The Red Devils host the Foxes as the two clubs raise the proverbial curtain on the upcoming Premier League season
Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils secured a second-place finish in the division last season and they will be eager to get their campaign off to a positive start as they attempt to oust Manchester City by winning the title.
The United boss has been vocal about his disappointment regarding the club’s pre-season preparations, but he and his players can put that behind them by picking uo three points in front of home support.
Leicester, meanwhile, will be hoping to improve on last season’s league finish, which saw them narrowly clinch a top-half position, and Claude Puel will be keen to build on the foundation he laid last term.
|Game||Manchester United vs Leicester City|
|Date||Friday, August 10|
|Time||8pm BST / 3pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US) the game will be shown live on television, with NBCSN, UNIVERSO and Telemundo Deportes all broadcasting. It can also be streamed live online using the NBC Sports app.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|NBCSN / UNIVERSO / Telemundo Deportes||NBC Sports app|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game is being broadcast live on television on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Go offers an online streaming service.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Premier League||Sky Go|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Man Utd squad|
|Goalkeepers||De Gea, Grant, Romero, O’Hara|
|Defenders||Lindelof, Bailly, Jones, Smalling, Rojo, Young, Dalot, Shaw, Valencia, Darmian|
|Midfielders||Pogba, Mata, Lingard, A. Pereira, Fred, Fellaini, Matic, Herrera, McTominay|
|Forwards||Sanchez, Lukaku, Martial, Rashford|
United are likely to be without a number of key first-team players for the opening game of the season thanks to a combination of injuries and the tight pre-season schedule.
Marcos Rojo, Sergio Romero, Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic and new signing Diogo Dalot are unavailable, while Ander Herrera picked up an issue in the final friendly against Bayern Munich.
As well as that, players such as Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Marouane Fellaini and Jesse Lingard have all had little time to prepare for the season ahead due to their involvement in the latter stages of the World Cup.
New recruit from Shakhtar Donetsk, Fred, is expected to start in midfield, while Andreas Pereira, who has returned from a loan at Valencia, is also pushing for inclusion.
Potential Man Utd XI: De Gea; Darmian, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw; Fred, McTominay, Pereira, Mata; Sanchez, Lukaku.
|Goalkeepers||Schmeichel, Ward, Jakupovic|
|Defenders||Simpson, Chilwell, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Benalouane, R. Pereira, Evans, Benkovic, Soyuncu|
|Midfielders||Gray, King, Albrighton, Kapustka, Amartey, Iborra, James, A. Silva, Mendy, Ndidi, Ghezzal, Choudhury, Maddison|
|Forwards||Iheanacho, Vardy, Slimani, Okazaki, Diabate|
Claude Puel has recruited a number of new players during the transfer window, with the likes of Ricardo Pereira and James Maddison likely to slot straight into the starting XI.
Of course, the Foxes will be without Riyad Mahrez this season, who left to join Manchester City in a £60 million (€68m/$80m) move.
Harry Maguire – who was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford – and Jamie Vardy have linked up with the squad again and, while Puel would like them to be involved, a decision will be made closer to kick-off on whether they will start.
Potential Leicester XI: Schmeichel; R. Pereira, Maguire, Morgan, Fuchs; Ndidi, Iborra, Maddison, Albrighton, A. Silva; Vardy.
Betting & Match Odds
As you might expect, Manchester United are favourites to win the game, with dabblebet offering odds of 4/7 on a Red Devils triumph. Leicester’s chances are rated at 6/1 and a draw is available at 14/5.
A blanket of negativity has smothered the Manchester United camp during pre-season as Mourinho made clear his dissatisfaction with having to work with a threadbare squad, while the club’s failure to recruit world-class reinforcements in the transfer window was pointedly bemoaned by Alexis Sanchez, something that was only exacerbated on deadline day as Diego Godin rejected the club’s desperate advances.
All of that has contributed to a dim outlook for the season and ahead of the opening game against Leicester at Old Trafford, Mourinho stressed that there would be “no miracles”, particularly at the beginning as he attempts to conjure results from a squad ravaged by injuries and littered with a spate of unfit players who have been unable to avail of a full pre-season.
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There have been some positives, however, with Brazil international Fred showing glimpses of his potential, while returning midfielder Andreas Pereira appears to have benefitted immensely from his loan spell in La Liga with Valencia, who finished fourth in the division last term, just behind Real Madrid.
The fact, too, that Paul Pogba has remained at the club despite speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona is another major plus – even if affairs between the 25-year-old and Mourinho are still frosty – and Red Devils fans will be intrigued to see if the midfielder can kick on to another level for the club after helping France win the World Cup in Russia.
Premier League titles are never won on the opening day, so the final result against the Foxes is likely to be irrelevant come the end of the season, but that doesn’t mean the pressure does not exist to put a win on the board. For Mourinho’s sake – and that of his players – victory will go some way towards lifting the cloud that is currently descending on Sir Matt Busby Way.