Depleted or not, United should win


Victor Lindelof is expected to lead Man United's rearguard again. – Reuters

MANCHESTER United’s visit to Leicester City will more than likely see the Red Devils field a side shy of a few key players.

Even then, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team should have adequate reserves to put paid to the aspirations of Brendan Rodgers and his Foxes helping themselves to the three points.

Injuries and the late return from the South American World Cup qualifiers could sideline up to four players, who otherwise would have started for Man United at King Power Stadium today.

Frenchman Raphael Varane has been ruled out for “a few weeks” after picking a groin injury in the Nations Cup final.

Earlier this week, it was reported that his central defence partner Harry Maguire, who has been out injured with a calf problem, was yet to return to full training.

In the event that this first-choice combination do miss the game, Eric Bailly seems the obvious choice to team up with Victor Lindelof, who featured in the draw against Everton the last time out.

Solskjaer will be craving a victory after poor performances saw them slip from the dizzying heights at the top of the Premiership standings to fourth.

They have earned a measly one point from their last three leagues games and will almost surely have to do without Brazilian midfielder Fred and Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani as well.

Over the next three successive weekends, Manchester United will face Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City.

And it is because of this that the pressure has mounted for the Old Trafford outfit to win today.

Leicester, on paper, appear the weakest team of these and a win would go some way to keeping Solskjaer in touch with the other title contenders.

Leicester, though, are unlikely to be pushovers, more so on their home patch.

They have not done as well this season as they did over the past two campaigns. But there have been glimpses of the sort of form that kept them in the top five over the last two years.

A bit more of that today and they could well give their visitors something to think about.

A positive for Rodgers — who said that he was not interested in taking over as Newcastle United manager — is that Leicester are scoring again, with Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy showing good touch up front. Now they just need to tighten things up at the back and they should be ready to take on anyone for that matter.

Still, Man United get the nod. As depleted as they may be, Solskjaer is expected to start with Cristiano Ronaldo and Anthony Martial in his attack.

The Norwegian boss left Ronaldo on the bench until almost midway through the second half at Everton and the move appeared to backfire on him.

He also drew a lot of criticism for it and is something he will obviously not be doing again in a hurry, one would imagine.

Martial, who was also mentioned this week for a possible move to Newcastle, coming in the wake of the Saudi takeover of the Magpies by the Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media, scored against the Toffees and seems set to retain his place in the side.

The same could be said of Mason Greenwood, who is by far the best of Man United’s budding stars.

Indeed, it is this 20-year-old England player who may yet come to the aid of the wounded Red Devils and save them again.

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