Match preview: United v Leicester
Manchester United will be aiming to close the gap to Manchester City at the top of the Premier League to seven points, when Leicester City visit on Tuesday.
Second place could also be consolidated against the Champions League-chasing Foxes, although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted he will have to rotate his side amid a hectic week of top-flight action for the Reds.
The Leicester game takes place just over 48 hours after the 3-1 victory at Aston Villa which helped secure a top-four finish for a second consecutive season, while we also have to play Liverpool on Thursday.
Here’s all you need to know about the upcoming clash with the Emirates FA Cup finalists…
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE MATCH?
The game kicks off at 18:00 BST on Tuesday will be broadcast live in the UK via BT Sport. You can also follow the action via ManUtd.com and our Official App, where you’ll be able to check the live in-game data through our Match Centre. MUTV will also be providing build-up, live radio commentary and post-match reaction, and will show full reruns of the 90 minutes from the following day.
Harry Maguire is a big doubt for the Reds having had his long ever-present league record ended on Sunday. The centre-back was forced to withdraw 15 minutes before the end at Villa Park with an ankle issue, and the extent of the injury is yet to be assessed. Daniel James also missed that game through injury, while Anthony Martial and Phil Jones are longer-term absentees, although the former is on the road to recovery and could feature before the end of the season.
Brendan Rodgers’s recent injury headaches continued as Jonny Evans limped out of warm-up before the 4-2 defeat against Newcastle and it remains to be seen whether the Northern Ireland international will be fit for an Old Trafford reunion with United. Club captain Wes Morgan is unlikely to be called upon as a replacement after suffering his own fitness issues recently, while full-back James Justin and winger Harvey Barnes have been ruled out for the season.
While the Foxes have an FA Cup final to look forward to against Chelsea on Saturday, the 2016 champions have stumbled in the league in recent weeks. United and Leicester were neck and neck for second place at the beginning of March, but, while we have taken 19 points from a possible 21 since, Rodgers’s men have slipped up with defeats to Manchester City, West Ham and – on Friday night – Newcastle, while a 1-1 home draw with 10-man Southampton could also prove costly in their bid for top four. The Foxes currently occupy fourth position and are five points clear of nearest challengers West Ham United, while Liverpool are also in the mix as they are a point further back but with a game in hand on both sides.
Although March’s 3-1 cup reverse at the King Power Stadium still stings, United actually have a good recent record against Leicester in the Premier League and are unbeaten in 12 since the Foxes won an eventful encounter 5-3 in the East Midlands in September 2014. You’d have to go all the way back to January 1998 for the last time City came away from Old Trafford with all three points, courtesy of a solitary Tony Cottee goal. United have won nine of the 11 league meetings in M16 since, including the last, when Marcus Rashford’s early penalty was enough to secure the win on a sun-soaked September day in 2019.
ONE TO WATCH
Kelechi Iheanacho is the reigning Premier League Player of the Month, having hit a rich vein of form during recent weeks. The Nigerian forward had just two domestic goals to his name by the end of February, as the Foxes relied upon the likes of Jamie Vardy, Harvey Barnes and James Maddison in forward areas. Injuries to the latter two, however, necessitated a change in formation for Rodgers’s men, with Iheanacho partnering Vardy in a striking duo. Since then, the former Manchester City man has been virtually unstoppable, scoring 10 in his last nine Premier League games, including a hat-trick against Sheffield United. Iheanacho’s goals have also been vital in helping the Foxes to a first FA Cup final since 1969, and he scored a brace against United in our quarter-final defeat in that competition.
Referee: Craig Pawson
Assistants: Ian Hussin, Richard West
Fourth official: Mike Dean
VAR: Jonathan Moss
Assistant VAR: Marc Perry.
Our game with the Foxes is one of three to be played across Tuesday and Wednesday:
TUESDAY 11 MAY
UNITED v Leicester (18:00 BST)
Southampton v Crystal Palace (20:15 BST)
WEDNESDAY 12 MAY
Chelsea v Arsenal (20:15 BST)