Manchester United will host Norwich City for the Premier League clash at the Old Trafford on April 16.
The Red Devils will be hoping to return to winning ways. They are currently seventh in the Premier League table and are six points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fourth place. Meanwhile, Norwich are stuck at the bottom of the Premier League table and their relegation seems to be a matter of time now. They’re seven points behind Everton in 17th place who also have a game in hand.
It has been a season of several ups and downs for Manchester United, whose hopes of securing a finish in the top four of the Premier League are dwindling fast. They suffered an immense setback in their previous Premier League encounter against a struggling Everton, where they ended up losing 1-0.
The loss has placed united in the middle of the table. They are currently trailing Tottenham in fourth place by six points, having played the same number of matches. United also have Arsenal and West Ham to worry about in the fight for the top four. United are two points ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers in the eighth position and the chances of European football for next season, even if it isn’t the Champions League, are not entirely unlikely.
Speculation continues to be rife over the managerial appointment in the summer. Interim head coach Ralf Rangnick will take up the position of director of football next summer and according to the latest sources, Ajax manager Erik ten Hag is best placed to take over the United job. Despite this, the German interim manager has a tough job on his hands and needs to steer the United ship towards a safe destination in the final stretches of the season.
After the last defeat to a struggling, limping Everton side, a loss here against the bottom-placed team in the league would mean disastrous for the 20-time English champions. The Red Devils will have to be up against Liverpool, Arsenal, Bradford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, and Crystal Palace in their final 6 matches of the Premier League.
A win against Norwich City could prove to be a massive boost in confidence for a United side that has lacked morale recently. They have dropped points in half of their last 16 league matches at the Old Trafford.
With that being said, Manchester United have a healthy record against Norwich City. They have defeated the team at the bottom of the Premier League table in each of the last five encounters. This includes the 1-0 success at Carrow Road in the earlier half of the season.
As mentioned before, Norwich City are in deep trouble as they are stuck at the bottom of the Premier League table with 21 points. The only silver lining here is the fact that they are not completely hopeless. Even at this late stage of the campaign, they can still make a comeback and remain in the top flight, at least mathematically.
Dean Smith’s side secured a massive 2-0 win over Burnley in their last Premier League encounter. They now have four points from their last two matches and will have the wind flowing in their sails. Despite the positive results, they are still seven points behind Everton in 17th place. The Toffees, however, do have a game in hand and it is going to take a miraculous effort to make it out of the relegation zone.
A win against Manchester United could give them the springboard that they need to ensure a fightback from the relegation zone. Norwich City could turn to Everton and take a page out of their book for the same.
However, the biggest problem for the Canaries will be their ineffectiveness in front of the goal. They have found the back of the net on only 20 occasions in the 31 Premier League matches so far this season. Nine of those goals have come from their focal point in attack, Teemu Pukki. Over-reliance on him could again be another problem that they would like to avoid.
Norwich City will be facing Newcastle United next weekend and will then turn their attention towards Aston Villa, West Ham, Leicester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Tottenham Hotspur before the curtains are drawn on their season. It goes without saying that they will have to snatch as many points as possible in order to have any hope of staying up.
MUN vs NOR, Premier League 2021/22
Date: 16th April, 2022
Time: 7:30 PM IST
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
MUN vs NOR FORM GUIDE:
Manchester United Premier League form:
Manchester United form (all competitions):
Norwich City Premier League form:
Norwich City form (all competitions):
Manchester United wins: 41
Norwich City wins: 17
MUN vs NOR TEAM NEWS:
Manchester United Team News: Full-back Luke Shaw has been ruled out for the remainder of the season as his recovery from surgery is going slower than expected. United will also be without the services of Edinson Cavani in the attack, while Mason Greenwood continues to remain suspended after allegations of domestic abuse on his partner.
Manchester United will also have to cope without the services of Raphael Varane, Fred, and Scott McTominay. As a result, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, and Paul Pogba could be handed starts against Norwich City.
Although he’s yet to truly adapt to Old Trafford, Alex Telles is expected to deputize in place of Luke Shaw. Cristiano Ronaldo had also suffered a nasty cut to his shin in the previous match and also came under fire after smashing the phone of an Everton fan last weekend. However, the Portugal international has trained well and is likely to lead the attack once again. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see young Anthony Elanga replace Marcus Rashford in the attack.
Norwich City Team News: As far as Norwich City are concerned, Adam Idah, Ozan Kabak, and Andrew Omobamidele will definitely be out of contention for this contest through injury. Meanwhile, Manchester United loanee Brandon Williams will not be able to take to the field against his parent club.
There are also doubts about the availability of Billy Gilmour, Josh Sargent, and Przemyslaw Placheta. Therefore, it would not exactly be a surprise to see Dean Smith name an unchanged XI from the site that took on Burnley last weekend. With that being said, 22-year-old Max Aarons could be reintroduced into the lineup at right-back after recovering from injury.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles; Matic, Pogba; Elanga, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo
Norwich City possible starting lineup:
Krul; Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Giannoulis; McLean, Normann; Dowell, Lees Melou, Rashica; Pukki
While the Manchester defense has been prone to errors at the back frequently this season, Norwich City have struggled up front. Therefore, United manager Ralf Rangnick could utilize the tactic of shutting out the opposition. United definitely have a way better squad in terms of quality, which might see them through this clash. Three points will be very important for the Red Devils as they continue to fight for the European spots for next season.