Juan Mata highlights Leicester City’s biggest threat ahead of Manchester United fixture
Juan Mata believes Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy will pose the biggest threat for Manchester United when the two teams meet this weekend.
The Foxes head to Old Trafford on the back of some good results so far this season, picking up eight points from four games, while United have just five.
The game is being billed as crucial to both sides’ hopes of qualifying for European football and Mata believes that Premier League-winning striker Vardy is the opposition’s one to watch on Saturday.
“I think Vardy is mostly the danger,” Mata told United Review. “There are a few players doing very well under this new manager, but he’s the one that stands out.“
Mata then praised Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers for the job he’s done since taking over at the King Power Stadium. The Northern Irishman took United’s rivals Liverpool to the brink of the Premier League and experienced playmaker Mata is wary of the qualities of Rodgers’ teams.
“It’s a manager I’ve played against and know very well, while he was managing other clubs in the Premier League and even in Scotland,” he added.
“A good manager, with a clear idea of football. His teams play a certain way, which is possession football with a purpose, quality football. Since Leicester won the Premier League, they have been adding and losing players, but always keeping that level, so they will be dangerous.”
After United made a superb start to the season by beating Chelsea 4-0, they have underwhelmed in the three subsequent games, drawing to Wolves and Southampton and losing at home to Crystal Palace.
And Mata admitted he understood why many supporters had vented their anger after those three disappointing results, but urged Old Trafford to come together for the Leicester clash.
“My message is always being grateful for what they (the fans) give us,” he added.
“I understand their frustration when we don’t get the results they deserve, so I feel sorry for that. But what I can do, individually, and what we can do, as a team, is give our best. Fans recognise that.
“Over results, what they value is that a player gives everything and tries as much as he can, and that’s what I do and what my team-mates do. If we want to get our objectives, we need to stick together — managers, players and fans — because there’s many people on the outside enjoying it when Manchester United don’t win. It’s key for us to stick together as a whole.”