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?
News
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
Sport
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot