MX23RW : Wednesday, December 19 06:05:10

How Manchester United could line up against Leicester City

Sports Mole looks at how Manchester United could line up for their Premier League opener against Leicester City.

Manchester United kick off the 2018-19 Premier League campaign on Friday evening with a home match against Leicester City.

The Red Devils have a number of injury and fitness concerns heading into the match, not helped by two more players picking up knocks in last weekend's friendly defeat to Bayern Munich.

Jose Mourinho will be forced to shuffle his pack for the first match of the season, but he still has a number of big-name players to choose from.

Here, Sports Mole predicts how the Portuguese will set out his side for the curtain-raising fixture.


Manchester United predicted XI vs. Leicester City

Out: Nemanja Matic, Antonio Valencia, Diogo Dalot, Marcos Rojo
Doubts: Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, Paul Pogba, Phil Jones, Marcos Rashford, Eric Bailly, Ander Herrera, Romelu Lukaku

Rashford cut short his post-World Cup holiday in order to get some minutes under his belt in United's final pre-season friendly against Bayern, which ended in a 1-0 loss at the Allianz Arena, and could be handed a start through the middle in the possible absence of Romelu Lukaku.

Mourinho confirmed during the club's tour of the United States that Matic had undergone minor surgery that will rule him out for at least the opening match, while Valencia, summer signing Dalot and Everton-linked Rojo are all carrying injuries.

Matteo Darmian will be one of the biggest winners of the injury crisis, with a right-back berth there for the taking, while Luke Shaw is favourite to start on the left after being given an extended run in the side.

The good news for Mourinho is that star man David de Gea was only at the World Cup for a fortnight and is therefore ready for the new season, and Brazil international Fred will also be raring to go.

Elsewhere, Bailly picked up a minor injury against Bayern but should be okay to start in the heart of defence, and Herrera will also be required in a depleted central midfield, where Andreas Pereira may finally be given a chance to shine.

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho patrols the touchline during the 2018 FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1714303773045
2Manchester CityMan City17142148103844
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs17130431161539
4Chelsea17114235142137
5Arsenal17104337231434
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd177552929026
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves177461919025
8Everton176652422224
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham177372525024
10Watford177372325-224
11Bournemouth177282528-323
12Leicester CityLeicester176472121022
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton176382024-421
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle174491422-816
15Crystal Palace1743101423-915
16Cardiff CityCardiff1742111733-1614
17Southampton172691632-1612
18Burnley1733111533-1812
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1724111028-1810
20Fulham1723121642-269

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