Manchester United v Norwich City - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

Old Trafford 3

To be played on Saturday 26th April 2014 at 17:30. Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester.

Odds: Manchester United 2/5, Draw 4/1, Norwich City 8/1

Last season: 4-0

Preview & injury news

Manchester United begin life without David Moyes this weekend after he was relieved from his duties ion Tuesday, and this weekend gives interim boss Ryan Giggs a chance to demonstrate his managerial credentials as they take on relegation threatened Norwich City. 

One of the main reasons behind Moyes's sacking is the league position that United currently find themselves in. They currently languish in seventh place in the Premier League and have officially missed out on Champions League football next season, sitting 13 points behind Arsenal with four games remaining. United have won five and lost three of their last eight Premier League games going into this one. 

They face a Norwich City side who have lost both of their games under new boss Neil Adams but they put in a creditable performance against league leaders Liverpool last weekend, where they lost 3-2 at Carrow Road. But there was a lot of fight about their performance which will give their fans encouragement despite their difficult run in. They've lost five of their last six games and are currently two points above the relegation zone with Cardiff City, Fulham and Sunderland all in with a chance of beating the drop.

On the injury front, United are still without Robin Van Persie who is sidelined with the knee injury he picked up in the Champions League win over Olympiakos this season, whilst Patrice Evra and Rafael are both doubts with knee and hamstring problems respectively.

For Norwich there is a chance that Elliott Bennett may return from a knee injury but the Canaries are likely to be without defender Joseph Yobo for the trip to Old Trafford with a calf problem.

Key stats

Here are the top scorers in the Premier League from the two teams this season:

  TeamPosGoalsAppsMins
Wayne Rooney Man Utd FW 15 28 2,358
Robin van Persie Man Utd FW 11 18 1,466
Danny Welbeck Man Utd FW 9 22 1,286
Gary Hooper Norwich FW 6 30 1,965
Robert Snodgrass Norwich MF 6 27 2,302
Leroy Fer Norwich MF 3 28 2,385

Their average possession statistics:

  Possession PercentagePlayed
Manchester United 55.06 34
Norwich City 46.11 35

And the amount of clean sheets they have kept so far this season:

  Clean SheetPlayed
Manchester United 12 34
Norwich City 11 35

5 players to watch

Juan Mata - Mata could be one of the selection dilemmas for Ryan Giggs in his first game in charge. Will he play a system to accommodate the Spaniard his preferred central role, or will he try and operate him from one of the flanks? He has been in good form when played centrally in recent weeks.

Robert Snodgrass - He looked a threat last week against Liverpool as manager Neil Adams looks to bring a more positive style to the Canaries. Snodgrass worked hard, pressed the ball and came up with a goal last weekend, so a similar type of performance from the former Leeds man will be what his manager is after.

Danny Welbeck - Welbeck has been in the news prior to Moyes's sacking as manager saying that he wasn't happy with the kind of opportunities he was getting at the club. So, it will be interesting to see whether Giggs will give Welbeck an opportunity in the kind of role he prefers as a striker. But with so many players capable of operating centrally, he may have to be used out wide if he gets the opportunity.

Leroy Fer - Fer is a big presence in the middle of the park and against a United midfield that has had its problems this season, Fer must grab the opportunity to dictate the game as much as possible with both hands. If they are to leave Old Trafford this weekend with a positive result, and boosting their chances of survival, a big performance from Fer is a must. 

Wayne Rooney - If anyone is going to give Ryan Giggs 100% in his first game in charge it's going to be Rooney, as he has been the man that has worked incredibly hard in near enough every game this season for the team. Expect Rooney to make a big impression on Saturday evening.

Earlier on in the season

Norwich City 0-1 Manchester United, December 2013

It wasn't pretty but this result made it four league wins on the bounce for David Moyes and Manchester United. After a first half which forced a couple of solid saves from David De Gea in the United goal, Danny Welbeck scored the only goal of the game after benefiting from a couple of ricochets before rounding John Ruddy to slot home into an empty net, which kept them well in the hunt for the Champions League places. 

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