Manchester United vs. Leicester City and Pick to Win
Date: Sunday, May 1st
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
Match Odds: Manchester United 15/13, Leicester City 3/1, Draw 31/12
Moneyline: Manchester United +115, Leicester City +300, Draw +258
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals
Leicester City continues their crusade toward history as they find themselves in excellent form winning their last four fixtures against Premier League foes. The Foxes are now 7 points ahead of second place Tottenham Hotspur as they sit alone atop the table with three matches remaining in the season. All other teams in the English Premier League have been eliminated from contention and are now vying for Champions League and Europa qualification. Among the constituents jostling for contention to a European tournament, Manchester United who also enter the game knocking off their last four opponents.
The Red Devils have found some secret weapons down the backstretch of the 2015-16 campaign, their biggest weapon being emerging forward and acquisition Anthony Martial. “Martial Law” has been dynamic for the Manchester faithful and the further emergence of Marcus Rashford has only strengthened the Red Devils’ ranks as they venture in to their collision with the league leaders at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Leicester has shown no signs of wearing out, they seem determined and hungry to win their first ever Premier League championship. At just this time last year, the Foxes were struggling to avoid relegation but now they are about to do what no team has ever done perhaps in the history of the sport. Win the Premier League in their second year of activity and ascend from 20th to 1st in the span of less than a year. The dynamic duo of forwards Jamie Vardy and Riyadh Mahrez are the culprits responsible for dispelling Leicester’s rivals and powering this upstart English club in to unchartered waters. With Tottenham stumbling yet again, the Foxes can wrap up their first ever English Premier League title on Sunday with a win. Manchester United can solidify their Europa berth with a win and slither in to a Champions League berth if Arsenal were to lose their last two and the Reds were to win outright.
The expectation of winning and doing so emphatically is a narrative that has unfortunately fostered unreasonable standard for the Red Devils and their faithful. There is no team in all of the world that has bolstered the success that Manchester Unite has on any football pitch. The Red Devils are the New York Yankees of World Soccer and with their reputation often comes lofty anticipation. With the Reds eliminated from anything of consequence, qualification to Europa may actually seem like a step back for team that has been most successful in intercontinental completion. For Leicester, the fairly tale seems to never end.
Leicester knows how to shut the door on opponents defensively. This team has now posted four consecutive clean sheets after drawing 2-2 against the West Ham United Hammers, a month ago. Leicester knows how to craft the goals they need when they need them and like a serpent in the grass they often lie in wait to strike at the opportune time. With Manchester United’s motivation in question and Leicester looking to seize a moment of glory, Sunday may be the day of days for the Foxes.
Nevertheless, much of the public has hopped on Leicester and many more bookmakers are offering extremely enticing odds. This often spells trouble and with Manchester offered at such bloated odds, the precept of taking the tabletoppers with such friendly odds is deceptively dangerous. Bottom line, both teams need a win but neither side will likely heed toward the other. A draw is the most likely scenario as Manchester United’s offense has sputtered and stalled on numerous occasions and Leicester may try to approach this game conservatively and force Tottenham Hotspurs’ hand down the backstretch. Leicester can still win the English Premier League with a draw and Tottenham Hotspur loss on Monday. Tottenham is fixed in a North London Derby with cross-town rival Chelsea and thus the Spurs may find themselves besieged in the heat of a building rivalry. Leicester knows this and will likely play the point.
Manchester United Recent Form
W – Everton 2-1
W – Crystal Palace 2-0
W – Aston Villa 1-0
W – West Ham United 2-1
L – Tottenham Hotspur 0-3
Leicester City Recent Form
W – Newcastle United 1-0
W – Crystal Palace 1-0
W – Southampton 1-0
W – Sunderland 2-0
D – West Ham United 2-2
Keith's Prediction for the Game: Draw +258
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