- Manchester United visit King Power Stadium on Thursday (8pm kick-off)
- The Red Devils are Leicester City’s latest Premier League opponents
- Mark Ogden of ESPN previews the game and United’s current form
- Their poor start to the season has been negated by recent results
The North West giants will arrive at King Power Stadium for Thursday’s 8pm kick-off having won their last two league games, overcoming Liverpool in a thrilling match-up at Old Trafford, before heading down to the South Coast and coming away with a hard-fought triumph against Southampton.
Those performances and results were much improved on the opening day defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion, which was followed by a 4-0 reverse at the hands of Brentford.
It’s extreme highs and lows,” Ogden explained to LCFC TV’s Matchday Live show ahead of the encounter with the Red Devils. “The first two games were awful. Brentford particularly was terrible, that away defeat.
Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring against Liverpool in United's first win of the season.
“To go from that to beating Liverpool in the following game, you couldn’t really see that coming. Away at Southampton, I think that was probably more of a measure of where they’re at. They got a result in a tough game, and they actually held their nerve this time and got an away win for the first time since February.
“Although beating Liverpool is great, winning at Southampton was more of a signpost of the progress which is being made because they held on and they got a win and they got back to getting results. It’s positive right now which is obviously countered by that bad start.”
Buoyed by those results, the new-look United side will be confident of picking up another three points on Filbert Way to further boost their ascent up the Premier League table.
Currently placed 11th in the standings at this early stage of the season, they have been aided by the form of several summer recruits.
There will be confidence, but they’re not the finished article by any means. They can also fall away very quickly so it’s a big game for both sides.Mark Ogden, ESPN Speaking to LCFC TV's Matchday Live
The journalist continued: “They’ll go to Leicester with big confidence. It’s a dangerous game for United. It’s so early in the season, you can get carried away with form and results. No team has really hit their best form, so Leicester are a team that are capable of winning this game.
“United go into it with two successive games playing a team in the bottom three, and they’ve got Arsenal at home at the weekend. It’s a game they need to win and I think the confidence will be high. We haven’t seen confidence high at United in a long time and that’s down to the manager and the players.
“They’ve got some new players in. You probably won’t see [Cristiano] Ronaldo or Harry Maguire, two of their biggest signings, so that shows you the kind of transitions they’ve made. There will be confidence, but they’re not the finished article by any means. They can also fall away very quickly so it’s a big game for both sides.”
Erik ten Hag’s arrival has signalled some drastic changes, according to Ogden, who believes the Dutchman’s tenure will be judged on how he is able to mould the team together with the new players brought into the club.
Players are starting to gel under Erik Ten Hag's management.
“The manager at all clubs sets the tone of the club and the team,” he explained. “He has made some big decisions. He oversaw that first two games and it was bad, but he made the big calls to drop Maguire and Ronaldo, and I think that gave confidence to the other players that this guy is going to pick people on merit.
“He’s not going to pick the big names and the big signings, he’s going to go with the players who are performing well. Luke Shaw is another player who has lost his place to Tyrone Malacia, who’s done really well. Ten Hag is backing the players who have performing for him, and he isn’t playing the ones who aren’t.
“If you’re in the team, that will give you confidence and belief that the manager will stick with you if you deliver. It’s positive. I’m not sure if we’ll see Anthony, the new signing. He probably won’t get his visa in time, but it’s another sign that they’re moving away from the past.
“Ten Hag is getting his personality on the team because it’s his signing. Malacia was his signing, as was Lisandro Martínez. As these players were his targets, not the club’s. Ten Hag has battled to get these players, but it’s only four games and two of those games were terrible.”
All times BST.
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