|Photo from madabeutepl.com|
The first international break of the 2019/20 season is a wrap, and Manchester United are set to return to Premier League action this weekend in a clash against potential top six rivals, Leicester City.
United have entered a seemingly never ending skid of form since the emphatic opening day victory over Chelsea, notching up two draws away to Wolves and Southampton, and a loss against Crystal Palace at home. It is definitely not where United fans thought the Reds would be three games after that promising start, but here we are.
Despite United’s shaky run of form, it is not all doom and gloom in terms of performances. United have actually played more than okay in all four games, having plenty of the ball and controlling the proceedings for the best parts of those games. But, possession and control does not win you games, making United’s return to Old Trafford against Leicester crucial. Solskjaer’s reds will not want to fall too far behind the upper section of the table, and a victory over an in-form Leicester would be huge.
The Foxes come into this game sitting in third, having accumulated eight points, and still undefeated. Despite the loss of their best defender, Harry Maguire, to United, Leicester haven’t looked vulnerable at the back. It has actually been the opposite with the emergence of Calgar Soyuncu, allowing their midfield and attack to do all of the talking. Leicester are up there in the conversation for having one of the best midfield’s in the league, and with Jamie Vardy once again firing on all cylinders to start this season, the Foxes will certainly fancy themselves to try and take all three points off United on Saturday.
This game is set to be a good test for both sides, and very much a Top 6 six pointer despite it still being early days into the season.
If not having a very deep squad wasn’t enough, United have been hit with a mini injury crisis much earlier than it was probably anticipated. But with the aid of the international break, the likes of Anthony Martial, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, and Jesse Lingard will all be hoping to be fit enough to suit up against Leicester. United have clearly missed the solid form of Martial in the No. 9 role in the game against Southampton, and missing him along with Wan-Bissaka and Pogba in particular would be a huge blow for the Reds. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stated that Martial, Pogba and Shaw are all injured and that Lingard and Wan-Bissaka are both doubts posing a genuine problem for United’s back four and front three options.
As for the Foxes, Brendan Rodgers expects to have a full arsenal of weapons to choose from for his lineup against United, with Matty James the only long term injury in his squad. Rodgers confirmed in his press conference on Thursday that the whole squad has been working ahead of their trip to Old Trafford and all of his returning internationals are fully fit reporting back for their club duties.
Predicted Lineup (assuming everyone other than Luke Shaw is fit, written before the manager’s press conference):
|From build lineup.com|
Manchester United 2-1 Leicester