Manchester United return to Premier League action with Leicester City’s visit to Old Trafford this Saturday, after the 0-0 draw with Cambridge United last Friday, United will be looking to follow up their 2-0 victory over QPR in their last Premier League game a fortnight ago. Manchester United will be looking to avenge the 5-3 defeat they suffered against Leicester City in the return fixture at the King Power Stadium earlier this season.
A game in which United seemed to be coasting to victory when they went 3-1 up just short of the hour mark. Then Leicester were awarded a dubious penalty after 62 minutes and went on to score 4 goals in 20 minutes, to which United could find no answer.
This is Leicester City’s first visit to Old Trafford since 2004, game which Manchester United won 1-0 thanks to a very rare goal from Gary Neville. Leicester are currently bottom of the league and although they went 13 games without a win after they beat United earlier in the season, they never really got beaten badly in any of the matches, the most they were beaten by was 2 goals. Leicester’s current league form is that they have suffered 3 defeats, drawn 1 and won 2 games in their last 6 games, this means they have taken 7 points from 18 points while United haven’t fared much better in their last 6 games. They have taken 9 from 18 having won 2, lost 1 and drawn 3 games. Manchester United will be looking to improve on that form if they are to keep their place in the top four by the end of the season and qualify for the Champions League.
There are several links between the two clubs with the son of legendary Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, Kasper currently on the books at Leicester and is their first choice goalkeeper normally but is likely to miss this game through injury. Leicester first team regulars Danny Drinkwater, Matty James and Ritchie De Laet all made the switch from Old Trafford in recent years. Nick Powell, Jesse Lingard and Michael Keane who recently left Old Trafford for Burnley have all had loan spells at the King Power Stadium in recent seasons.
Manchester United have several injuries going into this game, Michael Carrick is set to be out for 4 weeks after suffering a muscle injury, while Ashley Young is still out with the hamstring injury he suffered at Stoke on New Year’s Day. There are doubts over Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans who both missed last week’s Fa Cup draw with Cambridge. Surely Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata will return to the starting line-up after being rested for the cup tie last week. What positions and what formation will they be playing in though? That is the question every United will be asking before this game. Will we see Louis Van Gaal return to the 3-5-2 formation or will he opt for the 4-4-2 with a diamond in midfield. If I was selecting the team for this game, I would play a 4-4-2 with the midfield four in a diamond.
Don’t think I need to talk about who is playing in net, that is an obvious choice, would play a back four of Shaw, Rojo, Jones, Rafael. I feel if we’re playing a back four we need to have natural full backs in Shaw and Rafeal. With Carrick missing out through injury, Blind would play at the base of the diamond, with Di Maria and Herrera in the centre two of the diamond where they can dictate the play. Di Maria in this is free to roam from the centre of the pitch to the wide left position and back and this will make it more difficult for the Leicester players to mark him. Then would play Mata at the tip of the diamond behind the front two of Rooney and Falcao. To be honest though I think Van Gaal will revert to 3-5-2 formation, if he does this it will disappoint me. Manchester Unite should be attacking teams like Leicester especially when playing against them at Old Trafford.
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