Manchester United will be back in Emirates FA Cup action as they travel to Carrow Road to face Norwich City on Saturday evening. It will be the third time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has faced Norwich this season, winning 3-1 at Carrow Road in October and 4-0 at Old Trafford in January, which has helped contribute to Norwich’s poor position in the league.
Daniel Farke could be seeking to get one over United, as this season, consistency is not something that Solskjaer’s side have had for much of the season, despite their 13-match unbeaten run which United and Solskjaer will be battling to keep running at this stage of the season, keeping chase on a UEFA Champions League place next season.
United and Norwich have played 18 times in the Premier League with United winning 14 times, drawing once and losing three times. In total, United have scored 35 goals conceding 11. United have kept 10 clean sheets with the Canaries keeping two. United have been awarded four penalties, scoring two with the Canaries having none.. In total, United have received 15 yellow cards. The Canaries have received 22 yellow cards. Neither team have had a player sent off.
United will have a break from Premier League action, which sees them still five points behind Chelsea after Frank Lampard’s side beat Manchester City in the Premier League on Thursday evening. Solskjaer will be seeking another win in the FA Cup, seeing his club in the draw for the semi-final stage and keep their chances of ending the season with a trophy on a high, which would be a good end to the season.
Here is my predicted starting XI to face Norwich City in the Emirates FA Cup at Carrow Road on Saturday evening…
Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero
The Argentinian has been called upon in the cup competitions this season and I expect that to continue on Saturday evening against Norwich City. Sergio Romero has kept 11 clean sheets playing in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and the UEFA Europa League this season, conceding just three goals in his 14 appearances in this competitions this season. It could give David De Gea a break ahead of United’s return to Premier League action against Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday evening.
Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams
Solskjaer may not make many changes in his defence but he could opt for Diogo Dalot at right-back, instead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka but I reckon he will keep the more experienced of the two in the team to face Norwich. He might make a change in the game, if a win has been secured. Eric Bailly should be given the opportunity in this match, being an unused substitute against Sheffield United and raring to go. Harry Maguire should be kept in the side. Brandon Williams could be given another chance at left-back, giving Luke Shaw a rest ahead of Tuesday.
Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba
The midfield is an area where Solskjaer has a lot of options now with Paul Pogba back in action and looking to prove his doubters wrong this season. I expect Bruno Fernandes to be rested, albeit on the bench for this game, being called upon should he be needed. Pogba could play in the advanced role with Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay playing in the deeper positions, which could work. Solskjaer will have adequate substitutes, if need be.
Forwards: Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford
This forward line could be very exciting for the future. Between them this season, with Anthony Martial scoring a hat-trick against Sheffield United on Wednesday evening, the trio has scored 50 goals in all competition this season. Marcus Rashford will be seeking to find more goals since his return from injury against Spurs with Mason Greenwood also seeking to raise his goal tally of 12 so far this season. Can they achieve 60 or more goals between them this season?
Substitutes: David De Gea; Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw; Juan Mata, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, Angel Gomes; Odion Ighalo
From the bench, Solskjaer will have five substitutes for the remainder of the season, which is a good thing for the game. Granted, he can only have three substitution slots, for a total of five players, not five individual substitutes. David De Gea will be on the bench, should he be needed, as will Victor Lindelof, Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw in defence. In midfield. Juan Mata, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James and Angel Gomes could be called upon if needed with Odion Ighalo the only forward on the bench.