It’s Ralf Rangnick‘s first game on the road!
This weekend sees Manchester United travel to bottom of the leage Norwich City.
United have made an alright start to life under Ralf Rangnick, with a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace being followed up by a 1-1 draw with BSC Young Boys.
Finishing top of their Champions League group during matchday 5, the fixture against Young Boys was an absolute nothing game for United and saw a lot of young players given a run-out, meaning much of the first XI were completely rested after playing 3 games in the 8 days prior.
The opening 30 minutes against Crystal Palace were brilliant, and United fans will be hoping for more of the same when a full strength is put out against Norwich.
The match will be broardcast live on Sky Sports at 5:30pm GMT in the UK. If you are planning on streaming the match through a streaming site, make sure you have a NordVPN subscription, which allows you to stream matches securely and with lightning speeds – sign up here for 68% off a two-year subscription!
Manchester United have picked up form in their last 5 matches since Ole Gunnar Solskjær parted ways with the club – 3 wins and 2 draws under Michael Carrick and Rangnick, including qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages and climbing to 6th in the Premier League table, 3 points off 4th placed West Ham.
However, what is more encouraging than that is the manner of the wins in the Premier League. Against at-the-time league leaders Chelsea, United did well to soak up their pressure and come out with a respectable 1-1 draw without looking like it was a lucky escape.
This performance was built on against Arsenal, where United went behind to a weird, weird goal from Emile Smith-Rowe, equalised before half time to then come out with a 3-2 win, courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo.
This game was built on once again with Ralf Rangnick’s first game in charge – securing all 3 points aginst Crystal Palace in a 1-0 victory that involved Manchester United’s first clean sheet at Old Trafford since April.
Norwich City are last in the table. Bottom. 20th. 3 points from safety at the moment.
The relegation battle so far has been interesting. All 3 sides who are bottom of the league have 10 points each, and Watford are sitting above them in 17th on just 13. Norwich City have collected 8 of their 10 total points in the last 5 fixtures, beating Brentford and Southampton before drawing to Wolverhampton and Newcastle United.
However, in their last fixture, they were beaten fairly convincingly by Tottenham Hotpur 3-0.
The latest significant update is that Aaron Wn-Bissaka is unlikely to feature on Saturday. At full time against Young Boys, the right-back collided with the advertising boards and hurt both his wrist and knee, meaning he had to be stretchered off.
Rangnick has provided an update on Paul Pogba, who is due back in England after a Dubai rehabilitation camp today.
The other absentees are Raphael Varane, Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial, and with no update yet on their fitness, they are set to spend another matchday on the sidelines.
For Norwich, they have a few potential COVID scares. Dean Smith is concerned about a couple of unidentified players who have been feeling unwell so results are being awaited on PCR tests.
Mathias Normann is still unavailable for them, while Dimitris Giannoulisand another absentee is United loanee Brandon Williams, who is ineligible to face his parent club. The game comes ‘too soon’ for Sam Byram, too.
Ones to Watch
Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo, two of United’s summer singings, have been the most impressive figures in the XI of late. With 5 goals between them in the last 4 times they have featured in the starting 11, the pair have been a driving force in United’s recent success, and Jadon Sancho was very impressive once again against Crystal Palace, even though he wasn’t ultimately involved in the goal.
Another man to look out for on Saturday afternoon is Mason Greenwood. After being left out of the starting line-up against Crystal Palace, he was given the chance to lead the line alongside Anthony Elanga against Young Boys and scored a wonderful acrobatic goal to open the scoring and in general put in a great performance.
The man to watch for Norwich is their Finnish striker Teemu Pukki.
He has scored 3 goals in their last five fixtures, including 2 equalisers, and will once again look to be their main outlet against a strong Manchester United team. The other man to look out for is of course Tim Krul, who has saved an irritating amount of penalties against Manchester United in the last few seasons.
Predicted line-up (4-2-3-1)
David de Gea;
Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw;
Scott McTominay, Fred;
Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho;
A Chance to Build Momentum
Manchester Untied have some getting used to with Ralf Rangnick at the helm until at least the end of the season. That requires the side getting to grips with a new system, new style of training sessions, and new ways of applying what is learned during these traiing sessions on to the pitch.
Norwich is almost the perfect side to put these practices in to play. A side strugging for consistency, a side most likely unable to hande the raw firepower United possess; it’s an ideal chance for the players to prove to Rangnick wthat they deserve to be in the first XI.
It is also a great time to build up some momentum. United have a fairly favourable fixture list from now until the middle of January, and do not face any of the current top 3 until April. Thsi provides the ideal platform to get a good wining or unbeaten streak going and retore some faith and fomidability in a United side that have made for poor showing so far this season.