A high-profile matchup between the current top two teams in the 2015-2016 Premier League, Leicester City and Manchester United, takes place at the King Power Stadium on November 28th to conclude this week’s Saturday games.
Leicester City is on a four-game winning streak and a six-game unbeaten run to seize league leadership from Manchester City last week.
The Foxes did so by trashing lowly club Newcastle United, 3-0, at St. James’ Park last Saturday.
Striker Jamie Vardy opened the scoring right before half-time then fellow Blue Army strikers Leonardo Ulloa and Shinji Okazaki added one apiece on the 62nd and 83rd minute to complete the runaway victory for Claudio Ranieri’s side.
The win gave Leicester three more points in the overall standings, enough to overtake Manchester City, who failed to gain any points last week after their loss to Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Manchester United also jumped over City to settle in second spot behind the Foxes.
United escaped with a 2-1 victory over Watford at the Vicarage Road last Saturday after an own goal by Hornets’ striker Troy Deeney right at the 90th-minute mark.
Forward Memphis Depay awakened with a goal at the 11th to give the Red Devils an early lead before Deeney equalised it at the 87th with a penalty kick.
- The Foxes have scored five or more goals in a single Premier League game for the first time since March 2000, against Sunderland.
- Man Utd have conceded four or more league goals for the first time since September 2013 (when the opponents were Man City).
- It is the first time Man Utd have ever conceded four or more goals in a Premier League game against a newly-promoted team.
LEAGUE HEAD TO HEAD:
31/01/2015 Premier League Manchester United 3 – 1 Leicester City
21/09/2014 Premier League Leicester City 5 – 3 Manchester United
13/04/2004 Premier League Manchester United 1 – 0 Leicester City
27/09/2003 Premier League Leicester City 1 – 4 Manchester United
06/04/2002 Premier League Leicester City 0 – 1 Manchester United
17/11/2001 Premier League Manchester United 2 – 0 Leicester City
LEICESTER CITY – JAMIE VARDY:
Leicester play to Vardy’s strengths, with penetrative passing into space capitalising on his impressive off-the-ball movement. The forward also has a high success rate with skills performed with his weaker left foot, making him an unpredictable opponent.
United could employ a team strategy of quickly dropping deep when Leicester regain possession. This will give them two advantages: firstly it will deny space available for Vardy to run into where he’s proven to be so emphatic and second, it will reduce Leicester’s opportunities to counter-attack as a team by forcing them to keep possession in front of the Red Devils’ back four.
Vardy thrives on quick one-touch combination play with players breaking forward from midfield in support. It will be important to initially try to prevent service to Vardy, although when that’s not possible, tracking supporting midfielders to stifle the return pass will be crucial to stop attacks building.
MANCHESTER UNITED – CHRIS SMALLING:
Manchester United and England defender Chris Smalling is in the form of his life. His route to the top is a story of hard work and improvement.
Smalling’s improvement has been one of the success stories of the Dutchman’s time in charge at United. Injuries and errors marked his early years at the club and even last season there was a foolish red card in the derby against Manchester City. But he has since emerged as a key figure, with Wayne Rooney rating him among the top three defenders in the world last month.
Smalling will need to bring on his ‘A’ game against Leicester City, especially considering the fact that Jamie Vardy features in the opposition.
The predicted result is a tough 2-1 win for Manchester United. It would be a hard-fought match full of chances for both sides, but Louis van Gaal’s men will prevail with a revived Depay.