Manchester United travel to Carrow Road to take on relegation-threatened Norwich City in Saturday’s must-win Premier League fixture.
The Red Devils’ league form has been on the upwards trajectory since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure in the wake of a 4-1 thumping at Watford in November.
Following a hard-fought 1-1 away draw with Chelsea, Man United have racked up back-to-back Premier League triumphs, including a 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace on Ralf Rangnick’s debut last time out.
After marking the beginning of his interim charge with a narrow victory, the German strategist fielded an understrength squad in a 1-1 Champions League draw with Young Boys a few days ago.
With the Man United star players set to return to action on Saturday, the visitors will be warm favourites to inflict another upset on a lowly Norwich side.
Yet, that could be easier said than done, as the Canaries have enjoyed a mini-revival under new manager Dean Smith.
Before succumbing to a dreadful 3-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur last time out, Norwich were unbeaten in four Premier League matches on the bounce.
However, Smith has yet to resolve his side’s scoring issues, as the hosts go into this round as the only Premier League side yet to hit double digits, having netted just eight league goals so far.
Norwich City vs Manchester United Head-to-Head
Norwich have suffered eight defeats in their previous ten Premier League match-ups with Man United (W2), losing the last three in a row by an aggregate score of 8-1.
Indeed, the Red Devils inflicted an overwhelming league double on the Canaries in the 2019/20 season, winning both top-flight H2Hs by multi-goal margins.
Curiously, there’s been no draw in the last 14 clashes between these two teams at Carrow Road, with United picking up nine victories to Norwich’s five.
But entertainment has been relatively sparse in their recent Premier League encounters at this venue, with three of the last four featuring an identical 1-0 scoreline.
Norwich City Team News
Milot Rashica headlines the list of injured players alongside the likes of Mathias Normann and Christoph Zimmermann.
Man United loanee Brandon Williams is not in contention for the matchday squad due to a loan agreement, while four unnamed players are set to miss out after returning positive Covid-19 tests.
With the names of those who tested positive for the coronavirus still hidden by the eyes of the public, it’s hard to guess Smith’s starting XI.
But Teemu Pukki, if in the line-up, would require United’s undivided attention following another eye-catching start to the season.
The Finland international has notched up 62.5% of Norwich’s Premier League goals this season (5/8), four of which came before half-time.
Manchester United Team News
Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani are still unavailable to injuries, while Raphael Varane could be in the squad after returning to training on the back of a muscle strain.
Out-of-form forward Anthony Martial is likely to remain on the sidelines through injury joined by Nemanja Matic, who’s reportedly ill.
Another player that’s likely to miss out due to injury is Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who sustained a knee problem in the dying moments of United’s draw with Young Boys on Wednesday.
After scoring a spectacular bicycle kick against the Swiss holders in the Champions League, Mason Greenwood might stake his claim for a place in the starting line-up.
But all eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo, who has drawn a blank in his last two Premier League appearances away from Old Trafford.
Norwich City vs Manchester United Predicted Line-ups
Norwich City (3-5-2): Tim Krul; Grant Hanley, Ben Gibson, Ozan Kabak; Max Aarons, Kenny McLean, Billy Gilmour, Mathias Normann, Dimitris Giannoulis; Josh Sargent, Teemu Pukki.
Manchester United (4-2-2-2): David de Gea; Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles; Fred, Scott McTominay; Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho; Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood.