EPL: Manchester United v Leicester City Preview

Written by Jesse Nagel for Soccer Betting NewsFollow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!
                                               
Manchester United v Leicester | Sunday 1 May | Old Trafford | 15:05



Super Sunday awaits. Manchester United host the log leaders Leicester City, hoping to avoid the embarrassment of the Foxes lifting the Premier League trophy at Old Trafford. Leicester just need three points from as many games, now that Tottenham drew on Monday night. However, the Foxes know that they have a fight on their hands with United still battling it out for a Champions League spot.

Could this weekend see new Premier League Champions? Or will the Foxes be hunted down and taught a lesson by England’s most successful club?

To Win (90 Mins)
Manchester United 21/20 | Draw 23/10 | Leicester City 26/10

Manchester United
For Manchester United, this has been one of the most dreadful seasons to date. They’ve had a manager who got through the campaign without any backing from the fans as they continued to disappoint, week in and week out. Yes, he surely isn’t the great Sir Alex Ferguson, but no Man United side should be flirting with the Europa League spot as he has done for most of the season. Perhaps a top four finish, along with England’s oldest trophy – the FA Cup – would be some encouragement for the United faithful.

Man United do come into this game with a bit of form, however, with the Reds winning their last four games in all competitions, before being hammered by Leicester’s title rivals Tottenham 3-0 a few weeks back.

Louis van Gaal has stuck with his plan of bringing through youth players and giving them a first team opportunity, with Timothy Fosu-Mensah the latest prodigy to come through the ranks of United. Fosu-Mensah has been seen as a solid back-up in fullback position with the Red Devils’ everlasting injury list build on from time, and time again.

Another youth player who seems to have adapted to first team action is Marcus Rashford. The young Englishman has now started 14 games in succession and has found the back of the net seven times.

Without a doubt, David De Gea has been van Gaal’s main man this term. The Spanish shot-stopper is known for his quick reflexes and has proved to be one of Europe’s best keepers, which has seen him earn a spot in the PFA Team of the Year this season – the only player from the Manchester clubs to do so.

De Gea has seen himself become one of the fans’ favourites with the crowd holding banners that read “DAVE SAVES” having agreed a new deal with United, after his transfer to Real Madrid broke down at the beginning of the season. United will be hoping Dave can save them at least one more time this season to avoid the humiliation of Leicester being crowned champions at their home turf.

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Leicester City
Just one win away from securing the first league title in the club's 132-year history. Leicester need a minimum of three points to grant Claudio Ranieri’s side the title. If they were to win it, the Foxes would lift the trophy at Old Trafford which would add icing to the double layered cake that is their season.

If any team deserves the title, it’s Leicester. They’ve been on top of the table for as long as I can remember now and have given the other sides no chance to overtake them, with Ranieri’s side losing just three times all season. The Foxes are now on a nine-game unbeaten run which has seen them keep seven clean sheets.

Leicester will go to Old Trafford without their top scorer Jamie Vardy, who will be given a one-match ban for improper conduct for his angry reaction to a red card against West Ham a fortnight ago. In Vardy’s absence, a Riyad Mahrez-inspired Leicester battered Swansea 4-0 at the King Power Stadium, which encouraged the fans to sing on “4-0 to the one man team. Barcelona, WE ARE COMING FOR YOU!”

High hopes, of course, but if they could carry their belief and fighting spirit into next season’s Champions League, they could stand a chance against Europe’s elite sides. But for now, it’s United that stands in their way of glory.

The first time these sides met this season marked a special night for Leicester fans, when Vardy broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s goal-scoring record by scoring in 11 consecutive games in the league.

Along with Vardy, the Foxes possess three other players in the PFA Team of the Year, with Mahrez, N’Golo Kante and club captain Wes Morgan making the cut. Mahrez has been the standout player of the year which has seen him deservedly be awarded the PFA Player of the Year. Mahrez became the first African player to win the prestigious award beating the likes of Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure before him. He has a sweet left foot in his arsenal, with the ability to break down the strongest defences in Europe with his masterclass trickery. Without Vardy, do Leicester have the key that can unlock United’s stubborn defence? The world sure hopes so.

Verdict: Draw (23/10)
When these sides first met in the league this season, it was to break a goal-scoring record, now it is for the title. What a year it has been for Leicester, who are now just three points away from bragging rights over the rest of England. The reverse fixture ended in a 1-1 draw at the Foxes’ den. With both defences showing no signs of weaknesses recently, this is certainly going to be a cagey affair. My first option would be to back the Under 2.5 Goals market at 7/10. But for more value, take the draw. Only the brave could separate these two.

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