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
  • Get to the point
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before