Leicester City are definitely this season’s surprise package following their impressive performances in the league so far this term.
Because Leicester was a side that looked primed for relegation last season, they’ve exceeded all the expectations this term, finding themselves on the top of the Premier League table.
The Foxes have been one of the league’s most entertaining sides with their beautiful attacking football, and they’ve shown they can hold themselves against top teams in the premier league as they’ve conceded just one game in the league thus far. Their solitary defeat came against Arsenal.
Now Leicester faces a tough task as they welcome in-form Manchester United to the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Aside from the fact that the match is between the 1st and 2nd placed teams in the league, the matchup also holds some significance as Jamie Vardy boasts good chances of breaking Rudd Van Nistlerooy’s consecutive goal record against the Dutchman’s former side.
We take a look at five things Leicester city will need to do to grab a victory against Manchester United.
1. Ease tensions: Leicester City players and their fans alike know that they are in unfamiliar territory as they are currently on top of the Premier League table. Although many soccer pundits have predicted that match against the Red Devils may trigger their downfall in rankings, Leicester could carry on this fairy tale run a little longer.
The Foxes have played top quality attacking football all through this season, showing hat they possess what it takes to compete with the Big guns in the league.
Leicester knows that if they grab all three points against a United team that hardly lets in goals, premier league clubs and fans alike will start to see them as genuine title contenders. They also need to go into the game with a winning mentality if they are going to have any real chance of a victory on Saturday.
2. Utilize the Jamie Vardy effect: Along with being the league’s surprise package this season, Leicester also boasts the talents of Jamie Vardy, who is currently the highest Goalscorer in the premier league.
Jamie Vardy, among others, has been a decisive factor in Leicester’s league fortunes thus far as he has helped them gather up crucial points with his explicit goals.
Vardy has scored in 10 consecutive league games, equalling the record set by Manchester United legend Rudd Van Nistelrooy.
It would be great if he continues scoring this weekend as well to surpass the record, but what makes the prospect of the feast look even better is that Manchester United is the club Van Nistelrooy played for in his premier league days, and it would be quite historic if Vardy can break the record on Saturday.
Leicester will have to take advantage of Jamie Vardy’s excellent form and create chances for the in-form striker against United as his confidence level, and determination is expected to be sky high he chases a personal achievement.
3. Maintain a sturdy defence: Leicester City play a lot of attacking football that often leaves them vulnerable to a good counter attack, which is one of the reasons they tend to concede.
Against Manchester United, Leicester will have no option but to play their center backs in a deep-lying position to have some defensive cover if United hits them on a breakaway. Midfielders will also have to track back and help out in defence regularly to prevent United from scoring easy goals.
4. Exploit the flanks: Leicester City will have to exploit the flanks as much as they can to swing in that killer cross or get the ball to players who can cut in and take on opposition defenders, the player that comes to mind is definitely Riyad Mahrez.
5. Attack Attack Attack!!! : Leicester City are arguably one of the league’s best sides going forward as they’ve done an excellent job of maintaining a healthy goal difference in the league by scoring more than they have conceded so far.
Leicester seems to know how to score goals, and they will need to exhibit that prolific nature as they attempt to break down the league’s best defence.
Leicester can dictate the tempo of the game with their fast-paced attacking style of play although United is expected to be solid in midfield with the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin set to feature in the tie.
Leicester will also need to take advantage of counter-attacking opportunities as their best chances to score might come in the form of counter attacks.
Leicester should also look to deliver quality dead balls as set-pieces could be key in the game against United.
A win for Leicester City will undoubtedly give them an added boost to extend their fine run in the league as they have a difficult run of fixtures ahead of them.