Manchester United vs. Leicester City Betting Preview
The Premier League gets started this Friday with two previous champions pitting their skills against one another, as Manchester United take on Leicester City at Old Trafford.
The game looks set to be an interesting one, as both sides have endured ups and downs, and Jose Mourinho’s side host Leicester after a pre-season period of fitness and transfer perils. Still, the home side have won their opening game in the last 3 seasons.
Manchester United enter this season in an unusual position; they’re generally considered to be the ‘overlooked’ team. Their 19-point gap which they need to make up on last season’s champions Manchester City is going to prove tough to overcome, and there are fears that the side will underperform in the opening stages of the seasons.
With Mourinho’s jobs at Real Madrid and Chelsea ending during his third year, there’s a chance the same could happen at Manchester for him.
Also going against the Red Devils is their relatively underwhelming performance in the pre-season, and combined with Mourinho’s public shaming of the youth players who joined their US tour, optimism is low.
Still, there is some good news, as Alexis Sanchez starts the season in fantastic form, although there’s significant pressure on the Chilean to hold the team together, while some of the side’s other key players sit the opening game out, due to injuries.
Leicester’s manager – Claude Puel – is in a sticky spot, with fans and investors of the club keeping a close eye on him, given the form that Leicester finished in last season.
After Puel joined the club last October, he saw The Foxes win just 5 of 21 league games, leading to the side only just scraping a top-half finish. This is a stark contrast to two seasons back, where Leicester made history, winning the Premier League at odds bookies gave of 5,000/1.
Thankfully, Leicester’s owners have been well-conditioned by the miracle win, failing to have gone through a season since without sacking a manager – and unless Puel can up the side’s game this season, it’s very likely we’ll see them do the same again this season.
Worse still for Leicester is Riyad Mahrez’s move to Manchester City; this leaves The Foxes with a large goalscoring void to fill, and given the striker’s past performance, it’s likely we’ll see Puel pushing Rachid Ghezzal – a new signing straight from AS Monaco – to try and replicate Mahrez’s’ success.
Another new signing is Norwich City’s James Maddison – although only time will tell as to whether or not he’ll prove to be a valuable addition for the side.
As with previous seasons too, Jamie Vardy will likely be a key component of Leicester’s attempt to perform better than last season, and while he had a relatively underwhelming World Cup performance, we’ll almost certainly see him working on the field with Demarai Gray and Kelechi Iheanacho to try and create a fast-paced and quick-off-the-mark game.
With both sides entering this season in worse-than-desired form, the game could go either way, although United have won their last 8 matches against Leicester, and Mourinho will be keen to add a 9th to this tally.
That being said, Leicester are also under pressure to perform, and they’ll almost certainly play a fast game – so if they can catch Manchester United off guard, there’s a good chance Vardy will be able to work his magic.
A 1-1 result seems likely – especially if both teams play as is expected – and Vardy as the first goalscorer could be a lucrative bet for those looking to place a wager on the match. If you are going to bet though it is always visiting a free bets site first like freebetsonline.org.uk for some free bet offers.