Manchester United manager Mourinho set for career-defining moment
Luke Shaw was the latest Manchester United player to be publically criticised by manager José Mourinho, following a third straight defeat for the Red Devils.
Mourinho is clearly trying to harness that siege mentality, with the role of the officials again being questioned in his post-match comments but how will Man Utd’s high profile stars respond to this intimidating management style?
Saturday’s visitors to Old Trafford, champions Leicester City still sit in the bottom half of the table, even though they pulled off an impressive 3-0 victory over Burnley in Gameweek 5, while the Foxes also crashed out of the League Cup, after throwing away a 2 goal lead in their tie against Chelsea on Tuesday evening.
Goal projections – Man Utd 1.84 Leicester 0.98
Team news & predicted starting line-ups for Man Utd v Leicester City
Concussion injuries have been in the spotlight again this week, following incidents involving Kasper Schmeichel and Anthony Martial. The FA and Premier League have strict guidelines in place, governing a ‘return to action’ but both players are expected to satisfy the 6-day grace period.
The clamour for Wayne Rooney to be dropped is gathering pace but it remains to be seen whether Mourinho will stick with his captain or make his first huge decision as Manchester United boss. The Portuguese manager is never one to shirk controversy but this would be a big call that could spark dressing room unrest, something he will be keen to avoid, following the breakdown of his relationship with his players during his final year at Chelsea.
Man Utd fantasy player to watch
Despite a promising debut, Paul Pogba has so far failed to live up to all the hype surrounding his world record transfer. He came in for plenty of criticism on social media, following the defeat at Watford, with his ability to play in a 2-man midfield again coming under the microscope.
The game against the champions looks like the perfect opportunity for Pogba to showcase his talent and Mourinho may opt to utilise him in a more advanced role. Even though the Frenchman has struggled, he still remains United’s second highest rated player on WhoScored, behind the much-maligned Marouane Fellaini.
Man Utd team news
Luke Shaw picked up a groin strain in the defeat at Watford, which could see him taken out of the firing line, allowing Daley Blind to deputise at left-back.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is still struggling with a thigh injury, while it remains to be seen whether Martial will be involved.
Captain Wayne Rooney could start on the bench.
Predicted starting line-up for Man Utd
Leicester City fantasy player to watch
Islam Slimani didn’t feature in the midweek League Cup defeat to Chelsea but to say that Leicester City’s own record signing has made an immediate impact would be something of an under-statement.
Slimani, who is nicknamed ‘The Dragon Slayer’ for his phenomenal scoring record against the Dragons of Porto, has scored twice in two appearances for the Foxes. He looks a real handful and could pose a serious threat to Man Utd’s defence on Saturday.
Leicester City team news
Marcin Wasilewski is ruled out for Leicester after being sent off in the dying seconds of normal time against Chelsea, while Nampalys Mendy is still working on his match-fitness.
Claudio Ranieri could opt to go for the same outfield XI that defeated Burnley, with goalkeeper Schmiechel expected to be passed fit, replacing Ron-Robert Zieler between the sticks.
Predicted starting line-up for Leicester City
Will Mourinho axe skipper Wayne Rooney for the home game against champions Leicester City ?