Leicester vs Manchester United Preview

English Premier League | Saturday 28 November | King Power Stadium | 19:30

The English Premier League will round off Saturday’s matches with a top-of-the-table clash, as surprise log-leaders Leicester City play host to second-placed Manchester United. There is no room for error, with Manchester City and Arsenal hot on the heels. 

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To Win (90mins)
Leicester 2/1
Draw 23/10
Manchester United 5/4

Leicester City

Jamie Vardy equalled the Barclays Premier League record for consecutive goals by scoring in a 10th successive match as Leicester City thrashed Newcastle 3-0 to go top of the log. The win was Leicester's fourth in a row in the league, which took them top, as they leapfrogged Manchester City, who lost at home to Liverpool, and Arsenal, who were beaten at West Brom. It also ensured Leicester set a new top-flight club record of away matches unbeaten - 10 in all. 

Leicester were bottom of the log after 13 games last season, and to everyone’s surprise are now involved in a clash against Man United for top spot. Serious doubts lingered about this club when they hired Claudio Ranieri in the summer, as the Italian’s reputation as a tactical tinker preceded him. But Ranieri has managed to keep the Foxes’ momentum going after they won seven of their last nine games last season to beat the drop. In 22 games since 4 April, Leicester have won 15 of 22 matches with only two losses. That’s the kind of form any team would envy. The Foxes have played arguably the most exciting football this season, their comebacks from a goal down or even two shows the fighting spirit among the team. However, Leicester have kept just two clean sheets this season, conceding 20 times – the joint highest amount along with West Ham in the top half of the table. If they are to put in a legit push for the top four; that’s an area where they certainly need to improve. 

Riyad Mahrez has been a tremendous threat from midfield, scoring an impressive seven goals, while assisting another six. He has been at the heart of the Foxes attacking plays, creating chances at will. There is plenty to say about his teammate Vardy who can’t seem to stop scoring. 13 goals in 13 games! Including 10 on the spin; equalling Man United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record. So it would only be fitting that he breaks the 12 year record against the Red Devils. It is time to take Leicester seriously. Their incredible run can’t be laughed off or dismissed. At the same time, we’ll soon find out if they are legitimate title contenders.

Manchester United

Man United lie second on the log after edging Watford 2-1, courtesy of an added time own goal from Troy Deeney. The goal that Louis van Gaal’s side conceded, ended a run of 641 minutes without shipping a goal. That just shows how strong defensively the Red Devils have been. They boast the best record in the league, conceding just nine times – that’s less than half the amount of goals Leicester has conceded. However, whilst they have been solid at the back, goals of their own have been difficult to come by, scoring just five goals in their last six matches in all competitions. 

A win would take Man United top of the table, depending on what happens with Man City and Arsenal’s respective matches. Van Gaal has set his team up not to lose this season, which has resulted in some dull performances. Nonetheless, they have done fairly well on their travels, claiming maximum points from four of their seven games, losing twice. It would have been easy for Memphis Depay to crumble under the scrutiny he’s been put under since losing his place. But the way he took his goal against Watford– a cushioned volley from Ander Herrera’s cross – suggests otherwise. He still needs to work out how to make sure he doesn’t go missing in games, but there were enough flashes of skill and technique to show that he’s got the ability and desire to recover from a difficult few weeks. 

Juan Mata will pull the strings from midfield with his endless passing and eagle-eye vision. He also has the ability to score goals, but the Spaniard tends to be a more unselfish player than most. Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial are likely to return against the log leaders this weekend, but Van Gaal has proved to be very unpredictable, so whether they come straight into the starting 11 is unknown. Despite how people feel about the Van Gaal’s football philosophy, it has been a success till this point – so there isn’t any reason to change it. 

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Probable line-ups:
Leicester City: 4-4-2
Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs; Mahrez, Kante, Drinkwater, Albrighton; Ulloa, Vardy

Manchester United: 4-2-3-1
De Gea; Young, Blind, Smalling, Rojo; Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger; Martial, Mata, Depay; Rooney

Betting Verdict: Draw 
This one could go either way. Leicester have been showing off their attacking football this season, whilst Man United have been a possession based footballing team under Van Gaal. The Foxes hammered the Red Devils 5-3 in this fixture last term but United got their revenge at Old Trafford with a 3-1 victory. That’s a total of 12 goals between the two. Neither team will want to lose this one. Go for the score draw at a valuable 31/10. 

Written by Aaron Crowie for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!