Hoping to end week on a high

United seek 3rd victory following 2 straight wins, fit-again players and Zlatan's new deal

LONDON • Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will hope to cap a successful week, on and off the field, by making it three wins in as many games when Leicester City visit Old Trafford today.

United have won their opening two Premier League games, each by 4-0 scorelines, at home to West Ham and at Swansea, while Mourinho has been boosted by seeing key squad members return from long-term injuries.

Moreover, Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has rejoined the club on a one-year contract and should be available before the end of the year after recovering from knee surgery.

"He (Ibrahimovic) won't be ready for the group phase of the Champions League," Mourinho said yesterday. "Hopefully he can play in the knockout stage... I just think he will be extra man for us in the second part of the season."

Defenders Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo are also regaining fitness, along with winger Ashley Young.

Mourinho will be hoping striker Romelu Lukaku can continue in his current form. The Belgian international scored three goals in his first two league games.

Leicester head for Old Trafford after losing narrowly to Arsenal at the Emirates and beating Brighton at home.

Mourinho said: "It is the same team as they were two seasons ago (when they were champions). Are they going to be champions again? Honestly, I don't think so. All the other teams are not all going to fail."

Leicester will hope that defender Harry Maguire recovers from a knee injury in time to continue his impressive start to life with the club.

The close-season signing from Hull has performed well enough in his two Foxes appearances to win a place in the latest England squad.

But he missed training on Thursday with an injury that could force him out of the United game.

United's cross-town rivals Manchester City travel to Bournemouth knowing they need a better touch in front of goal.

Pep Guardiola's side dominated their opening two games of the season, but in both their 2-0 win at Brighton and the 1-1 draw with Everton, City failed to turn territorial dominance into a deluge of goals.

Against Brighton, City had 78 per cent possession and 14 shots, scoring twice. In the Everton clash, City enjoyed 65 per cent possession and managed 19 shots, but the only goal came from substitute Raheem Sterling.

"We've just got to be a bit more clinical. We've got to move on and go again," said Sterling.

City will be without full-back Kyle Walker after his red card in the Everton draw.



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2017, with the headline 'Hoping to end week on a high'. Print Edition | Subscribe