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PREVIEW: Manchester United v Norwich City

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 26th April 2014 – KO 17:30 GMT

Referee: Lee Probert, Assistants: R Ganfield and M McDonough, Fourth Official: N Swarbrick

Manchester United have had an eventful week with the sacking of David Moyes, the appointment of Ryan Giggs as the interim manager with Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville all being named as his coaching team. Chris Woods, the goalkeeping coach was also kept on at the club with Jimmy Lumbsden and Steve Round also being shown the door. This has spurred the supporters of the club on and put some positivity back into the club. Giggs sat with the press earlier today for his first managers press conference at the clubs AON Training Complex and was speaking about bringing the United philosophy back to the club with the players playing the United way.

The atmosphere at Old Trafford on Saturday evening will be immense. Everyone I have spoken too is up for the match, even if it is relegation contenders Norwich City, but with the performance they gave against Liverpool last week, you have to assume they will be up for doing the same thing to United. There is still a chance for United to win a UEFA Europa League place, whether we want it or not, European competition is part of the fixture list with United, but less matches would be something that would help the new manager, whoever that may be, to rebuild the squad and get them ready for the season after next.

Giggs confirmed earlier today that only Rafael da Silva and Robin van Persie were still sidelined and everyone else was fit and ready for selection. Neil Adams has a few injury problems with Joseph Yobo and Elliott Bennet both likely to miss the match. It is fair to say that United will not ‘try’ to get the victory anymore. With Giggs using positive words in his presser such as ‘must’, ‘demand’ and ‘expect’, which suggests that he has already exercised his authority among his team-mates, who already highly respect him.

Campo

Manchester United Statistics:

Based on Barclays Premier League 2013/14 [statistics taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 34 matches, won 17, drawn 6, lost 11 and currently have 57 points

Scored 56 goals (1.65 goals per match) & conceded 40 goals (1.18 goals per match) – 4 penalties

Longest unbeaten streak is 7 matches

Clean sheet record 35%

Norwich City Statistics:

Based on Barclays Premier League 2013/14 [statistics taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 35 matches, won 8, drawn 8, lost 19 and currently have 32 points

Scored 28 goals (0.80 goal per match) & conceded 56 goals (1.60 goals per match) – 1 penalty

Longest unbeaten streak is 3 matches

Clean sheet record 31%

Top Scorers (all competitions):

Manchester United: 17 – Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, 10 – Danny Welbeck, 9 – Javier Hernandez, 4 – Adnan Januzaj, Antonio Valencia, 3 – Patrice Evra, Own Goal, Phil Jones, Juan Mata, Ashley Young, 2 – Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic, 1 – Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Nani, Fabio da Silva

Norwich City: 8 – Gary Hooper, 7 – Robert Snodgrass, 4 – Leroy Fer, 3 – Johan Elmander, Bradley Johnson, 2 – Jonny Howson, Anthony Pilkington, Steven Wittaker, 1 – Wes Hoolahan, Josh Murphy, Martin Olsson, Ryan Bennett, Nathan Redmond, Alexander Tettey, Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Manchester United Form: – LLWDWL

Last six matches: Everton 2-0 L, Bayern Munich 3-1 L, Newcastle United 4-0 W, Bayern Munich 1-1 D, Aston Villa 4-1 W, Manchester City 3-0 L, West Ham United 2-0 W

Norwich City: – LLLLWL

Last six matches: Liverpool 3-2 L, Fulham 1-0 L, West Bromwich Albion 1-0 L, Swansea City 3-0 L, Sunderland 2-0 W, Southampton 4-2 L

Head to Head:

Played six matches at Old Trafford in the Barclays Premier League:

Manchester United: Won 5, Drawn 1, Lost 0 – Scored 12 goals, conceded 3 goals and kept 4 clean sheets

Norwich City: Won 0, Drawn 1, Lost 5 – Scored 3 goals, conceded 12 goals and kept 0 clean sheets

Manchester United Squad:

Manager: Ryan Giggs

Goalkeepers: 1. David De Gea, 13, Anders Lindegaard, 40. Ben Amos;

Defenders: 2. Rafael da Silva, 3. Patrice Evra, 4. Phil Jones, 5. Rio Ferdinand, 6. Jonny Evans, 12. Chris Smalling, 15. Nemanja Vidic, 28. Alexander Büttner, 30. Guillermo Varela;

Midfielders: 8. Juan Mata, 11. Ryan Giggs, 16. Michael Carrick, 17. Nani, 18. Ashley Young, 23. Tom Cleverley, 24. Darren Fletcher, 25. Antonio Valencia, 26. Shinji Kagawa, 31. Marouane Fellaini, 44. Adnan Januzaj;

Strikers: 10. Wayne Rooney, 14. Javier Hernandez, 19. Danny Welbeck, 20. Robin van Persie, 47. James Wilson

Doubts/Injuries: 2. Rafael da Silva (hamstring), 20. Robin van Persie (knee) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Norwich City Squad:

Manager: Neil Adams

Goalkeepers: 1. John Ruddy, 13. Mark Bunn, 20. Carlo Nash;

Defenders: 2. Russell Martin, 3. Steven Wittaker, 5. Sébastien Bassong, 6. Michael Turner, 18. Javier Garrido, 23. Martin Olsson, 24. Ryan Bennett, 26. Joseph Yobo;

Midfielders: 4. Bradley Johnson, 7. Robert Snodgrass, 8. Jonny Howson, 10. Leroy Fer, 12. Anthony Pilkington, 14. Wes Hoolahan, 15. Jonás Gutiérrez, 17. Elliott Bennett, 22. Nathan Redmond, 25. David Fox, 27. Alexander Tettey, 31. Josh Murphy;

Strikers: 9. Ricky van Wolfswinkel, 11. Gary Hooper, 16. Johan Elmander, 19. Luciano Becchio

Doubts/Injuries: 17. Elliott Bennett (knee), 26. Joseph Yobo (calf/shin) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Predicted Formation/Starting XI:

Norwich Preview XI

Score Prediction:

Manchester United 4-0 Norwich City

By Paul Bienkowski

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