Manchester United v Cardiff: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to this week’s Premier League fixture at Old Trafford

Old Trafford welcomes back a familiar face on Tuesday when fans’ favourite Ole Gunnar Solksjaer returns to the Theatre of Dreams for the first time with his Cardiff side, and the Norwegian can expect a rapturous reception.

The ‘Baby-faced assassin’ scored 126 times in 366 appearances for the club, and earned the reputation as the ‘super-sub’ for his remarkable predatory instincts for coming off the bench to score late goals, the most famous of which, came in injury time in the 1999 Champions League Final, when Solksjaer scored the winner to complete a stunning comeback and win United the treble. After replacing Malky Mackay earlier this month, Solksjaer’s appointment invites comparisons that he can take up that role again and rescue Cardiff, like he did so many times for United during his playing days.

The Norwegian faces a tough task to save Cardiff from the drop though, and is yet to register any points in the league for his new club, leaving Cardiff bottom of the league on goal difference, and despite two victories in the FA Cup against Newcastle and more recently, Bolton at the weekend, Solksjaer will be desperate to get some points, sooner rather than later. Cardiff secured a point when the sides met earlier in the season and any other season, a trip to Old Trafford would represent a daunting prospect, but it is no secret that David Moyes’ side have struggled this season, especially at home, having only won five of eleven home league games, and losing four in the process, and sit seventh in the league, while a Capital One Cup exit to Sunderland, has compiled further misery and pressure on David Moyes.

Yet, United have signed a saviour of their own this week, and will be buoyed by pulling off the transfer of Juan Mata, who joins from Chelsea, for a record fee of £37.1 million, as United bid to initiate a second-half of the season revival, pinning their hopes on the Spaniard to provide a touch of class and inject some creativity into the side. However, it remains to be seen, whether Mata will be involved in Tuesday’s game, despite David Moyes’ hopes that he would be available for a game, that either way, will be sure not be short of talking points.

KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm

PAST MEETINGS…

Cardiff 2 (Campbell, Kim) Manchester United 2 (Rooney, Evra), Premier League, November 2013

Manchester United 4 (Houston, Macari, McIllroy, Pearson) Cardiff 0, Division Two, March 1975

Cardiff 0 Manchester United 1 (Daly), Division Two, August 1974

STATS…

Victory would make Manchester United the first club to earn 1,000 points at home in the Premier League - they currently stand on 998.

Thirty seven points from 22 matches is the lowest total United have mustered in any previous Premier League season at this stage.

United have already lost seven league games, a tally they have only previous exceeded in two Premier League seasons (they lost nine times in 2001-02 and 2003-04).

Cardiff have won none and lost six of their last eight Premier League away games.

Cardiff have scored 35% of their goals via headers - the highest proportion in the Premier League.

Five of Cardiff striker Frazier Campbell's last six league goals have come against Manchester United or Manchester City, and 42% of his overall total Premier League strikes have been against those two teams.

ODDS…

Manchester United to win: 1.27

Cardiff to win: 16.5

Draw: 6.4

TV: Highlights on BBC1 on Wednesday at 10.35pm

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future