WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) previews Leicester City’s home tie with Manchester United. The Foxes are in dire need of a victory to halt their free-fall towards the trapdoor, this big clash represents an opportunity to make a statement but will Mourinho’s side be too strong for them?
Leicester City v Manchester United | Sunday 16:00 | Sky Sports 1
Sam Vokes’ 87th minute winner against Leicester in midweek could turn out to be a big blow for the Foxes.
All five teams below Leicester prior to kick off in midweek avoided defeat and with Crystal Palace and Swansea winning it means that Leicester are now just two points above the relegation zone.
December and January were supposed to represent a good opportunity for some points for the defending champions. The Champions League break from early December to February eases the fixture pile up somewhat but from 10 Premier League games in the last two months, Claudio Ranieri has garnered a paltry eight points.
Conversely, Manchester United are now unbeaten in 14 Premier League games. Drawing at home with Hull on Wednesday night was a major disappointment though, especially considering the way that second tier Fulham dismantled a similar Tigers line-up in the FA Cup last weekend.
With only their City rivals winning out of all the top nine sides in midweek, a win against Hull would have been a great result for the Red Devils in the chase of the top five, but the stalemate now means that a win against struggling Leicester is even more compulsory.
Leonardo Ulloa’s outburst against his neglection and mistreatment won’t have done a frustrated dressing room any good but the return of Islam Slimani to the team, after he impressed at the African Cup of Nations’ despite his teams’ early exit, should do the team some good.
Ndidi, N’Golo II?
Wilfred Ndidi now has three full 90-minute appearances to his name. The youngster recently acquired from Racing Genk has been tasked with replacing the sorely missed N’Golo Kante and whilst that appears a nigh on impossible task this could be a breakthrough game for him.
Despite Leicester’s so far poor domestic campaign, they have been tough opponents for anyone at the King Power. The W5-D3-L3 record at home includes a victory over Manchester City and solid draw against Arsenal amongst other good wins, many of which were still in vintage Leicester fashion.
Manchester United have won six of 11 away games in the Premier League this season but overall have won less than half of their games at all venues with their W11-D9-L3 record. It makes the 7/10 about an away victory look worthy of opposing.
The Red Devils have not won at the King Power in either of the last two seasons. Phil Jones, who has formed a solid partnership with Marcus Rojo in the United defence this season, misses out with a muscle injury and with United winning just one of their last five in all competitions I think Leicester +1.0 on the Asian Handicap at 3/4 with BetVictor is where the value lies.
This selection will give us a winner if Leicester win or draw but if they lose by one goal we also get our money back. United have only won seven Premier League games out of 23 played by a two or more goal margin and I feel this big clash could rally the Foxes.
Leicester City v Manchester United – Leicester City +1 Asian Handicap (3/4 BetVictor)