By Andy Hyslop
- United need the three points to keep up pursuit of top four finish
- A positive result for Leicester with confirm them as Premier League champions
- Shaw outside of returning in FA Cup final
Manchester United face Leicester City on Sunday afternoon. Three points for United would keep up their pursuit of top four finish. While Leicester know that a win will confirm them as Premier League champions.
United are currently five points behind both Arsenal and City, with a game in hand on both of them. By the time this game kicks off, Arsenal could have extended that gap to eight while City face Southampton after the full-time whistle goes at Old Trafford.
United confirmed their place in the FA Cup final on May 21 with the semi-final victory over Everton. Top four though is what the fans and club will define their season by.
Win the FA Cup or not, league position will decide whether Louis Van Gaal sees out the final year of his contract. Finish in the top four and the Dutchman will surely be charge of United come the start of next season.
No one can argue that Leicester deserve to win the title but hopefully United can put in a performance and pick up the three points that will delay the Foxes title celebrations.
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal confirmed at his pre-match press conferences that United’s squad came through semi-final unscathed.
Meaning that Schweinsteiger and Shaw remain the only first-team regulars out with injuries. Van Gaal said that Shaw may have a chance of featuring in the FA Cup final, providing the left-back get some second time football before the final on May 21.
Though we will have to wait and see on that, it is positive news for Shaw though he doesn’t have to rush back for that. Shaw is young and will have plenty more opportunities to play in cup finals and pick up medals.
Van Gaal is now spoilt for choice in his team selections, having been hit with injuries for the majority of the season. No question that De Gea will be in goal for United. He is likely to be behind a back four of Darmian, Smalling, Blind and Rojo.
Recent games have seen United operating a 4-3-3 formation with Rooney featuring in a midfield three. We believe that will continue with Schneiderlin operating slightly deeper than Rooney and Mata.
The front three of Lingard, Rashford and Martial are likely to continue in this one.
As we have already said a win for Leicester on Sunday afternoon would see the Foxes crowned as champions of England for the first time.
Leicester have been a breathe of fresh air in the Premier League this season. After surviving relegation at the end of last season and sacking manager Nigel Pearson no one could have guessed this game would see Leicester on the verge of being crowned champions when the fixtures were announced.
Claudio Ranieri has had the luxury of naming pretty much the same starting eleven week in week out and this has been a big factor for Leicester this season.
The stars for Leicester have been Vardy and Mahrez, with both nominated for the PFA Player of the Year. Which Mahrez won and dedicated to his team-mates.
Extra games for Leicester in the Champions League next season will test the strength of their squad and it will be interesting to see where they are in the table this time next year.