Leicester vs. Manchester United Soccer Picks & Odds

Lee Phelps

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 4:15 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2014 4:15 PM GMT

Things are changing quickly in the world of Premier League soccer betting, and for those readers following my handicapping tips, you may be surprised by what I am recommending for Leicester vs. Man Utd.

A week ago in one of my handicapping articles with free soccer picks, I wrote about how I thought Leicester were the team most undervalued pre-season and their win at Stoke backed that up, they set up not to lose the game and trusted their in-form striker to deliver if he got a chance. Leonardo Ulloa has scored three goals from four shots on target, so he is a trustworthy type so far. The ‘new’ Manchester United arrive at the King Power Stadium this Sunday, but I’m left wondering who this is a bigger test for?

 

Sly Foxes
The win at the Britannia Stadium was only the first of the season remember, having drawn with Arsenal and Everton and lost to Chelsea, but they had played well in all of those games. Keeping the Blues to nil at half time (and missing that David Nugent chance), coming from behind to draw 2-2 with Everton and out-playing Arsenal for large parts and ultimately being unlucky to only come away with a 1-1 draw.

The Everton and Arsenal games were at home, so give us a good idea of how they will shape up against the rejuvenated Red Devils. In both matches they set up in 4-4-2 formation, with Nugent and Ulloa up front. Against Everton, perhaps because of nerves, perhaps because the Toffees pressed better than the Arsenal, they hit a lot of long balls forward and the stats regarding attacking third passes weren’t that good, with only half succeeding. That improved against the Gunners and they were able to pass the ball forward closer to the halfway line and get into the opposition half before trying to pass into the final third. They created nine chances from open play against the Londoners, a third better than they did against Everton. They also attempted 36 crosses in the two home games, so we’ve got a team who are careful, but are confident enough to have a go at the ‘better’ team.

 

Consistency the Key
Manchester United were electric in their demolition of QPR, but you do have to look at the opposition and question them. They stood off the new look United team and let them play. They certainly won’t get that luxury from Nigel Pearson’s men. Outside of the top six teams, this could be the hardest away game in the Premier League at the moment and it will be interesting to see how Louis Van Gaal approaches it. He will want momentum, but he will also know that consistency is the hardest thing to attain. A wobble against Leicester and the confidence could slip slightly.

I’ve talked about comparisons between Manchester United this season and under Sir Alex Ferguson in terms of crosses, attacking passes and shots in the area and obviously there was a marked improvement versus QPR. The defence is still open to question though and, although Chris Smalling may be fit for the trip to the Midlands, it’s still a cause for concern. Until they get some stability in the back line, they will have to be happy outscoring teams.

 

Team News
One piece of news, which will be crucial this season, is the trip the team took out for dinner on Tuesday night. Nothing remarkable about a team night out, but of course it is while Liverpool and Arsenal were toiling in the Champions League and Manchester City, Chelsea, Everton and Tottenham were gearing up for their own European matches. I mentioned the boost for Manchester United with Smalling ready to play, there’s good and bad news for Leicester. Zoumana Bakayogo suffered a serious knee injury at Stoke and will be out for a while, but they’re hoping Matty James and Kasper Schmeichel should be fit by Sunday. A quick word on Cambiasso, who we mentioned had already won over his manager and team-mates, apparently around 53% of fans wish Inter had kept him at the club.

 

Soccer Picks
Both these clubs have just won their first games of the season, so both will be intent on maintaining that run. Manchester United obviously have a tremendous attacking threat whoever Van Gaal plays up front and they can hit teams on the break, very quickly with Angel di Maria’s pace and ability to run with the ball. Leicester have the organisation, consistency and belief to soak up what United have to offer and create problems for them. For one of my free picks, I’m going for a draw here at 31/10 and although I’m not tipping it, I think we could see a 0-0 at 14/1 or at least low on the goals. Under 2.5 is 23/20 on soccer odds and under 1.5 is 10/3.

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