Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs. Leicester City

Venue: Old Trafford – Sunday, May 1st – 14:05 GMT (09:05 ET)

Match Odds: Man United 1/1 – Draw 23/10 – Leicester 29/10

Match Preview

Manchester United welcome Leicester City to Old Trafford in what could be the day Claudio Ranieri’s side make history and win the Premier League.

United’s last Premier League game was their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. There is still a chance for them to finish in the top four, they sit five points behind but they do have a game in hand. The Red Devils are reliant on other results going their way.

Louis Van Gaal’s side will be full of confidence having dramatically reached the FA Cup Final last weekend, giving them a great chance of silverware this season.

Manchester United have won their last six home matches against Leicester so the away side will have to break that trend if they are to be crowned champions this weekend.

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Leicester City extended their unbeaten run to seven games last weekend with their 4-0 demolition over Swansea.

Ranieri’s side are within touching distance of the Premier League title, but only all three points will secure the silverware this weekend.

Leicester have won six of their last seven league games and kept six clean sheets along the way. We can expect them to be as difficult as ever to break down here.

A win here would cap off what has been an amazing season for Leicester, they have been in good form away, winning three on the bounce.

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Team News

Manchester United could be without up to five through injury as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Adnan Januzaj, Luke Shaw and Will Keane are all ruled out, while Phil Jones is a doubt.

Leicester City are still expected to be without Matthew James through injury, while Jamie Vardy is serving the additional game of his suspension.

Key Points

Manchester United’s last five Premier League games: W/W/L/W/W

Leicester City’s last five Premier League games: W/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Manchester United have won their last six home matches in the Premier League.

Key Player: Kasper Schmeichel – The Danish ‘keeper could follow in his fathers footsteps and win the Premier League title at Old Trafford. We can expect both ‘keepers to be busy but Schmeichel’s performances have been an integral part of Leicester’s chase for the title. He has kept seven clean sheets in his last ten league games.

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Score Prediction

Manchester United 0-0 Leicester City – The champagne will have to stay on ice for at least another week for Leicester City. This will be a very tight tie with neither side looking weak at the back. Manchester United will have to do something not many sides have successfully achieved over the course of the season and break Leicester down. With both goalkeepers in fantastic form they will be the stars of the show here.

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Is this the biggest hint yet that Mourinho will be the next United manager?

It’s no shock to hear any developments that Jose Mourinho is nearing a return to management and the former Chelsea boss is the front-runner for the Manchester United job.

Portuguese media outlet Correio da Manhã report Mourinho is finalising details of his chosen new home in Manchester. 

Louis Van Gaal is expected to be ousted from the club at the end of the season after spending huge sums on a number of players who have failed to make much of an impact for the Red Devils.

No move is expected to happen before the end of the season but there will be added pressure for Van Gaal to make the top four to ensure Mourinho can attract the players he will want if he succeeds the Dutchman.

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Mourinho has openly stated he is waiting for the ‘right move’ ahead of his potential next job, reported by Sky Sports News.

“I always feel that it’s better to wait, not to rush, better to be calm, to wait for the right moment, the right move,” the three-time Premier League winner said.

“I feel that starting the next season with a new club and project is probably the best thing for me.”

Mourinho has played down the situation and has taken a light-hearted approach to reports linking him with managerial roles across the globe and his current management status.

“I read so many different things. One day it says I go to China, another day it says I go to Italy, and people say I’m back to Inter Milan. I’m here – probably, you are saying I will go to the Singapore national team.

“It’s quite a funny career. I am the English champion, and I still have no job.”

Will Mourinho be the next United manager? Will his managerial qualities shine through once again in his next role?

Louis Van Gaal receives backing from Sir Alex Ferguson

Manchester United FC manager Louis Van Gaal has what it takes to succeed according to Sir Alex Ferguson.

Speaking exclusively with Sky Sports, the former United boss thinks Van Gaal possesses the experience and confidence required to be the club’s current manager.

“Louis has got a great background with Bayern Munich and Barcelona. He’s got the pedigree there’s no doubt about that.

“I love his press conferences. They are brilliant. I can see some of the press guys twitching in their seats as he answers some of the questions. He’s got the confidence to deal with that.”

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Ferguson believes Van Gaal has the ability to make the right decisions and that the club is heading in the right direction under his guidance.

“We all have our different philosophies and beliefs. We have different ways of doing things, the way we pick teams and how we look at the qualities of players.

“He’s got the experience. He knows how to handle these things.”

Van Gaal’s style of play is starting to show through as his side impressed over the weekend. Despite conceding twice at Southampton, they held out for the win and scored a marvellous 44-pass goal.

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Ferguson hinted that patience is key and that the United manager will get his team the way he wants it.

