Improved Leicester to challenge United?
Manchester United take on Leicester City on Sunday afternoon after travelling to play Barcelona at Camp Nou on Thursday evening.
The Red Devils kept themselves in a strong position in competing for a top four finish with a 2-0 win at Leeds United last Sunday but, on the whole, they have not been able to join the title conversation after threatening to do so.
The Foxes have endured a very difficult season so far but are starting to come out the other side under Brendan Rodgers, with their attacking threat bailing them out.
Despite dealing with injuries to important players, Leicester beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 last time out, and they will be hoping to carry the positives from that performance into Sunday’s test.
The Foxes are likely to arrive without: Boubakary Soumare, James Justin, Jonny Evans, Ryan Bertrand and Youri Tielemans.
The Red Devils may have to deal with their busy schedule in the absence of: Anthony Martial, Antony, Christian Eriksen, Donny Van de Beek and Scott McTominay, while Casemiro remains suspended.
It feels like Marcus Rashford’s form is the main reason why the Red Devils will make light work of finishing in the top four.
Without his return to form, United would be sweating over their place in the top four with Wout Weghorst’s addition yet to significantly pay dividends.
Leicester have scored 36 goals from 25.8 expected goals (xG) this season, an unsustainable overperformance, but the Foxes are an extreme case in that respect.
The Foxes’ performance data was worse than their results last season, and with that continuing this term, it would appear that they are data outliers due to the make-up of their squad.
With Kelechi Iheanacho and Patson Daka yet to catch fire at Leicester and Jamie Vardy’s influence fading, the Foxes are more reliant on players like James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans scoring low probability opportunities, that they are happy to take on with regularity.
Usually an option in Leicester matches, but with the Red Devils’ drop-off and busy schedule I am happy to take the Foxes with a headstart.
United have scored in all of their last 23.
United have conceded in six of ten.
United have seen both teams score in six of ten.
United have seen over 2.5 goals in seven of ten.
Leicester have scored in six of ten.
Leicester have conceded in eight of ten.
Leicester have seen both teams score in four of ten.
Leicester have seen over 2.5 goals in five of ten.