Third placed Manchester United travel to take on second placed Leicester City on Boxing Day lunchtime hoping to leapfrog them in the Premier League table.
The Red Devils head to the King Power full of confidence and on a seven-match unbeaten run in the league which has seen them rack up six wins.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have triumphed in all six top-flight games on the road and 12 of 14 away from Old Trafford in all competitions.
The latest away victory came at Everton on Wednesday as the Norwegian’s team booked their place in the last-four of League Cup.
United will also have fond memories of this fixture last term after winning 2-0 on the final day to secure a Champions League spot at the expense of Brendan Rodgers’ side.
But having defeated Everton less than 72 hours ago, and with two other Premier League matches to come in the next six days, who will Solskjaer choose try and extend his team’s great run of form?
Here we predict the Manchester United starting XI to take on Leicester City on Boxing Day…
Dean Henderson resumed his role as United’s League Cup ‘keeper on Wednesday. However, despite keeping a clean sheet, first-choice stopper David De Gea will return for the trip to Leicester. The Spaniard, who is in line to make his 325th Premier League appearance, has only kept three clean sheets in 11 top-flight matches this term and will be aiming to add to that tally in the coming weeks.
Despite enjoying a decent season so far, one thing United haven’t been is solid at the back. In the Premier League, the Red Devils have the worst defensive record of any of the top-11 clubs having conceded 21 times in their 13 matches. That area of the side seemed to improve against Everton in midweek however, despite an impressive clean sheet, Solskjaer is expected to revert back to his preferred back-four. This means Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly and Alex Telles will drop out for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who is expected to be fit after missing the midweek win, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw. Captain Harry Maguire, who led the team at Goodison Park, will skipper the side once again.
Scott McTominay missed the trip to Everton after his heroics against Leeds United last week but the Scot is thought to be ready to return for this one. Nemanja Matic did a great job in midweek, while Paul Pogba was one of United’s standout performers, but both could drop to the bench in favour of Fred being restored to the XI. Bruno Fernandes, who Solskjaer sees as too important to give a rest, will turn out in the number 10 position for what will be his 22nd appearances in all competitions for United this term. Like McTominay, the Portuguese scored a brace against Leeds which took his tally to nine goals and five assists in the Premier League this season.
Summer signing Edinson Cavani put in a top performance against Everton in the week and is pushing for a start against Leicester, especially as Solskjaer knows he could lose the Uruguayan to a ban in the near future. This means that Anthony Martial, who jumped off the bench to score United’s second at Everton, could start from the right and Marcus Rashford, who has five goals and four assists in the Premier League, will take his place on the left. That leaves the likes of Mason Greenwood and Dan James, who started and impressed against Leeds, can be called upon from the bench.
Predicted Manchester United XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay, Fernandes; Rashford; Martial. Cavani.