Premier League

Away Day Turkey for Manchester United?

Onside View’s resident football tipster, Mr Robinson is looking to Boxing Day’s opening fixture at the King Power. Second plays third, as Leicester —who are looking to mount another serious top four challenge — take on a United side who have won every one of their travelling fixtures. Is this the day that United’s away record falters, leaving them with an
almighty festive hangover?

Brendan Rodgers has lost 10 out of his 12 meetings against United in all competitions, failing in the last five. Whilst it was Nigel Pearson who secured Leicester’s last home victory over The Red Devil’s, in a 5-3 PL classic. 3-1 down after 62 minutes, The Foxes scored 4 times to nail a star-studded line-up that included the likes of Falcao and Di Maria. It was the raucous atmosphere that day that helped them over the line. No such luck this year.

Inconsistent performances and failure to be clinical in front of goal have arguably cost Leicester top spot this season. They should have taken the lead against Fulham, when Wesley Fofana grazed the bar, before getting sucker-punched twice before the break. And, likewise, a tight game against Everton simply fizzled, due to Leicester’s inability to exert pressure at key moments. However, Ndidi’s timely return was exemplified against Spurs; his dirty work broke up the game and dominated the area in front of the back four.

United are going to struggle to win that battle, and will need Fernandes firing on all cylinders to find room enough to create chances. That’s why backing a tight first half (Draw Half Time @13/10 with Betfred) is a sensible option. Leicester have lost 5 games this season (equal to West Ham in 10th), but are the only PL club to match Liverpool on 9 wins. They just don’t do draws! Having said that, 4 out of 5 of those losses came at home. And so, it seems almost too obvious to favour United to extend their club record to 11 consecutive away wins.

However, despite United’s league position, an impending cup semi, a 100% away record, and an uncanny ability to come from behind in the second half of games, I’m STILL not convinced — and nor are most of Ole’s doubters.

But, what I am convinced of is that this run will come crashing down. It may not be straight away, but it will start on Boxing Day when they fail to beat The Foxes. So, back a Score Draw @10/3 with BetFred if you’re feeling as prophetic (not pathetic!) as me.

Last week against Leeds, United bucked a trend of starting games too slowly. 4-1 up at halftime, Ole must have been offering a salon-style hairdryer treatment rather than dishing out Ferguson’s famous alternative.

Could this pamper his team into a quick start against the scruffy Foxes? Rodgers almost always likes to let the game play out slowly against top teams, so let’s back a reversal of United’s recent first-half form and anticipate another majestic Leicester comeback HT/FT – Man Utd/Leicester @25/1 with BetFred is my Christmas miracle to you.

My Score Prediction: 2-2

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Happy betting!

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