Norwich have come a long way since they started the season as relegation-favourites. They may not have spent a great deal on new players, but somehow they have managed to build a team which can compete in the Premier League, as their two impressive wins over Sunderland and Bolton (away) showed.
They will be heading to Old Trafford with a certain amount of confidence, having seen Stoke successfully hold United to a draw last week, and then United throw it all away against Basel – to the extent that they needed a last-minute goal to scrape even a point from the match. If United go 2-0 on Saturday, don’t expect Norwich to start giving up.
If it wasn’t for the fact that United have both Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney returning to the first-team, you could almost see Norwich doing something at Old Trafford. Jonny Evans is also back and able to play, and with Jones given 90 minutes mid-week we expect him to be partnering Rio in the centre of defence. One United player who definitely won’t be seeing any action is Ritchie de Laet, who is on loan at Norwich and has it in his contract that he isn’t allowed to play against the Reds!
David de Gea likes his doughnuts (allegedly) but will the United goalie be able to keep Norwich down to a bagel score (zero)? He is currently the top keeper according to the Opta stats, so has nothing to prove any more! It should be a quieter match for him, with Norwich keener to play football the right way rather than muscle themselves into the lead. We shall see…
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It doesn’t take a genius to bet that the Premier League Champions will beat the Premier League newcomers (available at 1.17 with Paddy Power). If we had to guess the score we’d go for 3-0 to United, but in truth if they get started who knows where the score will end up?! (3-0 is available at 9.0 at Ladbrokes).
With Rooney and Hernandez back, expect some frantic first-half action – certainly a lot faster than last week’s match. With that in mind, we’re backing United to be winning at both half-time AND full-time (available at 1.58 with Bet Clic).
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