The much anticipated opening weekend of the English Premier League is only a week away, but this weekend all the focus is on defending title holders Leicester City and FA Cup winners Manchester United in an FA Community Shield showdown that could be a major marker for both of these club’s coming campaigns.
Leicester City have the chance to make a major statement this weekend as they face off against Manchester United on Sunday in the FA Community Shield. A win for Claudio Ranieri and the Foxes would be a major step in their title defending season showing that they refuse to listen to those that believe last season was a one off.
However, new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will be looking to start his new post off with a piece of silverware and there is no better way to make the Old Trafford faithful smile than with a shinny new trophy in your first competitive match.
While Leicester City’s starting eleven is not likely to be much different than that of last season, aside from the loss of N’Golo Kante to Chelsea, with only Nampalys Mendy expected to make the opening lineup with remaining new signings Ahmed Musa, Ron-Robert Zieler and Luis Hernandez likely to start on the bench.
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Manchester United’s first team on the other hand has been strategically strengthened under Mourinho this summer. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been brought in to stake a claim to the front line and give the Red Devils the deadly striker that they have been without for several years. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expected on the right wing and to fall into the middle with Wayne Rooney to create the support for Ibrahimovic and the back line addition of Eric Bailly brings that famous Ivory Coast grit and determination to the defense.
Both sides have had a frustrating preseason with Manchester United’s schedule being heavily interrupted by poor weather in Asia while Leicester City were largely unimpressive against fellow UEFA Champions League opponents Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona.
Leicester City has held their own against Manchester United since their arrival in the Premier League, despite their inspired 5-3 home victory in their return campaign in 2014-15 the Red Devils pulled that one back later that year 0-3 at Old Trafford in the second half. Last season saw two 1-1 draws between the clubs, but this is not the same Manchester United from last year. Although it will take time for the new signings to bed in for Jose Mourinho the Red Devils are going to be dangerous.
Leicester City (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Simpson, Wasilewski, Morgan, Fuchs; Mahrez, Drinkwater, Mendy, Albrighton; Okazaki, Vardy.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw; Herrera, Schneiderlin; Mkhitaryan, Rooney, Martial; Ibrahimovic.
Betting Odds from Sky Bet
Leicester City – 18/5 | Draw – 13/5 | Manchester United 5/6