Manchester United-Leicester City Preview
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope Cristiano Ronaldo can fire Manchester United to victory against Leicester City, but he does not regret benching his superstar striker before the international break.
Ronaldo was among the substitutes as United drew at home to Everton, only appearing in the second half.
A video clip shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov showed former United manager Alex Ferguson telling the UFC great: "You should always start with your best players."
Ronaldo subsequently started twice for Portugal, scoring four goals, before returning to United ahead of the game with Leicester.
Solskjaer explained he had to protect his best players.
"(Ronaldo) is an exceptional player, finisher, goalscorer and professional," he said. "It's hard to leave him out and everyone would love to play six games (in a row) and play the same XI. It's great, but it's rotation (they need). We need to get to May with everyone firing. We got to May and the final stretch last season and we were a little tired.
"I'm the manager, I manage for the club, but of course it's nice to have him on the pitch because he'll always come up with the goods, and the more we have him on the pitch, the better."
Leicester come into the match with manager Brendan Rodgers having to field questions about his future, having been linked to Newcastle United. Rodgers said he was "100 per cent" committed to Leicester
"I've seen the reports around it. It doesn't help anyone, particularly Steve (Bruce) and Newcastle," he said. "It's the type of week I don't like in the modern game.
"We are trying to work hard but the speculation can destabilise players and supporters. I've been in the game long enough to focus on my role."
Leicester City – Kasper Schmeichel
Leicester have scored more goals than any other team in the bottom half this season, but an increasingly leaky defence has proven their downfall. Schmeichel, son of former United favourite Peter, will again be tasked with attempting to plug the holes.
Manchester United – Marcus Rashford
Happier to be on the bench than Ronaldo will be Rashford, involved for the first time this season. The forward has made more appearances for United than any other player since becoming a regular in the side five years ago and will be keen to have an impact on his return to action.
– Leicester won their last league meeting with Manchester United 2-1 in May, but they have not won consecutive league games against the Red Devils since September 1973.
– Manchester United have lost just one of their 15 Premier League away games against Leicester (W9 D5), going down 5-3 in September 2014 under Louis van Gaal. However, they did lose 3-1 at the King Power Stadium in the FA Cup last season.
– Leicester are looking to win three consecutive meetings with Manchester United in all competitions for the first time since November 1901.
– Leicester are winless in four Premier League games (D2 L2), last having a longer winless run in the competition in their final six games under Claude Puel in February 2019 (D1 L5).
– United are looking to extend their record unbeaten away run in the league to 30 games (W19 D10). The Red Devils have not conceded more than once in any of their past 15 on the road (seven conceded in total), their longest such run in league football.
Updated October 15, 2021