“It’s going to take time because everyone is different. Taking over from myself it’s going to take time to get his team on the pitch.”

Is Louis Van Gaal the right man for United and will he be a success?

Is Angel Di Maria on his way out of Manchester United?

Angel Di Maria hasn’t exactly lived up to his £59.7m British record transfer fee since joining Manchester United last summer and could be out the door at Old Trafford as quickly as he burst in it.

A summer move away from the club is looking likely and manager Louis Van Gaal‘s comments have done little to calm down speculation.

Di Maria still hasn’t really settled in Manchester due to personal reasons and an attempted burglary on his home back in January have left the Argentine winger unhappy with life in England.

Van Gaal has said he wouldn’t force Di Maria to stay at the club if he felt it was necessary for him to leave on compassionate grounds when speaking to Sky Sports earlier this month.

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“I am always like that. When you see my history, that’s part of my philosophy,” the Dutchman said. “A player is not just a man who kicks the ball from A to B. His environment is influencing him.”

But Van Gaal was quick to reiterate that from a business point of view it is not a viable solution for Di Maria to depart after just one season, especially when the transfer cost almost £60 million.

“I shall always be open but I know the commercial interests of the club and we have to respect that. You cannot give a lot of money for a player and next season put him out of your selection.”

Di Maria has not started in either of Manchester United’s last two Premier League games against rival clubs for the top four, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. He was suspended for the Spurs clash but his side ran out 3-0 winners and that saw him start the game against Liverpool on the bench on Sunday.

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But despite playing without Di Maria, United have won both games, playing some of their best football of the season.

The 27-year-old playmaker came on in the weekend win over Liverpool but again was in the spotlight for the wrong reason, catching the ball before it had gone out of play, epitomising his form and lack of confidence.

He did create Juan Mata’s spectacular goal with a lovely chipped pass but his creativity has not been exerted enough in his first Premier League season.

Di Maria has made 21 appearances, scoring just three times in the Premier League which is not the return many expected given the qualities he possesses.

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Paris Saint-Germain could be a possible destination for Di Maria but any move will heavily depend on whether United can recoup a similar amount to what they paid for him less than a year ago.

Recent reports suggest that clubs would not be willing to pay more than £30 million for the United man after such a disappointing season and it would be bad business for the Red Devils to let him leave for half the price they signed him for.

Does Radamel Falcao need to leave Manchester United?

Radamel Falcao has struggled to adapt to the Premier League since joining Manchester United last summer. Lewis Addley explores whether a move away would revitalise his career…

Since joining Manchester United Radamel Falcao has not lived up his expectations, scoring just four goals in 19 appearances for the Red Devils.

The Colombian earned himself a staggering £52 million move to AS Monaco in 2013 after impressive spells at both FC Porto and Atletico Madrid, but he hasn’t been able to replicate that form whatsoever since moving to United on loan.

Manchester United paid over £6 million just to bring the 29-year-old striker in on loan this season and have the option to permanently sign him for £43 million at the end of the campaign, though that is highly unlikely now.

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Falcao cannot hide behind a lack of first-team opportunities as a reason for his below-par performances as he has had the backing of manager Louis Van Gaal throughout. Wayne Rooney has even been shifted to a midfield role just to accommodate the Colombian forward.

In a side full of attacking class Falcao is not the main man at United. His spells at Monaco, Atletico and Porto saw him spearhead the attack to devastating effect and he has just not done that in England so far.

Radamel Falcao's career stats and a look at his games-per-goal ratio at each club (Stats via Transfermarkt)

Radamel Falcao’s career stats and a look at his games-per-goal ratio at each club (Stats via Transfermarkt)

His time at United has seen him average a goal almost every five games in what is by far the worst goals-per-game ratio of his career.

Falcao could be rejuvenated with a move away from the Premier League, possibly back to La Liga where he netted 70 times in 90 appearances for Atletico, but a hefty price tag will make it difficult for many sides to offer up what Monaco will be expecting.

He has come under criticism from a number of important figures in the game and isn’t looking anything like the player he once did, which seems a familiar story after big money moves for strikers as we saw with Fernando Torres at Chelsea, who is now incidentally looking more like his old self in La Liga with Atletico.

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Falcao needs to get his head down and keep plugging away. If he can find the net a few more times this season it could attract a club to come in for a possible move. He is seemingly out of favour with Monaco and is unlikely to return to France next year.

If the United man stands any chance of making his move to the club permanent then he must try to find his feet and prove the doubters wrong in the final few months of the season. But seeing how the United move has been for him up to now, Falcao could be best suited to opting to ply his trade elsewhere come the next campaign.

Does Radamel Falcao have a future at Manchester United?