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Match Preview: Premier League title within reach for Leicester against Manchester United

The Theatre of Dreams is Leicester City's stage to make history on Sunday as the Foxes look to clinch their first-ever top-flight title against Manchester United.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Location: Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England

Kick-off time: 2:05 PM GMT, 09:05 AM Eastern, 06:05 AM Pacific
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It can only get so poetic.

Leicester City, who sit seven points up on Tottenham Hotspur for the Premier League lead, are three points away from securing the title and can wrap it up for themselves at Old Trafford against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.

I'm sure this isn't exactly what Bobby Charlton had in mind when he first muttered the nickname "The Theatre of Dreams" for the ground, but the Foxes could certainly fulfill their own dreams of a first-ever Premier League title there this weekend to cap off what has been an extraordinary season for the club and its fans.

For Leicester's Danny Drinkwater and Danny Simpson, who were both born in Manchester and were part of United's youth academy, Sunday's match represents the chance to be crowned Premier League champions at the ground of their boyhood club that released them earlier in their careers. It's something you only see in fiction, and you know both of those two will have even more to play for on Sunday.

And for goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, it's the opportunity to win a Premier League title of his own where his father, Peter Schmeichel, had most of his success in the 1990's by winning five league titles. Kasper has never been one for comparisons to his father, and the opportunity to dispell some of those discussions and create a legacy for his own will be a crucial factor for the Danish international.


Thanks to West Brom stealing a point against Tottenham this past Monday at White Hart Lane, any one of a Leicester win or Spurs loss in the final three games of the season will crown the Foxes champions of England. Spurs need to win out their final three games to have any sort of chance of passing Leicester, but are in tough on Monday when they travel away to face current title-holders Chelsea.

Jamie Vardy remains suspended for the Foxes after being given an extra one-match ban for an FA charge of improper misconduct on April 26. The striker served his initial suspension and his teammates rose to the occasion to help Leicester smash Swansea 4-0 last weekend and keep control of their title ambitions. Leonardo Ulloa scored two goals in his absence and will almost assuredly be called upon again on Sunday for his first back-to-back startsince December 5 and 14 against Swansea and Chelsea.

Old Trafford can prove to be a daunting prospect, but the Foxes hold the best away record in the league and should be able to rise to the occasion after earning key results on the road earlier this season against teams like Tottenham and Manchester City. Arsenal even needed a stoppage time winner to get past 10-man Leicester at the Emirates on February 14. But United's power at home has always been a constant in the Premier League over the years (with the exception of  the 2013-14 season) and will be hard for Leicester to crack.

The chances of facing a team with nothing to play for at this point of the season are normally high, but United will playing for their top-4 ambitions against Leicester this weekend. United manager Louis Van Gaal has found a solid piece upfront in Marcus Rashford, and the ever-looming threat of Juan Mata will need to be monitored by the Leicester defense. The Red Devils dispatched Crystal Palace 2-0 in their last match and could pull to within two points of Arsenal for fourth place and the final Champions League spot with three points against the Foxes.

The May 7 home match for Leicester against Everton has the potential to be a monumental celebration or 90 minutes of rapid heartbeat for Foxes' fans. Leicester City and its supporters are experiencing every moment of this tense ride to the top of the Premier League, but its hard not to look ahead at what that match could look like if the title was sealed with two matches to go. The opportunity to lift the Premier League trophy at the King Power Stadium will be on the minds of Leicester players and fans, but there's still 90 minutes ahead that could be the longest in the club's 132-year history.

Prediction: Manchester United 1, Leicester City 2 (Schlupp, Ulloa). Foxes put together a character performance away at Old Trafford to secure the club's first top-flight title in its 132-year history, sending the city into pandemonium.