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Preview: Leicester City vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Sunday's Premier League encounter between Leicester City and Manchester United.

Leicester City play host to Manchester United on Sunday afternoon on the back of registering an impressive 1-1 draw at Liverpool earlier this week.

United make the trip to the King Power Stadium having been held by Burnley at Old Trafford, but caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will still be delighted with his side's form ahead of the visit to the East Midlands.

Leicester City

Leicester City manager Claude Puel at the game against Burnley on April 14, 2018© Reuters

Claude Puel remains a man under pressure at the Foxes with just 11 points coming from their last 10 outings in the Premier League, but the result at Liverpool was a reminder of the capabilities of this team under the guidance of the Frenchman.

Leicester rode their luck at times on Merseyside, but the visitors equally managed to keep Liverpool out for 87 minutes plus added-on time after conceding an early goal.

Puel would have feared the worst given how his side defended in their previous outing against Wolverhampton Wanderers, but the club's boss will now feel that he has a bit more margin for error ahead of the visit of Manchester United and trip to Tottenham Hotspur.

Nevertheless, it remains imperative that Leicester eventually return to winning ways if they are to achieve their target of seventh place, a position currently held by Wolves who sit three points clear of Puel's side.

Leicester will need to improve their home form if they are to challenge for the final Europa League position, with just 14 points coming from 11 outings in front of their own supporters.

Defeats to Cardiff City and Southampton have been registered since their dramatic 2-1 triumph against Manchester City over the Christmas period, although facing an attack-minded United may play into Leicester's favour.

Jamie Vardy and James Maddison have netted the bulk of the goals for Leicester in the Premier League, but neither player has built on their excellent returns during the opening months of the season.

Puel has been reliant on the pair with no other player contributing more than three goals or assists, and that will likely need to change if Leicester are to achieve the results which they require over the next three-and-a-half months.

Recent form: WLWLLD
Recent form (all competitions): LWLLLD

Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauds during the FA Cup third-round game between Manchester United and Reading on January 5, 2019© Reuters

Solskjaer endured his first setback as caretaker boss on Tuesday night having failed to overcome a Burnley side who had previously been thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City three days earlier.

However, the Norwegian will take the positives from witnessing his side's late fightback, and there will be nothing but optimism when assessing the bigger picture.

Chelsea's 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth has left United within two points of fourth position, something which appeared out of the club's grasp during the closing weeks of Jose Mourinho's time at Old Trafford.

There is the argument that United have effectively been free-rolling and playing with little pressure since Solskjaer's arrival, but the 46-year-old has already achieved more than what was expected from him and there is every suggestion that there is more to come.

A game away from the Theatre Of Dreams has probably come at the right time with United not competing at their best against Brighton & Hove Albion and Burnley, although Solskjaer is now faced with a greater weight of expectation wherever United are playing.

Solskjaer and his team will also be aware that they can move ahead of Arsenal this weekend with the Gunners facing Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, and it would represent a significant move in their efforts to feature in next year's Champions League.

Chelsea also find themselves at the home of the current champions the following week, and there is every chance that wins at Leicester and Fulham will put United in fourth place ahead of the clash with Liverpool.

Such a shift in momentum was deemed unthinkable when Mourinho left in the middle of December, but it would now be considered a surprise if United do not move ahead of the London duo in the coming weeks.

Recent form: WWWWWD
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWWD

Team News

Anthony Martial in action for Manchester United on August 19, 2018© Reuters

Solskjaer has revealed that he expects Anthony Martial to be passed fit for the weekend's game, with the Frenchman having missed the fixture against Burnley due to a minor injury.

Paul Pogba should also be available after a knock, while Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard are in line for a recall to the starting lineup.

Chris Smalling is likely to have to remain patient for a first appearance since a foot injury due to the form of Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones.

Leicester brought in Youri Tielemans from Monaco earlier this week, but the Belgium international is only expected to be named on the bench.

Puel is unlikely to tinker with the players and system which proved to be effective against Liverpool, meaning that youngster Harvey Barnes should remain among the replacements.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Pereira, Maguire, Evans, Chilwell; Gray, Ndidi, Mendy, Maddison, Albrighton; Vardy

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Pogba, Martial; Rashford

Head To Head

Sunday's match will represent the 128th competitive meeting between the two clubs, with United registering 65 wins in comparison to 33 victories for Leicester.

United hold a dominant record in this fixture since 1999, with 16 triumphs coming from a total of 20 contests in all competitions.

Leicester's only success during that time was the famous 5-3 game at the King Power Stadium in September 2014.

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We say: Leicester City 1-3 Manchester United

Leicester may have impressed against the bigger teams this season, but we feel that Solskjaer and United will learn from the mistakes made by some of their rivals and run out convincing winners against the Foxes.

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on January 29, 2019
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