Manchester United have momentum on their side as they prepare for a trip to bottom-of-the-table Leicester City on Thursday.
Original article published 31 August 2022
United lost their opening two games of the season, going down to Brighton and Brentford, but victories against Liverpool and Southampton has seen renewed optimism around Old Trafford.
Erik ten Hag is still trying to get some reinforcements in ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline and, as he attempts to impose his philosophy on the squad, it's likely to take some time until they are firing on all cylinders.
However, Thursday's trip to Leicester - who have picked up just one point from four outings - offers a great opportunity to seal a third successive win.
City return to their King Power Stadium on the back of three defeats in a row and, having failed to bring in major additions to their squad, look set for a long and difficult campaign.
Leicester City v Manchester United, Premier League
King Power Stadium, Leicester
20:00, Thursday 1st September 2022
|How to watch:|
BT Sport 1
|Odds:||Leicester 12/5, Draw 11/4, Man Utd 11/10|
Manchester United found life difficult on the road last season, winning just six games away from Old Trafford and ending the campaign with six successive defeats on their travels.
United's home form in 2021/22 wasn't bad at all, picking up the fifth-highest points tally, however, their struggles on the road saw them fall well short in the battle for a top-four spot.
Those same issues struck again in the Red Devils' first away game this term, a 4-0 loss at Brentford, but they put in a much more assured performance to beat Southampton 1-0 at St Mary's last Saturday.
Ten Hag's men now have the chance to record back-to-back league away wins for the first time since September 2021 when they head to Leicester.
The Dutchman does appear to still be assessing his options and attempting to work out his best XI, but recent results, including a 2-1 home win over Liverpool, suggest he's starting to close in on his preferred starting line-up.
Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane have struck up a strong partnership in the heart of defence, meaning captain Harry Maguire has been restricted to a place on the bench, while Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen seem to complement each other well in midfield.
Further forward, Marcus Rashford hasn't quite cemented his starting role through the middle just yet and Cristiano Ronaldo may soon return to the starting XI.
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Brendan Rodgers knew when the summer transfer window opened that he wasn't going to be backed in the market and, as a result of that inactivity, Leicester look extremely light across all areas.
Kasper Schmeichel has moved on to join Ligue 1 outfit Nice and centre-back Wesley Fofana is on the verge of signing for Premier League rivals Chelsea.
Fofana's exit will provide Rodgers with some funds to reinvest, however, the Northern Irishman doesn't have long to bring in new additions.
Youri Tielemans could also still depart before Thursday's deadline with Arsenal still understood to have a strong interest in the Belgium international midfielder.
There is still a lot to like about Leicester's squad with James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy offering a potent goal threat.
But it's just not clicking for the King Power Stadium outfit at the moment, especially at the back, with attacks finding their way through far too easily.
Leicester have conceded 10 times in their opening four games, with just Bournemouth (16) shipping more at this early stage of the campaign.
The previously mentioned attacking options have played their part, with City having scored in every game thus far, but it's a lack of cohesion at the back that has seen them pick up just a single point.
With that in mind, a United win with both teams to score looks an attractive option at 11/4.
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Maddison was Leicester's second-highest scorer in the league last term, notching 12 goals, and finishing just three adrift of club top-scorer Jamie Vardy.
The 25-year-old, who will be hoping to force his way back into the England picture ahead of the World Cup finals, has already bagged twice this campaign and is one of a few members of the squad to earn some praise in the opening weeks of the new season.
He missed the loss to Chelsea last time out due to a minor hamstring issue, but Rodgers has hinted he could return against United.
The midfielder scored in back-to-back games before sitting out that trip to Stamford Bridge and he is 7/2 to score at any time on Thursday.
Fernandes - available at 5/2 to score at any time - is one to consider when looking at who could register for the visitors.
The Portuguese opened his account for the term in the win at Southampton on Saturday and he is looking much more settled without compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo alongside him.