Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs. Leicester City

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• Manchester United had won the previous nine successive league meetings between the sides and were unbeaten in 10 since Tony Cottee’s goal gave Leicester a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford in January 1998.

• United have only seven goals scored in total in their last six matches in all competitions (five for, two against)

• Nigel Pearson’s side have 17 points after 22 matches this season. The fewest number of points they have had at this stage of a Premier League campaign and avoided relegation was 26 in 1996-97. (BBC Sport)

It was the startling victory heard around the soccer world when Leicester City defeated Manchester United at the beginning of the 2014-15 Premier League season.

Media and fan criticism rained down on newly-appointed manager Louis van Gaal, who was appointed after the David Moyes debacle to return into their English “big dog” status.

The season began to turn around for the Red Devils. Once stuck at the bottom half of the table, the Dutch manager now sees his squad fighting at the very top of the standings in fourth place, certainly a exceptional improvement for the Red Devils at this juncture.

Manchester United will now battle Leicester again, this time at Old Trafford, and NBC has the television coverage for you at 9:45 AM tomorrow on NBCSN. NBC Sports Live Extra will also has a live stream for viewers who using other devices.

[WATCH ONLINE: Live Extra link to match]

United has lost only one game in their past 14 matches, but a 0-0 draw in the FA Cup Third Round against Cambridge United and a 1-0 loss to Southampton on Jan.11 has their latest run of form not particular amazing.

[RELATED: Latest Manchester United news]

Following that wonderful victory over Manchester months ago, Leceister unsurprisingly was not able to retain consistency over their league competitions up to this day.

The Foxes were seventh and rising on the Sep. 21 PL table, but strings of defeats and winless runs have manager Nigel Pearson dealing with hardships of promotion to the highest-tier of English soccer.

A major signing for Leicester, striker Leonardo Ulloa scored two goals in these two squads’ previous contest, but has only managed to bury five more on the season.

In their last nineteen contests, City have snagged victories in only two, and these results surely speak to the difficulties endured by the club.

What they’re saying

Manchester United midfielder Marcos Rojo on countryman Leonardo Ulloa (Red Devils official website): “Argentinian players always go until the end and I think that he is one of those players…He is very strong and very good in the air. We will have to try and stop Leicester crossing the ball but if the crosses do get into the danger areas, we will have to get as close to him as possible. We will need to control him because his aerial play is very strong.”

Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson on previous 5-3 win over United (ESPN FC): “We’ve been trying to forget about it ever since. It was great, but until we beat Hull (in December) that was the last time we won…I think the best thing for us to do is concentrate on what we are doing at the moment. I don’t know if it has affected anything. It obviously has as the question has been asked.”

Match injuries/absences

It’s known that Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick suffered a ruptured muscle that will keep him out for about four weeks, while Ashley young’s hamstring injury has nearly subsided. Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans may also be good for a return.

A preseason foot problem had defender Matthew Upson sidelined for months. He could make his Leicester City debut, though. Matty James’ ban is valid for this match, following his sendoff in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa earlier in the month. Winger Riyad Mahrez, at the Africa Cup of Nations with Algeria, will be a no-show. Other Leicester injuries include goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and forward Chris Wood.

Prediction

It’s hard to think Manchester United will make the same major mistake twice, especially in front of a home crowd at Old Trafford. Manchester United 2-1 Leicester City.