Preview and prediction
Leicester City Boss Brendan Rodgers must be frustrated with his side now. Against Chelsea, his side was denied a goal thanks to a dubious refereeing decision, but still have to look inward after they failed to get any points against a Chelsea side that played the better half of the match with only 10 men.
The Foxes have crucial decisions to make in last days of the transfer window ahead of them, while not official at the time of writing this, Wesley Fofana seems to have completed his move to Chelsea. This means Leicester have to find a replacement quickly but also have to strengthen other areas of weakness that have been apparent in the first 4 games of the season.
Manchester United, on the other hand, have since gotten some respite after a shocking start to the season, the win against Southampton moves the Red Devils into 8th place. They have also been in the market for new players adding Antony from Ajax and some of those deals could be finalised soon to further strengthen the side. However, the biggest question leading up to the close of the transfer window is whether Cristiano Ronaldo would still be on the books of Manchester United. While Erik Ten Haag has insisted he wants Ronaldo to stay, the rumours of friction between Ronaldo and his teammates have persisted.
Leicester against Manchester United has always produced entertaining matches for the neutrals. Just last season, the clash at the King Power Stadium produced 6 goals, ending 4-2 in Leicester’s favour.
However, that win for Leicester was only the fourth they have managed to get in 32 tries. Manchester United have typically bossed this fixture, winning 19 times, drawing 9 matches and losing only 4 times.
What could be worrisome for Ten Haag is that two of the Leicester wins have come in their last 3 matches. In fact, in the last 5 meetings between the two teams, Leicester have won twice and drawn twice with United getting a solitary win.
While Leicester might still be feeling hard done by the disallowed goal against Chelsea. Brendan Rodgers’ biggest concern from the last match has to be their inability to pressure Chelsea after they got the numerical advantage. With only one point from the opening day draw against Brentford, Leicester props up the table in 20th place and would have to hope that the only place to go from here is up.
Erik Ten Haag would hope he has turned things around for his side after their faltering start. A gusty win over Liverpool boosted self-belief which they took into their match against Southampton at Saint Mary’s.
They have to keep this momentum going if they want to challenge for the title this season.
James Maddison missed the game at Stamford Bridge and is unlikely to be available for the Thursday evening match. Thankfully for Leicester, Harvey Barnes is back in the side and was the goal scorer against Chelsea. It remains to be seen if Youri Tielemans and James Maddison would still be at the club by the close of the transfer window.
Ryan Bertrand is still unavailable with a knee injury.
Potential Leicester City starting XI:
Ward; Castagne, Amartey, Evans, Justin; Ndidi, Dewsbury-Hall; Perez, Tielemans, Barnes; Vardy
Erik Ten Hag might have a new number of signings available on Thursday, however, it is their big-money midfield acquisition Casemiro, that is likely to get his first Premier League start.
Anthony Martial is unavailable due to injury and it remains to be seen if Ten Haag would start out of favour club captain Harry Macguire in defence after the side earned a clean sheet in their last match without him.
Potential Manchester United starting XI:
De Gea; Dalot, Martinez, Varane, Malacia, Casemiro, Eriksen, Fernandes, Fred, Elanga, Sancho, Rashford
Erik Ten Haag has relied on his full-backs playing essentially as wing backs in most games and has had Eriksen sit deep alongside either Fred, McTominay or Casemiro, allowing Bruno Fernandes to play further upfield with the trio of Sancho, Elanga and Rashford.
Fernandes’ ability to link passing moves together with the attack allows the team to keep the attack engaged and quickly transition from defence to offence.
Brendan Rodgers would hope to keep the fullbacks pinned back with his wingers and would need Vardy to stretch the defence, it could be a tough night for Vardy though, as Martinez has shown himself quite capable of dealing with fleet-footed attackers.
However, Brighton and Brentford have shown that the United midfield can buckle under pressure. Ndidi, Castange and Tielemans will look to constantly press Eriksen when they try to play the ball out of defence. They might not however, find the same kind of success Brentford and Brighton had with the addition of Casemiro to the midfield meant to specifically address this weakness.
Leicester need a reaction after finding themselves at the bottom of the table with four matches played, while they have shown flashes of their old self, the team remains inconsistent and probably shorn of confidence. With the transfer window finally closed they will look to get their season started with no more distractions and need the support of their home fans if they hope to get a result against this resurgent Manchester United team.
Leicester 1 – Manchester United 1
Game ends in a draw @ 3.80
Manchester United to win has been oddsbosted to 2.14
Leicester to win @ 3.35
Over 2.5 goals score @ 1.60