Man United vs Leicester City Odds, Pick | Premier League Match Preview
Picture Alliance/Getty. Pictured: Raphael Varane.
Man United vs Leicester City Odds
Man United Odds
Leicester City Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-170 / +140)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-164 / +128)|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Manchester United played a thrilling 2-2 draw at Barcelona in the Europa League on Thursday, and the Red Devils will return to Old Trafford to host Leicester City in a tricky spot on Sunday.
United’s league form has been trending up, but this matchup is sandwiched in the middle of a fixture pileup.
Not only do United have the home Europa leg against Barca next Thursday, but United will travel to Wembley on Sunday for the EFL Cup final next weekend. They’ve played a ton of matches since coming back from the World Cup break and their depth has been tested.
Leicester City have struggled for form since coming back from the World Cup, but the Foxes had an impressive display in their 4-1 victory at home against Spurs last Saturday. The attack had previously struggled for goals though, and one positive performance doesn’t take away from this being a mediocre unit at producing good scoring chances.
Manchester United Reliant on Star Player
Marcus Rashford is one of the most in-form players in the world right now and his elite production and goals since the World Cup break is carrying this Manchester United attack. He’s created 0.42 xG per 90 this season. If you control for just matches after the break, he’s over 0.5 xG per 90, which is elite for a wide forward that also adds in ball progression and some shot assists.
The questions about the consistency in United attacking production come after him though. They were getting solid complementary shot production from the deep lying midfield with Casemiro and Christian Eriksen, but both are out for this match. Casemiro is serving the final match of his three-match suspension and Eriksen is injured.
Wout Weghorst deserves credit for his solid link-up play and connecting the attack, but United are getting nothing from him in shots thus far. He did score in the EFL Cup semifinal, but in four 90s in the Premier League he’s attempted just two total shots. Jadon Sancho showcased elite ball progression and getting the ball into the penalty area since he retuned from his absence, but he’s also under one shot per 90 in nine 90s this year.
Erik ten Hag has done a masterful job of improving United’s structure both in and out of possession. He’s massively raised the floor of United after the defense fell off a cliff last season. However, the ceiling of this team is defined by its attackers — and unless Rashford continues his torrid goal scoring pace — there’s regression looming for the Red Devils attack.
Leicester City Facing Tough Attacking Test
Leicester City’s attack has scored eight goals in its last two matches against two teams that are generally solid at defending their penalty areas in Aston Villa and Spurs. There was some efficient finishing to get to that number, but it was the first time they’d put back to back consistent offensive performances since the World Cup break.
They are improved now that James Maddison is back in the side and fit, but the season-long numbers for the Foxes remain mediocre and reliant on elite finishing over their xG number. Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Kelechi Iheanacho are their best front three players based on underlying numbers too.
This attack still ranks in the bottom-five in average shot distance allowed and they’ll have a much harder time disrupting the United possession structure to create high turnovers than they did against Spurs last weekend. United have steadily improved defensively by conceding fewer and fewer big scoring chances. This game will be a reality check for the Leicester attack after the last two showings.
Man United vs Leicester City Pick
If Manchester United have a weakness defensively, it’s that they don’t do a great job of stopping crosses from coming into the penalty area. The Red Devils rank 12th in stopping crosses and that was evident on the goals conceded to Barcelona on Thursday. Leicester don’t produce a high volume of crosses though and won’t really be able to take advantage. The Foxes are 18th in crosses completed this season.
In this matchup against a Leicester City attack that has finished at a ridiculously high rate and is due for regression, it may not be as costly to not have Casemiro. The Foxes have 36 goals from 26 xGF this year. They’re below average in every meaningful attacking category and have long average shot distances.
I’m lower than the market on the true talent of both of these attacks and project this at 2.78 goals. Throw in the potential flat spot for United with all of the important fixtures surrounding this one, and I’d bet the under 3 at -130 or better.
Pick: Under 3 (-130 or better)
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