Leicester City – Manchester United is a winner takes all battle on the final day of the Premier League season for a spot in the UEFA Champions League.
Next Sunday will be absolutely epic (start time, 11am ET online via NBCSports.com) as the Foxes and Red Devils square off and Brendan Rodgers has said his side are ready for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s in-form side.
[ MORE: Premier League standings ]
After 23 games of the Premier League season Leicester were 14 points ahead of Man United but after a stuttering end to the season they’re now only ahead of Man United on goal difference and United have a game in-hand.
Speaking following Leicester’s disappointing 3-0 defeat at Tottenham this Sunday, as defensive injuries and suspensions have hit them hard, Rodgers is looking forward to one more chance at reaching the Champions League.
“It will be absolutely perfect. It will be all-in,” Rodgers smiled. “The players have been absolutely fantastic and we need to recover now after two tough games. We will then have one last opportunity to arrive in that top four. We will come off the pitch having given everything in order to do that. Whatever the result was going to be today we were going to have to get a result next week. To go to win the game is exactly what we will try and do.”
Leicester and Manchester United will attack. They have nothing to lose but a draw may be enough for Manchester United depending on the outcome of their clash with West Ham United on Wednesday. That would put Man United in a tough spot because they aren’t used to sitting back and defending.
Neither are Leicester, even though two defeats for Chelsea (at Liverpool and against Wolves), means it is possible a draw could send both Leicester and Man United into the Champions League.
Whatever happens next Sunday, Rodgers will be proud of his overachieving young side.
“For us, of course, we were in a good position for a lot of the season and will aim to finish in that top four,” Rodgers said. “The players have given absolutely everything and as you’ve seen, they are out on their feet after this game. We’ve got one more chance to still be in there and let’s see where we finish up. The league is always over 38 games, people were talking about it after 20 or 25 games. With you guys I was always cautious in terms of lets see where we are at the end of the season because teams that had poor starts and come well in the second half of the season, it will seem as if they’ve had a good season. For us, fantastic first period and we’ve all the inexperience in our team and squad, probably inconsistencies in the second half. The worst we’ve ever dropped to is probably par for where we are. I think that wha the players have done has been fantastic but still leaves us with great improvement to make. We will only get that through the experiences.”
Cancel your plans for 11am ET next Sunday as Leicester City – Manchester United will be appointment viewing with so much on the line.