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Why Manchester United’s FA Cup game against Leicester City is a must-win one for Solskjaer

Manchester United will face Leicester City in the quarter-final of the 2020-21 FA Cup.
Manchester United will face Leicester City in the quarter-final of the 2020-21 FA Cup.
ANALYST
Modified 21 Mar 2021
Feature

This week was always going to be crucial to Manchester United’s hopes of finishing the season with a trophy. The Red Devils started the week with two crucial cup fixtures.

First was a Europa League against AC Milan at the San Siro, which they won 1-0 to reach the quarter-finals. They now have a tough game against Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday.

The FA Cup clash could be a keenly-fought affair, as Manchester United and Leicester City are respectively second and third in the Premier League table.

Manchester United face a tricky game against Leicester City

On current form, Solskjaer’s side go into the game as favourites, but Leicester City have constantly proven they are not an easy side to play against.

They beat Manchester City 5-2 earlier in the season, outplayed and defeated both Arsenal and Chelsea, and also held Manchester United to a 2-2 draw. While the Reds haven’t lost a game since late January, Leicester City have been in equally imperious form in recent weeks.

Under Brendan Rodgers, the Foxes have developed a ruthless streak of sorts; they have scored seven goals in their last two games.

However, regardless of the quality of the opposition, it’s a must-win game for Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian has got the club competing at the top again but hasn't won a title to show for his efforts.

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A second-place finish in the Premier League would be a very good return for Manchester United, but winning the FA Cup would be the icing on the cake. To do that, though, the Reds must first take care of business against Leicester City.

Trophy drought weighing on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s mind

Earlier in the week, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to explain his failure to win trophies at Manchester United when he said the league table was the best measurement of a team’s progress.

The Norwegian, however, knows it’s only a matter of time before the pressure starts mounting on him if Manchester United’s trophy drought continues. He may not publicly admit it, but the Reds’ trophy drought is heavily weighing on his mind, and Ole Gunnar Solskkaer will be desperate to end the season with silverware.

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“If you want an easy, comfortable life, then you don’t play for Man United. You’ve got to be mentally strong and also physically strong and robust. To be successful, you want to challenge yourself and these are the periods we want,” the Manchester United boss said, as quoted by Manutd.com. We have to turn up on the day. We know Leicester are in very, very good form. They’ve had some great results lately, and we know we’re up against a good team.”

Manchester United are in contention for two trophies – the Europa League and the FA Cup - this season.

The latter competition could be easier to win, so it’ll be hugely disappointing if Manchester United don’t manage to beat high-flying Leicester City on Sunday.

Published 21 Mar 2021, 18:32 IST
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