Manchester United v Leicester City Betting Preview
Back Mourinho’s men to make it three wins from three
What a start it’s been for Manchester United. They top the table after two weeks of the new Premier League season following 4-0 victories against West Ham and Swansea, and from what we’ve seen so far Mourinho’s men look very impressive indeed. They dominated last weekend’s clash away at Swansea, and although the scoreline slightly flattered them, you can take nothing away from their persistence and desire to close out the game. Mourinho has his team looking just how he wants them.
Playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been one of United’s standout players so far, assisting half of his side’s eight league goals, already one more than he managed in the whole of the 2016/17 season. Record signing Paul Pogba has also showed signs of living up to his enormous price tag, and new signing Romelu Lukaku has already found the net three times. The Old Trafford faithful will be expecting a third straight victory based on what they’ve seen so far, and if they’re anywhere near their best then I think they’ll provide it. United have now gone 31 home games without defeat, stretching back to September last year, and they won’t want that run to end now.
Despite only winning one of their opening two league games, Leicester have been impressive in both outings and have showed signs of regaining some of the form seen during their title-winning season two years ago. After being edged out by Arsenal in a seven-goal thriller on the opening day, Craig Shakespeare’s men returned to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Brighton on Saturday, and they dominated the tie from start to finish.
They currently sit ninth in the table with three points, and they have a big task on their hands going to Manchester in search of points this weekend. The Foxes face Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, as well as high-flying Huddersfield Town, in the next four weeks of the season, so it’s difficult to see Shakespeare’s side picking up too many points over the next month, but they’ll head into the game knowing that on their day they can be a serious threat to any Premier League side – just check the history books.
They won’t, however, take confidence from the two sides’ head-to-head record. Leicester have had very little luck in recent encounters, winning only one of the last 18 meetings, with United winning 14. Mourinho’s men stormed to a 4-1 victory in this fixture last time around, and their 3-0 win in the reverse fixture gives the Red Devils a very big chance on paper. The last time United lost at home to Leicester was 1998, and it looks unlikely that that run will come to an end on Saturday.
To score – Paul Pogba 15/8
The Frenchman has been superb so far. The midfield maestro has controlled each of his side’s first two games almost single-handedly, and he has two goals and two assists to show for it. Despite his resolute defensive work, Pogba loves to get forward and give himself a chance in front of goal, and we’ve seen that against both West Ham and Swansea. He also scored in this fixture last season, so I wouldn’t bet against him finding the net at any time, especially priced at 15/8.
Both teams to score – Yes 1/1
Both teams have found the net in six of the last seven meetings, and the two sides have produced some high-scoring games in recent years. United’s defence looks very solid, and Leicester looked much more resolute at the back last weekend after conceding four on the opening day, so they will both be difficult to break down, but United very rarely fail to score at home, and don’t forget Leicester have scored in their last three trips to Old Trafford. With eight goals in two games for Mourinho’s men and five for the Foxes, I’m backing both teams to score at evens.
Match odds – Manchester United 1/3
They’ll have to work hard for all the points, but I can see United making it three wins from three on Saturday, priced at 1/3. You can back a draw at 9/2, or a Leicester win at 10/1 – very appealing odds for a team that have proved in the past they’re capable of beating Manchester United on their day.
Writer’s Prediction: Manchester United 3 v 1 Leicester City
*Odds correct at the time of publication, click here for all the latest odds on upcoming football matches.