Manchester United’s convincing start to the season has caught the imagination of many onlookers, and Jose Mourinho’s side will be hoping to make it to the first corner of the Premier League course with a decent lead by adding Leicester City to their list of scalps on Saturday.
With an early international break to come, United have two 4-0 victories under their belts as Craig Shakespeare brings the Foxes to Old Trafford. And while nobody will ever forget the feats of Leicester under Claudio Ranieri in 2015-16, Mourinho’s men have to be clear favourites to add another win and head for the week off sat pretty in top spot.
It has been classed by many as a soft start for United with West Ham, Swansea and Leicester the teams thrown in front of them in the opening weeks, but the magnificent form of Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan et al suggests there is something more to their great early-season run than simply a kind fixture list.
MAN UTD INJURIES
Besides the two huge victories registered, there has been other good news for United on the treatment table since the season began.
Luke Shaw and Ashley Young made long-awaited comebacks from injury on Monday in the under-23 side’s 1-1 draw with Swansea at Leigh Sports Village. Both played for 58 minutes and came through with flying colours, suggesting first-team returns could be close.
Shaw had been out since April with a foot ligament problem, while Young had been missing for a similar length of time due to a hamstring problem.
Marcos Rojo is due out until the end of the year with an ACL knee injury, although he is now back in light training alongside the first team so could step up his rehabilitation in the coming weeks.
MAN UTD SUSPENSIONS
While Phil Jones and Eric Bailly each have one more match to serve of their respective European suspensions, United will not have anyone suspended for this league encounter.
MAN UTD POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Jose Mourinho could quite easily send out an unchanged side for the third game running after the magnificent start to his side’s Premier League season.
Anthony Martial’s form off the bench is perhaps the biggest barrier to that taking place, although the manager insisted it is not difficult to continue leaving out the Frenchman given the way the rest of the squad is playing. “No, we are using him well and he is coming with the right attitude,” said Mourinho after the win at Swansea. “We had a conversation about the future he has here and I think he has a good connection on the pitch with Paul and Romelu and he is coming in confident for period of 20 minutes and has scored two goals.”
Marcus Rashford could start again on Saturday, while Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award winner Ander Herrera might have to wait once more for his first league start of the campaign due to the form of Nemanja Matic in the heart of midfield and the success of the 4-2-3-1 shape so far.
At the back, Victor Lindelof will continue to bide his time as Mourinho looks to ease him in to the English football environment.
LEICESTER TEAM NEWS
After seeing off Brighton 2-0 at the King Power on Saturday with an unchanged side, Craig Shakespeare’s men hammered Sheffield United 4-1 in the League Cup in midweek with a starting lineup showing eight alterations.
Islam Slimani, Demarai Gray and Ahmed Musa were all in scoring form at Bramall Lane as they look to make an impression on the league side, but Shakespeare could well revert back to the XI which beat the Seagulls having previously pushed Arsenal all the way at the Emirates on opening night.
Danny Drinkwater is back in training after missing the start of the season with a thigh injury, while Kelechi Iheanacho is in contention once more after a toe problem. Vicente Iborra could stake a claim following a groin issue, and Wes Morgan is likely to shake off a back injury in time to make the trip to Old Trafford.
Two-goal front man Jamie Vardy picked up an ankle knock in the win against Brighton but has trained all week and should be available to start against United.
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
Manchester United have lost just two of their 22 Premier League meetings with Leicester City and only one of these came at Old Trafford: 0-1 in January 1998.
Leicester City have scored in all but one of their 15 Premier League matches under Craig Shakespeare and striker Jamie Vardy has scored in eight of these games.
Manchester United, who have won their opening two Premier League games by a four-goal margin, haven’t won three consecutive league games by such a margin or greater since October 1907.
Romelu Lukaku will be looking to become the first Manchester United player to score in each of their opening three Premier League appearances for the club.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has already registered four assists in two Premier League games this season, three more than he managed in the whole of last season; the Armenian midfielder could become the first player in Premier League history to assist two goals in three consecutive games if he does it again versus Leicester.
Craig Shakespeare will be the 75 th different manager that Jose Mourinho has faced in the Premier League. The Portuguese has won at least one game against 62 of the previous 74.
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
The match is being televised live on BT Sport 1 in the UK and kicks off at 17:30BST.