EPL Matchday 3 Preview: Manchester United vs Leicester City

Many experts already believe Manchester United are one of the top candidates to win the English Premier League this seaason. And there is reason for optimism, after Jose Mourinho’s men won their first two fixtures by identical 4-0 scores against West Ham United and Swansea City, respectively.

The league is only starting, though. And with an eye towards making it a perfect three-for-three before the international break, United will host Leicester City at Old Trafford this Saturday. The game kicks off at 17:30 BST. Michael Oliver will take charge of the contest.

The Opponent

There is no question Leicester City improved down the stretch last season following the arrival of Craig Shakespeare to the bench. They reached the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, and avoided relegation after a tumultous start to the season. And this year things have been quite positive. The Foxes surrendered the season opener against Arsenal on a thrilling 4-3 defeat, but bounced back and defeated Brighton by a convincing 2-0 score.

There will be several returning players for the former Premier League champions ahead of this clash. Leicester should welcome Vicente Iborra, Danny Drinkwater and Kelechi Iheanacho back after minor injuries. As if that wasn’t enough, last season’s top scorer Jamie Vardy is also fully recovered from the ankle problem which forced him off against Brighton last weekend. Vardy, however, would have to undergo a fitness test on Friday to determine whether he starts or not. But all signs indicate The Foxes will have their squad nearing full strength.

Not everything is positive, though. Robert Huth has been ruled out with an ankle injury, and Wes Morgan is doubtful with a back problem. So there is a chance Leicester’s defensive line is slighly depleted on Saturday.

The Venue

United will play their second game of the season at Old Trafford. As mentioned above, they are coming off a 4-0 win against West Ham United in the debut. And the last time The Red Devils hosted Leicester, Mourinho’s men won by a convincing 4-1 score. It is worth noting that The Red Devils won all three games against Leicester last season. Aside from that 4-1 win at home, they also defeated them 2-1 in the 2016 Community Shield, and 3-0 at King Power Stadium.

Manchester United’s historic record against Leicester is quite positive, too. They register 63 wins against 28 draws and 33 losses.

Team News

United do not have major updates on the injury front. However, is it worth noting that Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are nearing a return to first-team action. Both players featured for the U23 side earlier this week. And barring any setbacks, they should be available for selection after the international break.

Returning signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and defender Marcos Rojo remain injured, though. Both players continue their rehabs from serious knee injuries. In any case, Jose Mourinho should provide a more in-depth update during Friday’s press conference.

Manchester United’s Predicted Starting XI

Based on reports, United should not modify the starting XI that won the first two games of the campaign.

GK: David De Gea

RB: Antonio Valencia

CB: Phil Jones

CB: Eric Bailly

LB: Daley Blind

CM: Nemanja Matic

CM: Paul Pogba

RW: Juan Mata

AM: Henrikh Mkhitaryan

LW: Marcus Rashford

ST: Romelu Lukaku


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