Man Utd vs Leicester Preview | Confirmed Team News | Expected XIs: Amad starts for Utd
Manchester United welcome Leicester City to Old Trafford in the first of two mid-week Premier League games. Here is our preview for the match
Only two days after their 3-1 victory over Aston Villa, Manchester United welcome Leicester City to Old Trafford in the first of two mid-week Premier League games.
Whilst Man United go into this game fresh from a 3-1 victory at the weekend, Leicester otherwise dropped a crucial 3 points against Newcastle damaging their hopes for a top four finish.
The last time these two teams met in the Premier League on Boxing Day, the result was a 2-2 draw. Furthermore, Leicester City have not been able to win at Old Trafford since their promotion to the Premier League in 2014.
With Leicester’s top four hopes hanging in the balance, a win is absolutely crucial in order for them to stay in fourth place ahead of Liverpool who have a game in hand. Man United on the other hand have all but secured second place. However, with the impossibly quick turnaround from Sunday’s game, having also played just three days beforehand on Thursday, large rotation to the squad is expected.
Long-term absentees Anthony Martial and Phil Jones are both still unavailable, alongside Dan James who is a doubt. The latest name to be added to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s injury list is Captain, Harry Maguire.
Maguire picked up an ankle injury in Sunday’s game, seeing the skipper being substituted off in the Premier League for the first time as a Man United player. The extent of his injury is unknown, however it is highly unlikely he will be available for Tuesday’s fixture.
Even though there are no other known injuries amongst the squad, the game against Leicester will be the third game in six days for United, alongside the Liverpool game which has been rescheduled to take place only two days later. This means Solskjaer will have to heavily rotate the squad as to not risk injury from over-playing his ‘best’ eleven players.
Solskjaer said in his pre-match press conference that both Amad Diallo and Shola Shoretire are “in contention” to play against Leicester. He went on to say, “they’re training with us every day so I would think that some of the young boys will get an appearance definitely. If it’s coming on towards the end or starting, I don’t know because I don’t know how the players will be on Tuesday when we see them”.
Therefore, it can be expected that the Man United team chosen on Tuesday – and the resulting performance – will be massively different to the team we have gotten used to seeing recently.
For Leicester, both James Justin and Harvey Barnes remain out for the remainder of the season. The latest injury concern for the Foxes comes as Jonny Evans picked up an injury during the warm-up before their game against Newcastle last week.
Evans is therefore a doubt for the game against Man United with Brendan Rodgers not giving too much away during his pre-match press conference stating, “we’ll just have to see how he is and what his availability is going forward”.
James Maddison has just returned from injury and should be available to face United with Rodgers saying “He’s not 100 per cent, that’s something I’ve said before, he’s not up to game speed. The problem is you’ve got to give him the minutes and time to try and get him there, likewise with Ricky [Ricardo].”
Man United (4-2-3-1): Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Bailly, Telles; Matic, McTominay; Amad, van de Beek, Mata; Greenwood.
As expected, the above prediction sees the starting eleven being heavily rotated from Sunday’s game. At the back, the only player who may keep his spot in the starting line-up is Aaron Wan-Bissaka who will provide strong defensive cover on the right. Nevertheless, Brandon Williams is another option for this position and may come on at half-time to replace Wan-Bissaka if he does not start.
Axel Tuanzebe and Eric Bailly may both come in to replace Victor Lindelof and the injured Harry Maguire, whilst Alex Telles will come in to replace Luke Shaw on the left.
In the middle, Scott McTominay may keep his place as even though he played the 90 minutes on Sunday, he was not used in the game against Roma on Thursday and therefore may be better rested than other players. Nemanja Matic is an almost certain starter, playing as a defensive midfielder providing cover where needed.
Higher up the pitch, 18 year old Amad may be given a start on the left wing ahead of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford who are likely to both be rested for the Liverpool game. Juan Mata may then start on the right wing with Donny van de Beek playing in the middle as an attacking midfielder in the place of Bruno Fernandes.
Where Solskjaer may have some problems rotating is when it comes to choosing a striker. As Anthony Martial is still out, the only options are either Mason Greenwood or Edinson Cavani, both of whom played on Thursday and Sunday. Solskjaer may therefore opt to go with the young Mason Greenwood whose recovery time may be quicker than 34 year old Cavani, however the manager may choose to use one in either half.
All of Solskjaer’s usual starting players, except from Maguire, will be available from the bench if the game demands. Furthermore, Shola Shoretire, Hannibal and Anthony Elanga are among the under 23’s who have been training with the first-team recently and therefore could be in contention to get some playing time.
Leicester (3-4-1-2): Schmeichel; Amartey, Soyuncu, Fofana; Castagne, Ndidi, Tielemans, Thomas; Perez; Iheanacho, Vardy
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