Discussions will go long into the night over what’s gone wrong for reigning champions Leicester City. But the fact that the Foxes are now in very real danger of relegation may give us a clue as to what we might expect when Manchester United visit.
Heading into the weekend, Claudio Ranieri’s charges are just two points above the drop zone – and just five off bottom side Sunderland.
And after three morale-sapping defeats in succession, are we due a Foxes fightback?
That was certainly the case when Man United’s neighbours Man City visited the King Power in December. Leicester ended a five-game winless run that night with a stunning 4-2 victory.
They boasted less than 30 per cent possession in that game, and that gives us a huge indicator of what how this will play out.
Having sorted out his Red Devils, Jose Mourinho’s men have becoming possession-kings of late. But they haven’t always converted that into goals.
Hull were the latest side to frustrate the Old Trafford outfit, claiming a 0-0 draw in midweek.
We know United will dominate the ball here and we know Leicester will look to break with pace. So the question is, can the visitors breakdown the Foxes before Jamie Vardy springs a counter?
The hosts are 9/2, but a far more reliable punt is both teams to score.
Leicester have amazingly failed to score in each of their last three, four of their last five and six of their last eight, but against United they’ve never had that problem.
Since the Foxes returned to the top tier three seasons ago, both teams have found the net in all five league meetings, plus last August’s Community Shield clash.
This makes the Evens on each keeper having to pick the ball out of his net rather tempting.
It also adds weight to backing Man United to win and both teams to score at 11/4.
Having been frustrated in midweek, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be out to make amends on Sunday. The Swede has already hit 14 Premier League goals this season, and is 3/1 favourite to break the deadlock.
Marcus Rashford has seemingly displaced Anthony Martial on the left wing in recent weeks, and the teenage ace is 4/1 to net first, as is United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney.
Jamie Vardy has just five goals this season – three of which coming against Man City – and the England international is 8/1 to put the hosts 1-0 up.
Leicester will know exactly what to do this weekend, and that is essentially the opposite of their performance at Old Trafford in September, when they were 4-0 down by half-time.
Back then talk of relegation was strictly confined to the naysayers, but today it’s a very real prospect, and that alone should spark the Foxes into action.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing