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Preview: Leicester City vs. Sheffield United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Premier League clash between Leicester City and Sheffield United, including team news and predicted lineups.

Two sides with clear targets in mind face off at the King Power Stadium on Thursday evening as out-of-form Leicester City take on a rejuvenated Sheffield United.

Leicester are hanging onto a top-four spot after winning one of their six matches since the restart, while United are back up to seventh following back-to-back victories.

Match preview

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers pictured on July 1, 2020© Reuters

Brendan Rodgers did not hold back following Leicester's shocking 4-1 collapse against Bournemouth on Sunday, admitting that his side are nowhere near Champions League level.

From looking top-four certainties before the restart to relying on other teams to drop points, a season that offered so much for City is at risk of completely crumbling.

Leicester took the lead against an out-of-sorts Bournemouth side through a Jamie Vardy strike, but a calamitous two-minute spell saw them concede twice and lose a man.

Bournemouth took advantage of Caglar Soyuncu's dismissal by running away with the win, making it six points from the last 18 on offer for Leicester.

Yet somehow they still remain in possession of fourth place, level on points with Manchester United following the Red Devils' 2-2 draw with Southampton on Monday.

That ultimately means that Leicester's fate remains in their own hands, but they face tricky games against Sheff Utd, Tottenham Hotspur and Man Utd to conclude the campaign.

Sheffield United's David McGoldrick scores against Chelsea in the Premier League on July 11, 2020© Reuters

One game at a time will be the mantra for Rodgers, and indeed opposite number Chris Wilder, who has to be a contender for the Manager of the Season award.

Wilder's men have recovered from a post-lockdown slump that saw them lose two and draw one of their first three matches back by taking 10 points from the last 12.

The Blades scored a dramatic late winner against fellow European chasers Wolverhampton Wanderers last week and followed that up with a 3-0 win against Chelsea on Saturday.

As far as performances go, that display was right up there as United crushed third-place Chelsea - a result that Leicester supporters would have celebrated just as wildly.

The Yorkshire club are one point behind Wolves in the final Europa League spot and have mid-table Everton and Southampton to come after this trip to the East Midlands.

With Leicester only five points better off, even a place in the Champions League cannot be entirely ruled out for United just yet in what has been a campaign to remember.

Leicester City's Premier League form: DDLWDL
Leicester City's form (all competitions): DLLWDL

Sheffield United's Premier League form: LLWDWW
Sheffield United's form (all competitions): LLWDWW

Team News

Ben Chilwell in action for Leicester City on June 20, 2020© Reuters

Soyuncu is banned for this match after being sent off against Bournemouth, possibly meaning just a second Premier League start for Ryan Bennett since joining on loan in January.

Daniel Amartey and Ricardo Pereira remain absent for Leicester, meanwhile, but Rodgers will hope to have James Maddison and Ben Chilwell back from injury.

Should Chilwell fail to recover in time, James Justin and Marc Albrighton may be used in a makeshift back four. Up top, Vardy needs one more goal to make this his joint-best Premier League season.

As for United, they remain without Luke Freeman and Leon Clarke, while John Fleck is touch-and-go after missing their last four matches.

John Lundstram is among those pushing for inclusion but, despite the quick turnaround in matches, Wilder is unlikely to make any changes from the Chelsea win.

David McGoldrick scored his first Premier League goals in that impressive victory and is looking to net in consecutive league matches for the first time since January 2019.

Leicester City possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Albrighton, Bennett, Evans, Justin; Ndidi; Perez, Praet, Tielemans, Barnes; Vardy

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Basham, Egan, O'Connell; Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Osborne, Stevens; McBurnie, McGoldrick

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We say: Leicester City 2-1 Sheffield United

This really is a huge game and one that both sides will be targeting victory from. Leicester's only two victories since February have come at the King Power Stadium, while United have gone four matches without an away win - losing 3-0 to Man Utd and Newcastle in that run - so we are backing the Foxes to edge this one.


Who will win Thursday's Premier League clash between Leicester City and Sheffield United?

Leicester City
Sheffield United
Leicester City
Sheffield United
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Conor Coady in action for Wolves on September 19, 2019
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rhs 2.0
2Manchester CityMan City36243993355875
4Leicester CityLeicester371881167392862
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd361711863352862
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3716101160461458
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves361414849381156
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd361412103835354
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle361110153755-1843
14Crystal Palace36119163047-1742
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham36107194760-1337
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton36813153753-1637
18Aston Villa3687213966-2731
RNorwich CityNorwich3756262670-4421

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