Will Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi make it a bumpier and grumpier journey for Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, when the new English Premier League [EPL] season kicks off at the Theatre of Dreams Friday?
Will Mourinho’s third season syndrome come to play? The serial winner has already admitted it will be a ‘difficult’ season for the Reds on the back of not getting the players he wanted in the Transfer Window.
Iheanacho arrives with Leicester City full of confidence having notched four goals in three pre-season matches. He is joined by the vaunted tackling abilities of Ndidi. Both players represented Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup.
Despite the warning (from Mourinho to Ed Woodward), the frostiness with some of his star players, and ultimately the rejections (if you believe all the news]), Mourinho’s United can start the league by hunting the Foxes on their own patch because the former Chelsea boss boasts an astounding stat of not having lost in nine opening day matches in the EPL.
Old Trafford has also not been a favourite hunting ground for the Foxes. The last point they took at the Theatre of Dreams was in 2016, the year of their magnificent EPL triumph and the last time they took all three points was in 1998 through a goal from Tony Cottee.
Head to head [last five meetings]
23/12/17 PRL Leicester City 2 – 2 Man. United
26/08/17 PRL Man. United 2 – 0 Leicester City
05/02/17 PRL Leicester City 0 – 3 Man. United
24/09/16 PRL Man. United 4 – 1 Leicester City
07/08/16 COS Leicester City 1 – 2 Man. United
Even though Mourinho may believe he has not been backed enough by the board in getting players in through the front door, he must do more to manage the likes of Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba.
For Claude Puel, he needs to get his team to hit the ground running. The Foxes started last season away to Arsenal and were knocked back 4-3 – four months later, Craig Shakespeare had to walk.
Both teams have match winners and game changers but it should be an exciting start to the 2018/19 EPL season.
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