Manchester United return to Premier League action against Leicester City on Boxing Day after securing a 2-0 victory against Everton to reach the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Our Premier League form has been excellent lately as we have won six of the last seven games in all competitions, and remained unbeaten in those.
In the thirteen Premier League matches played so far this season, we have seen eight wins, two draws, and three defeats claiming 26 points in total to be third within the table and still with a game in hand of those around us. United are only five points behind league leaders Liverpool and have been muted by the media as possible title contenders which is even more impressive considering our inconsistency at the start of the campaign.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær has seen his position called into questions a number of times already this season, and United did not manage to reach the last 16 of the Champions League but in the few last weeks, we have been the in-form team.
United head into the boxing day fixture with Leicester City sitting one point above us in the league. The last time both teams met was on the final day of the 2019/20 season to see who would claim a spot inside the top four and secure Champions League qualification. On that occasion, United ran out the winners thanks to goals from Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard.
In our last Premier League game, we thumped Leeds United 6-2 at home and our away record has seen us win 10 consecutive top-flight matches. If we were to win against the Foxes, then we would equal a Premier League record of 11 straight away victories, currently held by two other teams in Manchester City and Chelsea.
Leicester City currently sits in second place in the Premier League having picked up 27 points out of 14 games. The Foxes have lost more matches than any other side in the top half this season having tasted defeat five times. However, the Foxes have recorded the most wins with nine along with Liverpool representing an excellent start to their league campaign.
Brendan Rodgers did see his side have a slight downturn in form between November 22 and December 3 when they lost three of the four games in all competitions. They have since turned it around having won the last four out five. They lost 2-0 to Everton before bouncing back to defeat Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
Leicester City vs Manchester United Details
Teams: Leicester City vs Manchester United
Date: December 26th, 2020 (Saturday)
KO Time: 12:30 BST
Competition: Premier League
Stadium: King Power Stadium
Referee: Mike Dean
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Brendan Rodgers
Manchester United Team News
Changes are expected to be made to the United side. Both Scott McTominay and Aaron Wan-Bissaka who did not feature against Everton are likely to come back into the starting eleven. Victor Lindelof, Fred, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, and David de Gea also expected to return as well.
Whilst Daniel James had an impressive performance against Leeds, Ole may give the nod to Mason Greenwood with Edinson Cavani dropping down to the bench even though he scored an excellent goal midweek.
Pre-Match Press Conference
During the pre-match press conference, Ole was asked how much of a threat Leicester poses to us. He said, “Well, it’s game by game, we have to think like that now. But Leicester… we’ve had some good games against Leicester, very tight games. They’re a very good side with a very good coach and I’ve enjoyed watching them under Brendan [Rodgers]. It was a big test for us to go down there at their stadium for the last league game of last season in the summer. We passed that one with flying colours.”
Ole was asked how he’s handled the talk of United becoming possible title contenders. He said, “There is noise around Man United anyway. For us, it’s about improving as team, take it game by game – we have to. That’s the name of the game, that’s the only way you’re going to challenge for anything at the end of the season anyway. It’s not something we talk about. The only thing we talk about is improving day by day, learning how to deal with different situations and maybe now at the moment we’re getting praise. That’s another thing we need to learn how to deal with.”
A member of media asked about Anthony Martial’s recent form and his growing confidence. Ole responded by saying “Yeah, Anthony has made some important contributions lately: assists, scored goals, he is getting fitter. I think he showed against Leeds that he knows that I’m on to him about this and his running stats from that game set a new standard for him, which I want to see more of. He’s always going to have the quality. Maybe his confidence has been bruised a little bit by what happened earlier in the season, with the red card and he had some criticism.”
Leicester City Team News
Leciester City will be without defender Ricardo Pereira who remains on the sidelines, whilst Caglar Soyuncu is unlikely to feature as he gets back to near full fitness. Jamie Vardy is expected to feature after overcoming a groin injury.
Vardy will be leading the line along with James Maddison and Ashley Barnes in the forward areas. Brendan Rodgers might decide to employ a back three with Christian Fuchs handed a starting place. The midfield will be the same with Youri Tielemans partnering Wilfried Nidi.
Manchester United Premier League form: WWWDWW
Manchester United form (all competitions): WLDWWW
Leicester City Premier League form: LLWWLW
Leicester City form (all competitions): LWWWLW
- United have won 21 Premier League matches on Boxing Day, more than any other side with us only tasting defeat twice which was to Middlesborough in 2002 and then Stoke in 2015.
- United have secured 18 points away from home this season with Leicester winning the exact amount of points on the road and having played a game more than us.
- Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in half of Manchester United’s Premier League goals since his debut in February, scoring 17 goals and assisting 12.
- Manchester United have not lost to Leicester City since 2014, winning the last four games in a row.
- Leicester City have failed to score against United in their last three matches against them.
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford, and Martial.
Leicester City does have the tools to cause United some problems in this Boxing Day clash. But the form is with the Red Devils as we have won the last four games against the Foxes. It has the anticipation of being an excellent game of football. We will want to continue to keep up our impressive record of away wins and keep up the chase on league leaders Liverpool.
Leicester 0-1 Manchester United