Preview: Leicester City vs. Manchester United

Preview: Leicester City vs. Manchester United

Manchester United could reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup for a record 31st time when they face Leicester City in their quarter-final at the King Power Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The two clubs are both pushing for a top-four finish in the Premier League, but will be viewing the FA Cup as a very realistic route to silverware alongside their impressive top-flight exploits.

Of all the teams Leicester could have drawn in the quarter-finals, Manchester United are arguably the one they would have most wanted to avoid.

The third-placed Foxes are just one place and one point behind Sunday’s visitors in the Premier League table, but Man United have been a bogey team of theirs in recent seasons.

Leicester are winless in their last 13 meetings across all competitions since their famous 5-3 triumph in September 2014, and that is their only win in the last 25 editions of this fixture – a run which includes 19 defeats.

Man United have also won both of the previous FA Cup meetings between the two, although the most recent of those was all the way back in 1976.

It is fair to say that Sunday’s contest comes with the two clubs on much more even footing than most of their previous showdowns, though, and Leicester have every reason to believe that they could couple a top-four finish with FA Cup glory this season.

Manchester United will be thinking the same, and they also have another route to silverware still alive courtesy of their 1-0 win over AC Milan at San Siro on Thursday – a result which set up a Europa League quarter-final with Granada.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are now unbeaten in 14 games across all competitions, although those have been split evenly between seven wins and seven draws.

Man United have not lost an away domestic match since January 2020 and, while this will be their first FA Cup away game of the season, they have also won 12 of their last 15 matches on the road in this competition.

It has not been an easy route to the quarter-finals for the Red Devils, seeing off Watford, Liverpool and West Ham United – the latter via extra time – to make it into the last eight.

A 31st semi-final awaits the 12-time winners if they can claim a third successive Premier League scalp on Sunday, although they will have their work cut out for them against a Leicester side coming into this match off the back of a big win.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s hat-trick helped the Foxes to a 5-0 win over bottom club Sheffield United last weekend, and their Europa League exit last month means that they have had a week to rest while Man United travelled to Milan.

The victory over Sheffield United following a narrow away league triumph over Brighton & Hove Albion to make it back-to-back wins, bringing a timely end to a three-game winless run across all competitions.

Brighton were also dispatched by Leicester in the last round of this competition, with Brendan Rodgers’s side having previously seen off Championship opposition in Stoke City and Brentford before that.

The Foxes have now won six of their last eight FA Cup home games, although the two defeats in that time have both come at the quarter-final stage.

Indeed, Leicester have lost each of their last five FA Cup quarter-finals – most recently against Chelsea last season – and on Sunday will be looking to reach the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 1982.

Leicester City FA Cup form:
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Leicester City form (all competitions):
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Manchester United FA Cup form:
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Manchester United form (all competitions):
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