By Imran kardar
Some key words from the title, 1) dull and boring United, 2) red hot Leicester and 3) top of the table clash. Let’s go in to that before discussing the teams, etc. When someone is down the whole world takes the opportunity to take a kick at you. Sadly that is the way of the world. You will meet a few who will help you up when you have fallen however, you will meet several who will take a shot at you when you are down and want you to stay there. That’s been the story this season for Manchester United. A team in transition, trying to start a new after the Fergie era and the one year calamity under Moyes are somehow supposed to play at their previous levels, with the attacking flair under Fergie as if nothing happened and nothing has changed. What people and the critics don’t realize that there is a new coach at the helm, who does things differently with different coaching staff however somehow all that is supposed to be over looked and United should be a 9/10 team every match. The same people don’t realize that out of the playing XI from last season there are 6 players (Darmian, Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin, Memphis, Lingard and Martial) who are playing majority of the games who are new to the league (barring Lingard who is not new to the league but still new to the team having not played many games last season and Schneiderlin who isn’t new to the league), new to the team, new to the coach and new to their teammates. These players are of very good quality indeed and are expected to gel in from the first game. Well, news flash that isn’t always possible. Especially when half the team you are fielding is new. Hence, when United say that the team is still in transition they know what they are talking about! So I guess United can be excused for being ‘dull and boring’ as most of the players are still finding their feet in the team, the league and the tactics. Also it is clear to see that LVG has made defense a preference this season and it has improved leaps and bounds from last season when it was a freak show. Guess the critics don’t see that LVG has turned the defense around with United and have hardly praised him for it. Stats don’t lie boys, United have the best defense in the league as of today!
On to Leicester being red hot and this being a top of the table clash. Who would have thought that come end November ‘dull and boring’ United would be sitting 2nd and Leicester to be top! Whatever happened to that nosy team across the city? And what happened to the “Champions”? On current form you would have to put your money on Leicester winning this tie. It’s a home game for Leicester and that’s the second thing going for them. Third, is the fact that they have the top goal scorer in the league in their ranks. Coincidence that Vardy will be looking to break the longest goal scoring streak in the league against the team whose former player, van Nistelrooy, holds the record. Vardy has tied the streak at 10 consecutive games and will be looking to break it against United. The United defense will have their work cut out to stop him. But if anyone can stop Vardy from scoring it can be the United defense and DDG.
Team news for Untied isn’t all that good in terms of injuries. Jones and Herrera will miss out the game and it seems that Carrick as well. Added to those are the long term absentees in Shaw and Valencia. Expected line up is to be DDG in goal with Darmian, Smalling, Blind and Rojo in defense. There aren’t many options for LVG in the defensive positions with Shaw and Jones out, also Valencia. Maybe Young starts at right back. Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger should start in the middle of the park with Carrick out injured. Herrera or Fellaini are also options but I think that LVG will go with the Sch-midfield. Mata, Rooney and Lingard would be the best possible attacking trio behind Martial as the No.9. Maybe Memphis is given another run out however after a goal scoring return to the team last weekend, he was poor versus PSV in midweek. With Wilson having been loaned out I would expect Memphis to start on the bench and come on later on if needed.
This is going to be a tough game for United. Everyone remembers what happened against Leicester last season. United will be looking for some revenge for that night. However don’t be surprised to see another ‘dull and boring’ start to the match because in the end what matters is out scoring your opponent right? GGMU!