On Saturday lunchtime, the gaze of Premier League followers will turn to Old Trafford, where Manchester United meet with Leicester City.
After two consecutive league defeats, the Red Devils will be hoping that an unconvincing but much-needed win against Northampton Town in the EFL Cup can provide the tonic for a resurgence in their form. Meanwhile, the Foxes will be scavenging for something to alleviate the disappointment of surrendering a two-goal lead and their place in the competition’s next round to Chelsea in midweek.
The involvement of Kasper Schmeichel, who’s has missed the visitors’ last two outings recovering from concussion, will depend on the severity of a muscle aggravation felt in training on Thursday. An ankle injury continues to sideline Nampalys Mendy, whilst Marcin Wasilewski is suspended after receiving a red card in that EFL Cup exit. Beyond that, Leicester have a relatively injury-free squad, and regulars such as Robert Huth, Riyad Mahrez, Marc Albrighton, Jamie Vardy and record-signing Islam Slimani are likely to return to the starting lineup – the latter registered his first goals for the club with a brace against Burnley last weekend.
Whereas Leicester have a settled team, there is rather more to ponder for Jose Mourinho with regards to selection. Does captain Wayne Rooney retain his place in a side that seems dysfunctional with his inclusion, or should the impressive Ander Herrera start in a midfield triumvirate with Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba? Who flanks Zlatan Ibrahimovic most effectively?
It is unlikely to be Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who is still working his way back from a thigh strain. Phil Jones’ knee problem rules him out, although Luke Shaw is expected to return following a slight groin tear sustained in the loss to Watford.
The two teams have already played one another this season in the Community Shield; a tightly-contested encounter decided by a late Ibrahimovic winner. It would be of little surprise were this game to follow a similar pattern, as Leicester look to attain their first win at Old Trafford since January 1998.