The 2018/19 Premier League season kicks off on Friday night, with both Manchester United and Leicester City without key personnel for the top flight curtain-raiser.
Jose Mourinho has let the world know that his Red Devils team are short of players, partly because new transfer targets haven’t been landed and partly because some of his squad had the audacity to represent their country at the World Cup.
Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini have only just returned to training along with Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young and Marcus Rashford. It means that United might be short in a couple of other areas.
Similarly, Leicester are missing their England duo of Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire, while Riyad Mahrez left in the summer for Manchester City and it will therefore be a weak-looking Foxes side.
That’s especially the case in defence where Jonny Evans will be absent with injury, leaving Wes Morgan and Yohan Benalouane lining up in central defence.
It doesn’t look like a particularly strong team on paper and there’s the possibility that Maguire will have switched Leicester for United by kick-off.
Claude Puel will look for his team to be defensively compact in this opener, with James Maddison slotting in the team along with Ricardo Pereira.
Kelechi Iheanacho is sure to get a “warm” reception from United fans after previously representing Manchester City, with this game likely to be a tight affair.
However, United will possibly edge the encounter thanks to their defensive stubbornness and Mourinho will be happy to claim victory with the minimum of fuss in this one.