Premier League preview: Leicester v United
Manchester United will be hoping for some festive cheer when taking on Leicester City at the King Power Stadium this Boxing Day.
However, Brendan Rodgers’ men are one of the division’s most consistent sides this term and the Foxes plan to continue their excellent run of late.
Ahead of the clash, here’s all of the need-to-know information...
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE GAME?
The match kicks off at 12:30 GMT and will be broadcast on BT Sport in the UK. United supporters will also be able to follow all the action on ManUtd.com and in our Official App, where you can also track in-game data using our Match Centre. MUTV will provide build-up, live radio commentary and post-match reaction as well as showing full reruns of the game the following day.
There are doubts surrounding the fitness of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Scott McTominay, after they picked up respective niggles in the 6-2 victory over Leeds United, while long-term absentees Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo will miss the clash with the Foxes. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made nine changes for the Carabao Cup victory over Everton in midweek, which could be vital for this game.
As for the hosts, Rodgers has confirmed Jamie Vardy will be fit after he was withdrawn with a problem at the weekend. The game is likely to come to soon for Caglar Soyuncu, who hasn’t featured since October due to injury, while Ricardo Pereira remains on the sidelines.
United head into this one on the back of three consecutive wins in all competitions and the Reds haven’t been beaten in the last seven league outings. Ole's men have also excelled on the road this term by winning every away league encounter in 2020/21, a record we’ll aim to extend on Boxing Day.
On the other hand, Leicester have had mixed fortunes at home this campaign. The Foxes have lost four of their seven league matches at the King Power and, last time out at home, they lost 2-0 to Everton. Despite that, the Midlanders have won four of their last five in all competitions and warmed up for United with a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday.
A win on Saturday would be the Reds’ 11th consecutive league victory on the road, which would equal a Premier League record. Chelsea (April-December 2008) and Manchester City (May-December 2017) jointly hold that record at present, and Ole hopes we can match their efforts. It’s a run that stretches back to our second away game after the lockdown period earlier this year, when we beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-0 at the the Amex Stadium in June.
BOXING DAY RECORD
United have the best record of any top-flight club with an 81 per cent win ratio. From 26 games on 26 December, the Reds have won 21. We also boast an impressive record against Leicester in the Premier League, having won 19 of our 28 meetings and only losing two of those encounters. We last travelled to the King Power in July, when a 2-0 win confirmed our place in the Champions League for 2020/21 at the Foxes' expense.
Leicester have one of the most dangerous and reliable strikers in the league in Jamie Vardy. The rapid frontman has netted five times in 11 appearances against United and only Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah has scored more league goals this term. At the back, former Red Jonny Evans is always a formidable opponent, while full-back James Justin has impressed of late, with Rodgers recently praising the full-back’s versatility and physicality.
Referee: Mike Dean
Assistants: Ian Hussin & Dan Robathan
Fourth official: Robert Jones
VAR: Graham Scott
Assistant VAR: Neil Davies
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Christmas wouldn’t feel right without a jam-packed calendar of Premier League fixtures, and all 20 sides are in action between 26 and 27 December:
SATURDAY 26 DECEMBER
Leicester City v UNITED (12:30 GMT)
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace (15:00 GMT)
Fulham v Southampton (15:00 GMT)
Arsenal v Chelsea (17:30 GMT)
Manchester City v Newcastle United (20:00 GMT)
Sheffield United v Everton (20:00 GMT)
SUNDAY 27 DECEMBER
Leeds United v Burnley (12:00 GMT)
West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion (14:15 GMT)
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion (16:30 GMT)
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur (19:15 GMT)