9th of August 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
The new Premier League season kicks off on Friday evening at Old Trafford in Manchester, where Jose Mourinho's Manchester United take on Claude Puel's Leicester City. Last season Manchester United defeated the Foxes 2-0 at Old Trafford with goals from Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini after Romelu Lukaku had missed a penalty kick, while the reverse fixture ended 2-2. Manchester United are undefeated in their last eight matches in all competitions against Leicester, the last time the Foxes won against the Red Devils was in 2014. Moreover, Leicester have not won a match at Old Trafford since 1998.
Jose Mourinho had a pretty rough summer, constantly complaining about the club's lack of activity on the transfer market and also about the pre-season scheduling. However, the Red Devils did sign three players this summer, including Brazilian midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk, and have not sold any of their important players. Mourinho does have several fitness and injury concerns ahead of this match, a number of players have enjoyed longer holidays after having played at the 2018 World Cup, while Ander Herrera and Eric Bailly are injury doubts. Nemanja Matic, Antonio Valencia, new signing Diogo Dalot and Marcos Rojo are definitely out of contention through injury.
Leicester City have brought in six new players this summer, but they have lost probably their most prized asset as winger Riyad Mahrez joined Manchester City for 60 million pounds. The Foxes have signed Rachid Ghezzal from Monaco as a replacement earlier this week, but the Algeria international might need more time to settle before featuring in the starting eleven. Matty James is injured for the away side, while Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire are not fully fit yet after their extended holiday following the World Cup. Jonny Evans, Nampalys Mendy and James Maddison are all injury doubts for Claude Puel.
Man United: De Gea - Darmian, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw - Fred, Herrera, A. Pereira - Mata, Rashford, Sanchez
Leicester: Schmeichel - R. Pereira, Morgan, Evans, Chilwell - Ndidi, Iborra - Diabate, Maddison, Albrighton - Iheanacho
My prediction: The Foxes won't have their best eleven, so I expect Manchester United to pull off a narrow 1-0 victory.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Man United win - 1.50
Draw - 4.20
Leicester win - 8.00
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