Manchester United v Leicester: Back goals at both ends in lunchtime showdown

Mike Dean has awarded four penalties in four Premier League matches this season.
Mike Dean has awarded four penalties in four Premier League matches this season.
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A Leicester side who score plenty against a Manchester United side who can't stop conceding in a fixture that generally produces goals? It all points strongly towards one bet, says Jamie Pacheco, who also has his eye on some interesting stats about ref Mike Dean...


"Mike Dean awards an average of one penalty a game. And three of both Manchester United and Leicester's eight games in all competitions have had a penalty in them. So, a quote of around 3.814/5 on a penalty being taken being a pretty good value bet."

Manchester United v Leicester
Saturday, 12:30
Live on Sky Sports 1


Manchester United

Not the start that Jose Mourinho would have hoped for at Old Trafford. Unsurprisingly, only a very small part of the blame for a third successive defeat lay with the manager himself. Apparently, the main culprits for the 3-1 defeat at Watford were the officials, Luke Shaw and (the absence of) Lady Luck.

Every man and his dog has a view on who should play where in a bid to turn the team's fortunes around. Earlier this week I argued Wayne Rooney doesn't deserve to be starting for United on current form. It's hard to know what his presence in United's starting line-up against Northampton in a midweek 3-1 win means. That he needs to play to improve his form or that he was needed on Wednesday because he won't be needed on Saturday. The Betfair Sportsbook makes it 2.111/10 that he starts and 1.664/6 he doesn't.

Essentially for this match Mourinho must decide which four players to pick for his four attacking positions from the following: Rooney, Anthony Martial (if fit), Memphis Depay, Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It's a footballing equivalent of 'First World problems.' Of those, only Zlatan is absolutely guaranteed to start.

Michael Carrick might get a game in central midfield.


Leicester

Seven points from five matches suggests Leicester are unlikely to be holding onto to their Premier League crown but then again, that should come as no surprise.

They've done the business at home with two wins and a respectable 0-0 draw at home to Arsenal but lost both their away matches- 2-1 at Hull and a 4-1 drubbing at Liverpool.

In midweek they lost 4-2 after extra-time to Chelsea but Claudio Ranieri won't be fussed about that one bit. He has bigger fish to fry in the form of the league and Champions League.

Kasper Schmeichel is the only doubt as he recovers from concussion. Nampalys Mendy (injury) and Marcin Wasilewski (suspension) miss out.

It's not just Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez that defenders have to worry about these days. Transfer window signing Islam Slimani had an excellent goalscoring record at Sporting Lisbon and showed Leicester's fans what he can do with a brace at home to Burnley on his league debut.


Match Odds

Punters are queuing up to lay United at 1.684/6. No, they really are, there's a lot of money on the Betfair market waiting to get matched. We can see why given their recent form but it's worth remembering that Leicester have lost both their away matches in the league and that United beat them in the Community Shield 2-1 back in August.

It's also worth remembering that United's record in this fixture is very good. Opta tell us United are undefeated in seven home games against the Foxes, conceding just four times.

A lay of United is tempting but not tempting enough. The draw is 4.1, the away win is 5.95/1.


Over/Under 2.5 goals/Both teams to score

Last year's stats might suggest 'unders' with just 36.8% of United's home games having less than 2.5 goals. Plus, both fixtures between these two last season ended 1-1.

The case for overs is that 52% of Leicester's away games last season broke the three-goal threshold and that seven of their eight matches in all competitions this season have gone 'overs', including that Community Shield game. Given how both teams are playing now and United's seeming inability to keep a clean sheet (they even conceded at Northamptonshire), overs would look the better choice at around 1.8810/11.

Then again, I can't see either side winning 3-0 so at a very similar price to 'overs' you can back both teams to score, which crucially includes that 1-1 scoreline that happened in both league matches last term.


Ref Watch

Mike Dean has so far awarded 21 yellows across four Premier League matches at an average of 5.25 a game, plus a red card when he dismissed Adnan Januzaj in the dying seconds of Sunderland's defeat at White Hart Lane last Sunday.

Of even more interest is the fact that Dean has awarded four penalties in four matches. What's particularly intriguing is that a couple of them were for shirt-holding at corners, suggesting he's going to clamp down on any nonsense in the box.


Penalty Taken?

So Mike Dean awards an average of one penalty a game. And three of both Manchester United and Leicester's eight games in all competitions have had a penalty in them. So, a quote of around 3.814/5 on a penalty being taken being a pretty good value bet.

Recommended Bets

1pt Back 'Yes' in Penalty Taken? @ 3.814/5
2pts Back 'yes' in both teams to score @ 1.865/6


Jamie's 2016/17 Premier League P/L

Staked: 7pts
Returned: 8.5pts
P/L: +1.5pts

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