Man Utd vs Leicester – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Sunday 19th February 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Leicester’s trip to Old Trafford. Leicester appear to have turned the corner and have scored eight goals in two games. Can they pose a threat here? Read on with our Man Utd vs Leicester prediction.
Man Utd vs Leicester Match Preview
Manchester United come into this match on the back of a 2-0 victory over Leeds which went some way to easing the disappointment of the 2-2 home draw four days earlier. United also managed to earn a 2-2 draw away to a much improved Barcelona side in their Europa League playoff tie in which they were arguably the better side – certainly by the xG metric of 2.32 – 1.36 in their favour. That draw will feel almost like a victory for ten Hag’s men as they look to push on to qualify for the Champions League.
United will be mindful of the fact that both Newcastle and Manchester City dropped points yesterday, and they will want to capitalise here to take them to within three points of City and eight clear of Newcastle, though they will have a game in hand. Over the last 10 matches, United are the in-form team in the league, with 23 points – ahead of Man City, Brentford and Arsenal who all have 20 points during the same period.
Leicester had won just one in seven games in all competition before they defeated Walsall in the FA Cup, then shocked everybody by defeating Aston Villa 4-2 away from home and following it up with a superb 4-1 demolition of Champions League qualification hopefuls Spurs. Leicester have now scored 10 goals in their last three games if we include their 2-2 draw at home to Brighton, which is a stark contrast to the five goals in the seven previous matches.
Much of this can be attributed to the return of their playmaker-in-chief James Maddison. While football is a collective effort, it’s fair to say that they badly missed the England international’s creativity, goal threat and set-piece prowess. Leicester now have the opportunity to leapfrog Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace if they win at Old Trafford, though they would clearly be delighted with a point too.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: McTominay
Will Not Play: Antony, Casemiro, Eriksen, Martial, van de Beek
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Bertrand, Evans, Justin
Man Utd vs Leicester Lineups (Predicted)
Man Utd (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Shaw, Martinez, Varane, Dalot; Fred, Sabitzer; Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho; Weghorst
Leicester (4-3-3/4-2-3-1): Ward; Kristiansen, Faes, Souttar, Castagne; Dewsbury-Hall Tielemans; Barnes, Maddison, Tete; Iheanacho
Man Utd vs Leicester Analysis
Manchester United’s Consistency in Attack
It has taken some time and there have been some premature pronouncements from pundits and fans alike, but United are now starting to show real consistency in attack and they carry a goal threat in every match they play. Since their 3-1 defeat away to Aston Villa in early November, United have scored less than twice on just two occasions in 18 games. While defensively they have room for improvement, particularly when Casemiro isn’t there to help shield the back four, from United’s perspective it’s reassuring to know that they can consistently generate quality chances and score goals.
We are now starting to see the fruits of ten Hag’s coaching, with United looking decisive in attack which was in stark contrast to much of last season and the beginning of ten Hag’s reign. Marcus Rashford in particular is brimming with confidence and is beginning to have more of an impact with his all-round game. While on-loan Wout Weghorst isn’t scoring goals, his work rate and ability to win the ball high up the pitch is paying dividends. Bruno Fernandes, who was poor for much of last season, has been rejuvenated following an impressive World Cup campaign for Portugal and is working much harder off the ball. While United aren’t the finished article yet, there is cause for optimism.
Leicester Will Go For It
Make no mistake here, Leicester aren’t going to drop deep for 90 minutes and hope to get something on the counter. They’re coming to play, and why not? They took the game to Spurs with spectacular results
and were clinical against Aston Villa. While we don’t envisage Leicester having quite as much of the ball as United, they will be positive in possession and won’t be afraid of committing men forward, including Kristiansen, Castagne and Dewsbury-Hall. With United missing Casemiro due to his red card against Crystal Palace, Leicester will have a little extra incentive to get forward.
This isn’t to say that Casemiro is being replaced by a poor footballer – Sabitzer is a different kind of player to the Brazilian deep-lying playmaker, but a talent in his own right who hasn’t quite made the grade at Bayern Munich. Fred is also a highly energetic, capable box-to-box midfielder but doesn’t possess Casemiro’s defensive aptitude or his eye for a pass. With both Casemiro and Eriksen missing, Leicester will feel that they play themselves into the game through the middle of the park, which is where their primary playmaker James Maddison operates.
This should be an intriguing encounter. On the one hand, Manchester United are a steadily improving team with a strong home record. While they did drop two points to Leeds, we can view that as more of an aberration than an omen of things to come.
What makes this game more balanced in Leicester’s rapid return to form. Most of us realised that James Maddison makes this Leicester side tick, but to say that we expected Leicester to score four against Aston Villa and Spurs would be a stretch. We expect periods where Leicester are on top and they will most likely find the net. United for their part will continue their consistent attacking output and win an entertaining and close match.
Man Utd 2-1 Leicester
Man Utd vs Leicester Betting Tip – Over 2.5 Goals Odds:
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