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The Premier League is Back!


The Premier League is Back!

Manchester United vs Leicester City

After all the pre-season friendlies, all the transfer speculation, all the ins and all the outs, now the talking stops.

The Premier League is back with SBOBET, and the opener has a clash which could be spectacular.

Welcome back to the greatest show in town!

Talking Points

Premier League 2018 news in recent days has been dominated by the transfer window, and one name who figured highly was Leicester City and England defender Harry Maguire.

Fresh from a fine World Cup, fans knew the centre-back would start the new season at Old Trafford. However, they were unsure of what colour shirt he would figure.

In the end, it amounted to speculation. We may never know if United tabled a bid which was turned down or whether United boss Jose Mourinho thought the 25-year-old Yorkshireman was overpriced.

Certainly, it’s questionable if Maguire is an upgrade on what United already have in a backline which kept the most clean sheets and boasted the second-best defensive record in the top flight in 2017/18.

Despite their critics, United appear to have adopted a mantra where they would only buy to enhance what they have rather than ‘more of the same’, given their squad already has a decent strength in depth.

Injuries have not helped the Red Devils with captain Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo and Nemanja Matic among those absent from the start of the campaign.

A number of players who featured in the latter stages of the World Cup will also not be match fit, given they have not had a pre-season either. But once they get up to speed, United will be in a stronger position than many think.

So may Leicester City.

In contrast to United, the 2016 champions have had an extremely active transfer window.

The early signing of former United man Jonny Evans was a good start, and they have now added to their strength with the deadline-day captures of Caglar Soyuncu from SC Freiburg and Filip Benkovic from Dinamo Zagreb.

Other recruitments have included James Maddison from Norwich and Foxes’ fans will be upbeat that manager Claude Puel appears to have invested wisely.

Perhaps the best news of deadline day for them came with the contract extension of livewire striker Jamie Vardy, who has been handed a four-year deal which will tie him down at the club until he’s 35.

A real boon for the club and loyal player alike, particularly after they sold the other main star of their 2016 title-winning campaign, Riyad Mahrez, to champions Manchester City.

The irony is, like so many of Man Utd’s World Cup players, Vardy only returned to club training on Monday and will probably be on the bench at Old Trafford, unlike Maguire.

The Foxes’ ex-Man City man Kelechi Iheanacho has been in prolific form in pre-season and will hope to take that into competitive action.

Mourinho has never lost on the opening day of a Premier League season, winning eight and drawing one of his matches with Chelsea (2004-07, 2013-2015) and United (2016 – present).

Meanwhile, the Foxes have won only one of their opening Premier League fixtures in nine attempts (a 4-2 victory over Sunderland at the start of their 2015-16 title-winning campaign).

That all points to a United victory, but an early goal and boiling frustration may become apparent at the Theatre of Dreams.

History

Last season, United saw off the spirited Foxes 2-0 at Old Trafford in only the third match of the campaign.

They triumphed through second-half goals from substitutes Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini.

The return match just before Christmas proved an exciting contest as Maguire netted a last-gasp equaliser with virtually the final kick of the contest.

The 2-2 draw saw Vardy’s now-annual goal against United and Juan Mata’s best performance of the season as he scored an exquisite double.

Leicester last won at Old Trafford 20 years ago. It was January 1998 when Tony Cottee scored the only goal.

Betting Tip

Despite all the doom and gloom in the media, United should be too strong for Leicester.

Other attractive offers include a goal-fest start to the league with over 2.75 goals @ 2.35 and total goal 4-6 @ 3.90.

The opening match of the season 12 months ago also involved Leicester as they were edged out by Arsenal in a seven-goal thriller.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 


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