Manchester United vs Leicester City preview, betting tips and prediction: Mourinho’s men well placed to continue perfect start

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Manchester United to win with a -2 handicap @ 21/10 with Sky Bet

Kelechi Iheanacho to score anytime @ 7/2 with Betfair

Manchester United and over 3.5 goals @ 21/10 with Betfair

Manchester United’s biggest problem last season was breaking down teams they should have been and turning draws into wins. Failing to beat the likes of Stoke City, Burnley, Middlesbrough and Bournemouth may have been the difference between a Premier League title challenge and finishing in the top six. Coincidentally, one of the teams they beat by a hefty scoreline, 4-1, was Leicester and judging on their two 4-0 wins over West Ham and Swansea, they are more than capable of putting Craig Shakespeare’s men to the sword on Saturday evening.

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Paul Pogba’s impact, and subsequently the arrival of Nemanja Matic this summer has been the major difference, because while Romelu Lukaku has been on fire since joining from Everton, he has stepped into the boots of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who really impressed by scoring 28 times last season. Pogba seemed shackled in the system Mourinho was playing last season, but Matic’s ability to protect in midfield affords Pogba the freedom to get forward and make things happen. Because Leicester will sit in and play on the break, it is a must for them to keep this up otherwise United will be so much easier to play against. With Pogba running on, the other players like Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata are able to impact the game more and that is why they have been so free scoring and could be once again with our -2 handicap and over 3.5 goals tips.

In terms of Leicester’s threat, it has reached a new level with Kelechi Iheanacho up front. Islam Slimani’s presence last season, as an alternative to Jamie Vardy, gave the Foxes two options, to go direct or play on the counter attack. Iheanacho is not as hard-working as Vardy but he can combine the two styles more than either of the other options, especially as he will partner the England man in attack if he plays; 7/2 is a superb price for him to get his first Leicester goal on his return to Manchester.

Key battle: Paul Pogba vs Wilfred Ndidi

For many of the reasons already mentioned, Pogba is crucial to the way United play and it will fall on Ndidi’s shoulders to keep him harnessed. Ndidi plays very much in the mould of former Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante, with an energetic approach to midfield play, keeping his position and intercepting the ball before giving it to Danny Drinkwater to create something.

Leicester’s midfield will be more static than the hosts meaning Pogba could be outnumbered, but in reality he will be causing more issues for his opposite numbers than vice versa. Ndidi may then make runs forward into the gaps vacated by Pogba, but he will need the likes of Vardy and Mahrez to drop deep in order to get round Nemanja Matic. But it is unlikely he will venture over the half way line much over the course of 90 minutes.

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba gestures during the UEFA Super Cup football match between Real Madrid and Manchester United on August 8, 2017, at the Philip II Arena in Skopje. / AFP PHOTO / Nikolay DOYCHINOV

Key battle: Paul Pogba vs Wilfred Ndidi

For many of the reasons already mentioned, Pogba is crucial to the way United play and it will fall on Ndidi’s shoulders to keep him harnessed. Ndidi plays very much in the mould of former Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante, with an energetic approach to midfield play, keeping his position and intercepting the ball before giving it to Danny Drinkwater to create something.

Leicester’s midfield will be more static than the hosts meaning Pogba could be outnumbered, but in reality he will be causing more issues for his opposite numbers than vice versa. Ndidi may then make runs forward into the gaps vacated by Pogba, but he will need the likes of Vardy and Mahrez to drop deep in order to get round Nemanja Matic. But it is unlikely he will venture over the half way line much over the course of 90 minutes.

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