It’s that special day of the year for all soccer lovers and Boxing Day 2020 is set to kick-off with a mouth-watering clash between two of the top Premier League sides, when Leicester City take on a high-flying Manchester United side at the King Power Stadium.
Aside from their memorable 5-3 victory over Manchester United back in September 2014, the Foxes generally have a very poor record against the Red Devils. The aforementioned victory is their only one over United in the 21st century (from 21 attempts) and the Red Devils have won the last four, including a crucial 2-0 win in the final day of the 2019-20 campaign.
Leicester City Betting Preview
Following a run of four winless games in late November and early December, Leicester City have won four of their last five games and the Foxes are once again in the top four. However, if Brendan Rodgers’ men want to remain competitive and eventually claim one of the Champions League spots, they must show consistency and the coming Boxing Day clash with Manchester United should be another stern test of their ability.
After seven unsuccessful attempts, Brendan Rodgers finally secured his first victory over former chief Jose Mourinho at the eighth one and the Foxes will now spend Christmas as Liverpool’s nearest challengers, four points off top spot.
Moreover, it was Leicester City’s first Premier League away victory over Tottenham since a 1-0 win over the course of the triumphant 2015-16 campaign (the season they lifted the Premier League trophy) and as a result, the Foxes will be in the first two places of the English top-flight table at Christmas in back-to-back seasons for the first time in their history.
Çaglar Söyüncü could make his first Premier League appearance for the East Midlands outfit since the disappointing 3-0 home loss to West Ham United on 4 October. The 24 years old Turkey international came off the bench late in the game to feature for Leicester City’s 1-0 Europa League defeat at Zorya Luhansk (in Ukraine) a few weeks ago and Brendan Rodgers could finally give him a go in the Premier League.
On the other hand, the Boxing Day encounter may come too soon for him and Rodgers could be more reluctant to rush him in a game of such intensity, when the lack of match practice could be more important than the coming game at Crystal Palace just 48 hours later.
Once again, talismanic forward Jamie Vardy has been pivotal for Leicester City’s form and the experienced Englishman, who’ll turn 34 next month, scored his 13th goal of the campaign during Sunday’s 2-0 win over Spurs. However, he has been substituted at the end of the game with pain in his hip (a recurring problem) but Brendan Rodgers revealed his goalscorer is comfortable again and Vardy will be eager to play on Boxing Day.
That would leave right-back Ricardo Pereira as the only unavailable player in what will be, for once, a well-rested squad and Rodgers would need that given the insufficient time between the two games – this one and the visit of Crystal Palace on Monday.
Former Man United defender Jonny Evans as well as Marc Albrighton and summer signing Timothy Castagne all returned for Leicester and Brendan Rodgers will be happy to have them for the busy festive period and particularly for the clash against the Red Devils.
Manchester United Betting Preview
Despite the Champions League setback, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side continued their upsurge over the past weeks as they earned two big wins to go third in the Premier League table and also secured a League Cup semi-final against rivals Manchester City for a second successive year.
January could be a challenging and possibly decisive month for United’s season and while Solskjaer himself attempts to earn his first trophy as Manchester United boss, the Red Devils are showing signs they could really win a first trophy since their 2017 Europa League triumph under José Mourinho.
Having slipped up in three semi-finals last season (UEFA Europa League and the two domestic Cups), Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed he was “desperate” for silverware in the ongoing campaign but this shouldn’t distract his side from the Premier League opportunity that can become realistic should they manage to maintain similar intensity and consistency in the coming weeks, particularly when they face arch rivals Liverpool at Anfield next month.
However, first of all, the Red Devils are away at Leicester City on Boxing Day and then face Wolves at Old Trafford three days later (on 29 December) in their final game of the calendar year, so Solskjaer must find the right balance in order to squeeze the maximum out of these two tricky games.
Solskjaer made nine changes to the team which stunned Leeds on Sunday and they have now won all nine of their domestic away games this season. their most recent one repeated the pleasing outcome of their 3-1 at Goodison Park last month, when United once again defeated Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton side in the Premier League.
Edinson Cavani once again reminded us about his individual quality as the experienced Uruguay forward has shown class to inspire United’s success with a brilliant late strike when the game looked set to head into a penalty shootout.
With Everton desperate to save the game in the final seconds, they allowed Manchester United to break twice more with influential Bruno Fernandes hitting the post on one surge before substitute Anthony Martial eventually scoring the second one. Even though he is often too wasteful, Martial’s current form (2 goals and 4 assists in his last three appearances) suggests the Frenchman is focused on his game and reaping the benefits of his partnership with the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford, who are pivotal for United’s good games in 2020.
The 25 years old Frenchman had to endure a long wait before scoring his first Premier League goal of the season but he finally did it in United’s 3-2 win at Sheffield United last week and then he delivered two assists for the tremendous 6-2 win over Leeds.
Luke Shaw is ready to feature but in any case, new signing Alex Telles is on standby and no wonder if the Brazilian soon becomes United’s first-choice left-back.
Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo remain sidelined but none of them is considered to have any future at the 20-time Champions of England anyway, while right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka and midfielder Scott McTominay are both doubts for United after they picked up knocks in the 6-2 victory over Leeds United.
Wales winger Daniel James was revitalized and used to great effect against Leeds United last weekend but may not get the same chances against Leicester and could make way for Mason Greenwood.
Possible Starting Lineups of Leicester City and Manchester United
Leicester City: Kasper Schmeichel – Wesley Fofana, Jonny Evans, Christian Fuchs – Marc Albrighton, Wilfred Ndidi, Youri Tielemans, James Justin – James Maddison, Harvey Barnes – Jamie Vardy. (3-4-2-1)
Manchester United: David de Gea – Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Paul Pogba, Fred – Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood – Anthony Martial. (4-2-3-1)
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
Manchester United come off an impressive 6-2 win over rivals Leeds which was another brilliant performance of their regained mojo.
After an absolutely successful choice to stop and run over Marcelo Bielsa’s tactics and then getting the better of Carlo Ancelotti within a couple of days only, Solskjaer will have another fascinating managerial duel as he’ll have to deal with Brendan Rodgers’ selection that seems to be brimming with confidence as well.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have remarkably won all six of their Premier League away games this season, coming from behind and even more remarkably scoring at least 3 goals in each one. Moreover, stretching back to 2019-20, the Red Devils have won 10 consecutive Premier League games away from their Old Trafford.
Last but not least, The Red Devils have the most wins (21) and highest win-rate (81 per cent) of any Premier League club in those special Boxing Day games and with that said, we’re backing United to claim another massive victory in their bid to be recognized as proper title contenders.
If you believe that the Foxes will halt United’s winning run, Brendan Rodgers’ side could be backed at odds of +197 with BetOnline, while you can also go for a draw at +230.
Spooky Express Free Play: Manchester United +132 @ BetOnline for 5/10 Units