Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will be hoping his side snap their two-game losing streak in the Premier League when they face defending champions Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday.
24 September 2016
Venue: Old Trafford
Referee: M. Dean
Assistants: S. Long, I. Hussin
Fourth official: L. Mason
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
United 85 41 22 22
Leicester 85 22 22 41
Leicester City 1-2 Manchester United – 07/08/2016 (Community Shield)
Leicester goalscorers: J. Vardy (52′)
Manchester United goalscorers: J. Lingard (32′), (Z. Ibrahimovic (83′)
— Leicester City (@LCFC) September 23, 2016
Players to watch:
Marcus Rashford is one the most in-form players amongst the struggling Red Devils, with manager Jose Mourinho claiming his charges are still scarred and low on confidence because of the previous regime before he took over at the helm.
The 18-year-old striker has three goals and one assist this season already, and looks likely to retain his starting position with Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the line.
Rashford adds pace and unpredictable skill in the final third with an instinctive finish needed to turn over a resilient defence consisting of Wes Morgan and Robert Huth.
Riyad Mahrez has proven this term that his accolades and performances in 2015/16 were no fluke with scintillating individual displays in the Champions League and the Premier League.
Despite some patchy form since the start of the campaign, the Algerian’s direct running and close control makes him a major threat on the right side with United left-back Luke Shaw in a difficult run of form.
Mahrez, along with compatriot Islam Slamani, will look to put the Red Devils on the back foot early on with the knowledge that the home defence is clearly lacking in confidence.
Team form and manager quotes:
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 23, 2016
Mourinho has defended himself and the club after a disastrous three successive defeats last week.
“We had a bad week. I know that the world is full of Einsteins, I know that they tried to delete 16 years of my career, they tried to delete an unbelievable history of Manchester United Football Club and to focus on a bad week with three bad results,” he said.
“If the fans have been disappointed with the last week, I understand completely but I am sure they will be behind the team like they always are.”
Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri admits they will travel to the Theatre of Dreams with confidence and the whole squad will thrive within the atmosphere around the famous stadium.
“We are fearless,” Ranieri declared, “Why are we scared to go there? More than lose, what can we do there? I enjoy – 70,000 people is amazing, fantastic.
“I don’t want to go when there is just you and me to play. It is a very bad show. When you go in this big stadium you want to show your best.”
The hosts will assess the fitness of Shaw and Anthony Martial, who were substituted with respective groin and head injuries against Watford last weekend.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a doubt and Phil Jones remains out of contention for Mourinho.
Kasper Schmeichel has overcome a concussion but picked up a muscle strain which could delay his return, while Marcin Wasilewski is suspended after his midweek sending-off against Chelsea.