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Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs. Leicester City

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  • Manchester United has lost only two of their 22 PL matches with Leicester City and only one of these came at Old Trafford: 0-1 in January 1998.
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan has already registered four assists in two PL matches this season. The Armenian could become the first player in PL history to assist two goals in three consecutive matches.
  • Leicester has scored in all but one of their 15 PL matches under Shakespeare and striker Jamie Vardy has scored in eight of these.
  • Manchester United is still without Ashley Young and Luke Shaw, both of whom are approaching full fitness. Marcos Rojo (knee) is a long-term absentee, as is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who signed a one-year deal on Thursday to return to the club.
  • Leicester City captain Wes Morgan has recovered from a back injury. Kelechi Iheanacho (toe) and Harry Maguire (knock) will be assessed.

The Premier League’s hottest team returns home to face 2016’s surprise Premier League champions in a primetime match on Saturday afternoon on national television (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

NBC will televise Manchester United vs. Leicester as Jose Mourinho’s side look to continue its dominance through the early part of the season. Man United has won two consecutive games 4-0, with Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan impressing.

Leicester City meanwhile enter the match coming off a pair of wins, 2-0 over Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League and 4-1 at Sheffield United in the EFL Cup during the week. Leicester City were also a few defensive lapses away from beating Arsenal on the road to open up the season.

Both teams have the ability to score goals, and there should be plenty of attacking action on display.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

What they’re saying

Jose Mourinho on Mkhitaryan: “I think Henrikh [Mkhitaryan] understands me, and to be honest, I understand him because in the beginning of the season if he understands me better, he would have started better. But at the same time, if I understand him better, I would probably help him in a faster way than I did. But, we spent our time together, working together, learning about each other. The second part of last season was good for him and I believe, with his talent, that this season is going to be even better.”

Mourinho on Leicester City: “I think they are the same team as they were two seasons ago. Are they going to be champions again? Honestly, I don’t think so because there are many teams that I don’t think all of them are going to fail. But I think in terms of their qualities, I think they are the same team and they are playing exactly the same way they played before.”

Leicester City’s Craig Shakespear on facing Man United: “They have looked powerful. To score eight goals in two games in the Premier league is no mean feat. It will be a massive challenge but we look forward to that challenge. We have had a couple of good results recently and we need to take that confidence into that game, but we know what stands before us.”

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Prediction

Manchester United is the Premier League’s hottest team and for good reason. The club spent more than $100 million this summer to upgrade its frontline and with Romelu Lukaku’s early season form, there’s no reason why Man United shouldn’t beat Leicester, which are still figuring out things somewhat defensively against the top teams. Manchester United 3-1 Leicester City

Manchester United to seek out those who continue offensive Lukaku chant

Andrew Matthews/PA via AP
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Some Manchester United supporters persisting in singing a chant glorifying Romelu Lukaku which has been deemed racist by many for its depiction of the player’s penis size.

Lukaku was among those to ask that fans stop singing the song, as did the club, but it was heard from the away end at St. Mary’s during Manchester United’s 1-0 win on Saturday (where Lukaku scored the winner).

[ WATCH: Coutinho’s gorgeous free kick ]

United responded with vigor after the match, releasing a statement claiming it would request closed circuit footage of the fans in attempts to ban those singing the song based on The Stone Roses’ “Made of Stone.”

WATCH: Coutinho spins gorgeous free kick past Schmeichel

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Minutes after setting up Mohamed Salah for a back door header for a 1-0 lead at Leicestwer City, Liverpool wizard Philippe Coutinho tacked on a goal of his own.

WATCH LEICESTER-LIVERPOOL ONLINE, HERE

Coutinho scored a beauty in the 23rd minute, as the Brazilian lorded over a free kick before spinning a goal just off the top of the wall and past a flying Kasper Schmeichel.

It looked like it was headed for the upper 90 even had it not taking its tiny deviation. The kick was a masterful effort from Coutinho.

Everton’s comeback win puts Koeman “in a totally different world”

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A quiz for you. Oumar Niasse‘s two goals:

  • A) Saved Ronald Koeman‘s job
  • B) Led Everton’s come back win
  • C) All of the above

Koeman admitted “there were a lot of emotions” in Everton’s 2-1 home win over Bournemouth on Saturday, as the Toffees got off the mat to post their first Premier League win since Aug. 12.

[ RECAP: Everton 2-1 Bournemouth ]

After a summer of spending, the Toffees were expected to compete for another berth in a European competition. Instead, a murderer’s row of early fixtures had Everton very low on the PL table.

Was Koeman able to stay calm as his team struggled at home against Bottom Three side Bournemouth?

“Calm after the game, yes. There were a lot of emotions. It was a difficult game, we did not create many chances and we took the right decision after 1-0 down to try something different – play two strikers and go more direct.

“It is a totally different world after winning. You have key moments during the season and this was a big win that will give everyone a boost.”

Apollon Limassol is next for the Toffees, followed by matches against Burnley and Brighton.

Jose Mourinho responds to sending off, Man United win

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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho saw his side battle to a 1-0 win away at Southampton on Saturday as they kept their unbeaten start to the Premier League season going.

Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal of the game after 20 minutes and although Saints had the better of the play in the second half, United’s defense held firm.

Towards the end of the game Mourinho was sent to the stands by referee Craig Pawson for encroachment as he stepped onto the pitch during the action.

What happened?

“I don’t know, you have to ask the referee,” Mourinho said.

He then wasted more time by shaking the hands of every member of Southampton’s coaching staff before he briefly went into the stands before the final whistle was blown.

It remains to be seen if he will face a touchline ban or fine for his actions but speaking to Sky Sports, Mourinho focused on the performance of his team.

“It is not always possible to operate at high quality but fought hard. We did what many teams in the Premier League do for 90 minutes, which was play with five defenders at the back. Credit to Southampton, they tried to play. Pellegrino changed the team and sent on another striker to play more direct.

“It was a hard game but I am really happy. Romelu Lukaku’s work is so important for us. He scored his goal and worked hard like everybody else. Nobody feels the pressure to play always attacking football because so many teams play always defensively. I felt some of the boys were not sharp. I didn’t feel like we could score three or four goals like we sometimes do so the option was to make sure we got the points.”