Leicester City vs Manchester United. The second will tackle third in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon as Leicester City prepare to welcome a revitalized Manchester United to the King Power Stadium.
Leicester have picked up 27 points from their 14 league games this season to sit second in the table, one point ahead of third-placed United, who have a game in hand over the Foxes and indeed leaders Liverpool.
Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on December 20, 2020
No team in the top half of the Premier League table has lost more matches than Leicester (five) this season, but the Foxes have recorded the joint-most wins with Liverpool (nine). As a result, a total of 27 points has left them second in the table, which represents an excellent opening to the 2020-21 campaign.
Brendan Rodgers’s side had a slight wobble between November 22 and December 3 as they lost three of their four matches in all competitions, but the former English champions have won four of their last five.
Leicester bounced back from a 2-0 home defeat to Everton on December 16 by winning 2-0 at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, but the team’s home form has been slightly concerning, winning three and losing four of their seven top-flight fixtures at the King Power Stadium.
There is no question that the hosts have the tools to harm United on Boxing Day, but the Foxes have lost each of their last four Premier League matches with the Red Devils, while they have not beaten the 20-time English champions since a 5-3 success in September 2014.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position as United boss has been called into question on a number of occasions already this season, and the Red Devils did not manage to advance to the last-16 stage of the Champions League, which was a huge disappointment considering their start to the group stage of the competition.
United’s Premier League form has been excellent, though, winning six of their last seven, remaining unbeaten in the process; a record of eight wins, two draws and three defeats from 13 matches has brought them 26 points, which is enough for third spot in the table with a game in hand.
The Red Devils are only five points behind leaders Liverpool and have recently been mentioned as possible title contenders, which is incredible considering their struggles in the early stages of the campaign.
The visitors will enter Saturday’s clash off the back of an impressive 2-0 win at Everton in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, which allowed them to book their spot in the semi-finals of the competition.
Solskjaer’s side thumped Leeds United 6-2 in the league last weekend, meanwhile, and have now won each of their last 10 top-flight fixtures on the road. Incredibly, another victory here would equal a Premier League record of 11 straight away successes, which is currently held by Chelsea and Manchester City.
Leicester City Premier League form: LLWWLW
Leicester City form (all competitions): LWWWLW
Manchester United Premier League form: WWWDWW
Manchester United form (all competitions): WLDWWW
Leicester will again be without the services of Ricardo Pereira through injury, while the match is also expected to come too soon for central defender Caglar Soyuncu.
Jamie Vardy is fit, though, with the experienced striker overcoming the groin issue that he picked up during the win over Tottenham. As a result, Vardy should lead the line with support from James Maddison and Ashley Barnes in the forward areas.
Rodgers could select a back three with Christian Fuchs coming into the side, but there are unlikely to be any changes in midfield with Youri Tielemans again set to line up alongside Wilfred Ndidi.
As for United, Scott McTominay and Aaron Wan-Bissaka both missed out against Everton through injury, but the pair could come back into the starting XI on Saturday afternoon.
There will be changes from the side that triumphed in the EFL Cup, with Victor Lindelof, Fred, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and David de Gea all expected to return.
Daniel James impressed against Leeds last weekend, but Mason Greenwood could be given the nod on the right, while Edinson Cavani is likely to drop to the bench despite the Uruguay international scoring a brilliant goal at Goodison Park during the week.
Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, though, are still unavailable for selection.
Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Fofana, Evans, Fuchs; Albrighton, Ndidi, Tielemans, Justin; Barnes, Vardy, Maddison
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial