4-2-1-3: If Mourinho picks this XI, Man Utd will destroy Leicester
Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United travel to reigning Premier League champions Leicester City on Sunday looking for rediscover their winning formula.
After an indifferent start to the season, the Red Devils have become increasingly difficult to beat, putting together an unbeaten league run which has spanned over three months.
But the club’s momentum in the league has taken a hit since the New Year, with a draw at Anfield followed by frustrating performances against Stoke and Hull.
The Foxes, meanwhile, have only taken one point from their four games in 2017 and could slip into the relegation zone this weekend.
It’s a big match for…
While only a few expected the Italian to lead his side to another fairy-tale Premier League title, the club’s slump has even the most confident of Leicester fans sweating.
The 1-0 loss at Burnley in midweek was Leicester’s 12th defeat in a campaign which they have only managed 21 points in 23 games.
Missing the boundless energy of star midfielder N’Golo Kante, the Foxes have looked a shadow of the team that stormed to the title by 10 points just months ago.
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, second and fourth respectively in last season’s goalscoring charts, have netted just eight times between them and Raneiri could face a full-blown mutiny if he is unable to repair the damage soon.
He refused to panic after the defeat to Burnley, insisting he will remain calm about his team’s prospects, but Leicester are rapidly being dragged into a relegation dog-fight.
United defender Phil Jones is in a race to regain fitness before the weekend after suffering a hamstring injury against Hull at Old Trafford.
The 24-year-old was forced off early into the second-half and replaced by Chris Smalling, who will be given a start at Leicester if his team-mate is not deemed fit.
Mourinho revealed last week that, for the time being at least, he would be overlooking Anthony Martial in favour of Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Frenchman has struggled to feature under Mourinho, sparking rumours he could leave the club, and he is unlikely to earn a start at the King Power Stadium.
Man Utd predicted starting line-up:
Leicester predicted starting line-up:
If you memorise one stat, memorise this…
Leicester City, the reigning champions, are the only Premier League side yet to score in 2017.
Will it change against Mourinho’s men?
0 – Leicester City are the only Premier League side yet to score in 2017. Low.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 1, 2017
Last time they met
The Red Devils thrashed Leicester at the end of September but the victory was somewhat overshadowed by Mourinho’s decision to drop captain Wayne Rooney from his starting line-up.
United led 4-0 at the break thanks to goals from Smalling, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, with Demarai Gray’s stunning strike the only consolation for the visitors.
The defeat was Leicester’s third of the season, which matched their total for the whole of last year.
The hosts will be desperate to shake-off their dismal recent run with a victory but United are proving to be a tough nut to crack in recent weeks.
While Mourinho’s charge have dropped crucial points since the New Year, they will be confident of returning to winning ways in a bid to make up ground on the top five.
Away win, 1-2.