure they will create a wonderful atmosphere and get behind the team like they always do, the fans here are fantastic.
"Leicester will want to come here and show their best, I have a lot of respect for Mr Ranieri and they showed us last season- which was amazing- what they can do and what they are capable of so we know it will be another difficult match." 

Leicester's solitary win in the last 16 competitive meetings came in September 2014 when the Foxes- then managed by Nigel Pearson- turned around a 3-1 deficit to emerge 5-3 winners. 
Both matches last season ended 1-1 as Bastian Schweinsteiger cancelled out Jamie Vardy's record-breaking opener  at the King Power before the latter meeting in May preceded the visitors title celebrations after Spurs drew at Chelsea two days later.

Form guide: United W W L L L W Leicester D W L W W L 
Match odds: United 6/1 Draw 7/2 Leicester 15/8 
Referee: Mike Dean (The Wirral) 

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