Manchester United -v- Norwich City
Old Trafford, Manchester
Saturday 11 January 2020, KO 15:00 GMT
Referee: Anthony Taylor Assistants: Gary Beswick; Adam Nunn Fourth Official: Robert Jones
VAR: Darren England Assistant VAR: Stephen Child
Manchester United welcome Norwich City to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. It will be the second meeting between the two sides this season. United won the last 3-1 at Carrow Road with goals from Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Of late, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have been poor at best ending December and 2019 in good form but are so far winless in 2020.
United need to venture into the transfer market this month, if only to rectify the lack of depth in the midfield, which would be welcomed by the Old Trafford faithful. Discontent seems to be rising amongst those who have an agenda, namely to attract views to their channels and the fans who seem to want to blame everyone but Ed Woodward and the Glazers for the problems at the club – they have been the one constant.
United need to find a way to get a first victory of 2020 on the board. They sit fifth in the Premier League table, five point adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea and one point ahead of sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who have their own injury problems at this stage of the season with Harry Kane on the sidelines. Solskjaer may need to address his tactics in order to get better results as things are becoming more stagnant.
Form: United in dire form, winless in 2020, heading into Premier League clash with Norwich at the Theatre of Dreams; Norwich in poor form but have lost fewer matches than United recently.
Manchester United: LDLWWL
Manchester City 3-1 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 D, Arsenal 2-0 L, Burnley 2-0 W, Newcastle United 4-1 W, Watford 2-0 L
Norwich City: WDDLLD
Preston North End 4-2 W, Crystal Palace 1-1 D, Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 D, Aston Villa 1-0 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 L, Leicester City 1-1 D
Top Scorers: United have more goalscorer based on this seasons goalscoring activity but seem in a position whereby creativity is a major problem needing to be addressed.
Manchester United Goals: 17 – Marcus Rashford, 10 – Anthony Martial, 8 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 2 – Own Goal, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young
In the past six matches, United seemed to be turning a corner after their 2-0 defeat to Watford with a 4-1 victory over Newcastle United and a 2-0 victory over Burnley. However, a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal followed that with a 0-0 lacklustre draw with Wolves in the FA Cup and a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, leaving the Red Devils winless so far in 2020 which is not a good sign.
Norwich City Goals: 9 – Teemu Pukki, 6 – Todd Cantwell, 3 – Adam Idah, 2 – Onel Hernández, 1 – Josip Drmic, Kenny McLean, Dennis Srbeny, Alexander Tettey, Mario Vrancic
Norwich are the bottom team in the Premier League this season with just 14 points after 21 matches. They have won three matches, drawn five matches and lost a total of 13, which will make them the underdogs, even against this United side which can be called a shambles. United need to find a way of getting the better of teams, which has been less than convincing since last month. Winning this match is much-needed.
Team News: United could be without six players due to injury when Norwich visit the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday afternoon.
United are set to be without Scott McTominay, who could be back in action in February, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Axel Tuanzebe, and Marcos Rojo for the visit of Norwich on Saturday. There was a suggestion that Harry Maguire would spend time on the sidelines with a hip muscle injury but Solskjaer has suggested his injury is not as bas as reports say.
Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah will play for the U23s against Newcastle United this evening, which is good news for the duo. Luke Shaw has been unavailable due to illness and could see himself back in the squad for this match if he recovers. Solskjaer may need to bring in some of the talented youth available at the club disposal for this match.
Norwich look set to be without Timm Klose, Ben Godfrey, Josip Drmic, and Teemu Pukki but could see both Ralf Fahrmann and Dennis Srbeny available if they come though fitness tests ahead of the game. This match may not be idea for either team at this moment in time considering the players on the sidelines for both clubs.
Predicted Starting XI: Greenwood leading the line, Rashford, Gomes and James in support? Fred to keep midfield place probably alongside Matic? Williams to keep left-back place?
Solskjaer does not have much availability in the squad to make too many changes ahead of the visit of Norwich to Old Trafford. I would expect Mason Greenwood to keep his place as the main striker in this match, supported by Marcus Rashford, Angel Gomes and Daniel James. James Garner should be given a chance to impress in midfield, alongside Fred with Brandon Williams keeping his place at left-back but Garner started for the U23s on Friday evening so would be unlikely to feature. I have a feeling that Harry Maguire will return to the starting XI in this game.
Match Prediction: United are undefeated in 53 matches out of 70 against Norwich City. United need to end winless run which started 2020.
United and City have played a total of 70 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1906. United have won 38 times, drawn 15 times and lost 17 times. The last defeat to Norwich came in the Premier League back in December 2015, a 2-1 defeat at the Old Trafford with Cameron Jerome and Alex Tettey putting the Canaries 2-0 up before Anthony Martial got a consolation for United.
United have endured a 13 match unbeaten run against Norwich which lasted from November 1979 until November 1986, then an 11 match unbeaten run from March 1991 until August 2004. Since the last defeat, United and Norwich have played twice with United winning both matches. A 3-1 victory at Carrow Road in October 2019 was the last meeting between the two clubs with Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford and Martial all scoring in that match.
Manchester United 2-1 Norwich City