PL PREVIEW: LEICESTER HOPING TO GROUND HIGH-FLYING UNITED, Brought to you by DASHING ELITE

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Jose Mourinho's men have begun the season in ominous fashion but will face their first real test when Leicester come calling...

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After two rounds of the new season, Manchester United have made their intent clear for the 2017-18 campaign. A home game against West Ham United, followed by a trip to Swansea produced similar 4-0 results – eight goals that see the Red Devils rule at the top of the Premier League charts.

Jose Mourinho’s high-flying squad next faces a potentially tricky opposition in Leicester City.

The foxes were a pale shadow last season of the team that scripted a fairytale run the previous year, when they lifted the League title. This season, their campaign began with a loss to Arsenal.
But it wasn’t all lost at the Emirates Stadium.

For starters, striker Jamie Vardy came up with a scintillating performance against the Gunners, netting twice to prove his return to form. The 4-3 loss overall was a commendable performance in a rather tough season opener – that too away from home. In their next game, they ran away with a straight forward 2-0 win against promoted Brighton and Hove Albion.

Equally menacing for Leicester is the form of Japanese international Shinji Okazaki. The 31-year-old striker has scored in both of his team’s matches this season – both coming inside the first five minutes of play.

Vardy vs Lukaku

The big guns in the Premier League are well aware of the threat Leicester poses, but this season’s United looks a far more dangerous outfit compared to the inconsistent squad that has shown up in the past few seasons. A lot has to do with the purchase of midfielder Nemanja Matic from Chelsea.

The Serbian holding midfielder’s involvement has relieved Paul Pogba of his defensive responsibilities, and has allowed the Frenchman a free-wheeling role in United’s attack. It’s a move that has brought a devastating effect in United’s attack, as Pogba has used his skill and flair to support summer-signing Romelu Lukaku, who has also been in good form. The combination saw the Red Devils outmuscle a strong West Ham team, before dismantling Swansea.

Matic’s effort did not go unrecognized, as he was awarded the man of the match on his United debut.

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Meanwhile Lukaku has been a perfect replacement in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who missed the latter part of the 2016-17 season due to a horrific knee injury. The Belgian has been strong in possession, powerful in his bullying of defenders, and clinical in his finishing – notching up three goals in his first two outings. There’s also the prospect of him partnering with Ibrahimovic, who is rumoured to be re-signing with United shortly.

At the end of two rounds, the United-Leicester match suggests a high-intensity game, but there will be a special focus of how each team’s main striker will perform: Lukaku versus Vardy.

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