Leicester (2nd) and Manchester United (3rd) face off at the opening of Boxing Day (1:30 p.m.). The opportunity to decide on the most serious contender to compete with Liverpool at the top of the table.
English football’s end-of-year mass opens with a tantalizing duel between Leicester and Manchester United (1:30 p.m.). This Saturday, the second and third in the Premier League have an appointment at King Power Stadium for a poster called to keep all its promises. A leading opposition between two teams with an appetite and ambition that the classification cannot hide. Boxing Day at its best.
Long second last year, the Foxes found this dolphin chair thanks to a convincing success on the pitch of Tottenham, a leading time in the Premier League, Sunday (2-0). A victory acquired thanks to his two flagship players on the offensive plan: Jamie Vardy, who scored his 11th goal of the season from a penalty, and playmaker James Maddison, whose shot was deflected by Toby Alderweireld in his own goal after a first goal refused by the video. “I am delighted. What a game, said coach Brendan Rodgers after the game at Tottenham on Sunday. Strategically, the players were at the top level, we had a perfect balance. ”
And for good reason, his players have never been endangered by those of José Mourinho, short of ideas. Demonstrating their good performance on the move (six wins in seven matches), where they notably beat Arsenal, Leeds, Manchester City and therefore Tottenham on their land. But the match against Manchester United will take place at home, where Leicester has been less dashing since the start of the season, alternating between victory and defeat, as against Everton ten days ago (0-2). “We need to improve our record at home, be more consistent there,” admitted the former Liverpool coach. A place on the podium at the end of the season depends on it.
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Manchester United are the best away team in the league
It will start by defeating the best team in the Kingdom on the move, which appears in the Midlands unbeaten for almost two months in the league. With six wins in as many Premier League trips, Manchester United comes above all as the best away team just ahead of Leicester (six wins, one loss). “They have a fantastic workforce and talented players,” assured the Northern Irish coach. They will always be a dangerous opponent. ”
In the opposite camp, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke of a more rational explanation for his team’s brilliant run away from home bases: “Whether the game is at home or away does not matter at the moment (in the absence of supporters). It has nothing to do with what we experienced a year ago. It doesn’t matter anymore. ” Another favorable result away from home and Manchester United would be able to put pressure on their best enemy Liverpool at the top of the championship. Especially since the partners of a Paul Pogba found have a late match, at Burnley, 16th in the championship.
Two similar playing styles
The disappointment of the elimination in the Champions League evacuated, the Mancuniens seem in full possession of their means when approaching the holiday marathon. The victory at Everton in the Cup in midweek (2-0) confirmed the best foreseen in recent weeks. Especially for Anthony Martial, scorer and passer, whose coach believes that he “is getting better and better” after his goal against at the last second. A goal that symbolizes Manchester United’s strike force in rapid transition. A force similar to that of Leicester, who like to find their top scorer Jamie Vardy in the depth.
It is therefore not an opposition of style that should be expected in the mouth for this Boxing Day, but a focus on the ambitions of each. Knowing that Liverpool, four points ahead of United and five in front of Leicester, remains (for now) within shooting range. Leicester, who will have benefited from three additional days of rest – which is not negligible this season – will also be keen to take revenge on last season, where the Foxes failed to qualify on the last day in a cleaver match against the Red Devils at home (2-0). “It’s always important to learn from our past mistakes,” Leicester defender Jonny Evans said. We know what went wrong that day. ” Would the former United player hold the recipe to end 12 famine matches against his former club?