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Manchester United VS Norwich City – LIVE Reddit Soccer 16/4/2022

Manchester United VS Norwich City – LIVE Reddit Soccer 16/4/2022

Manchester United will be bidding to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they welcome basement side Norwich City to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. The Red Devils are currently seventh in the table, six points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, while Norwich sit bottom, seven points behind 17th-placed Everton, who have a game in hand. The games continue to come thick and fast across Europe, with around a month left for the curtains to fall on the 2021/22 season. Manchester United will be eager to keep their faint hopes of a top-four finish alive when they play hosts to Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

Man United’s hopes of claiming a top-four finish in the Premier League this season suffered a huge blow last weekend when they lost 1-0 at struggling Everton, with the result leaving them in seventh spot in the division, six points behind fourth-placed Tottenham on the same number of matches (31). Ralf Rangnick’s side will also need to finish above Arsenal and West Ham United if they are to claim a top-four position, while they are only two points clear of eighth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, so it is not impossible to imagine them missing out on European football altogether for next season.

Erik ten Hag is expected to soon be announced as the team’s new head coach, but Rangnick has an important job to do between now and the end of the campaign, and it would be a disaster for the 20-time English champions if they were unable to return to winning ways against the team bottom of the league. Man United will take on Liverpool, Arsenal, Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea and Crystal Palace in their final six matches of the season, and a win on Saturday could act as a springboard for the rest of the campaign, but they have dropped points in half of their 16 league matches at Old Trafford this term.

The Red Devils have won their last five matches against Norwich in all competitions, including a 1-0 success at Carrow Road earlier this season, with a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty deciding what was a close match, while they beat the Canaries 4-0 at Old Trafford in January 2020.

Norwich, as mentioned, are bottom of the division on 21 points, but they have crucially not been cut adrift at this stage of the campaign and can still make a fight of avoiding relegation back to the Championship.

Manchester United’s 2021/22 campaign has been a colossal failure. What started as a promising season is culminating with the team spiralling horribly. Instead of challenging for several honours, the Red Devils have been in the doldrums and struggled for wins, which is reflected best in their recent run of just three wins in 12 games across all competitions. And the latest setback came in a 1-0 defeat to Everton last weekend.

On the other hand, Norwich City’s fate seems sealed with seven games left for the season to end. The Canaries are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table, with 18th-placed Everton seven points clear while having a game in hand. Dean Smith’s men have shown signs of a turnaround, winning a relegation “six-pointer” against Burnley last weekend after holding Brighton & Hove Albion to a goalless draw.

Ralf Rangnick has a new injury concern hampering his preparations ahead of the visit of Norwich City. On Saturday, the Manchester United interim boss will be bereft of the services of six first-team players, one of those being the suspended Mason Greenwood.

Fred is the latest absentee, with the Brazilian defender sustaining a hip injury against Everton last weekend. Fred has joined Luke Shaw (leg), Raphael Varane (knock), Scott McTominay (foot), and Edinson Cavani (calf) on the sidelines.

Fred and McTominay’s absence leaves Manchester United in a spot of bother, with Nemanja Matic the only natural holding midfielder at Rangnick’s disposal. The Serb is thus an automatic pick in the double-pivot, with Paul Pogba expected to start in a withdrawn role.

Bruno Fernandes will reprise his usual no. 10 role, with the Manchester United talisman having the license to roam freely around the pitch. The Portuguese international will play off compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, who will spearhead the Manchester United attack against Norwich City. Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga should be the two wide attackers, with Marcus Rashford dropping to the bench.

David de Gea is a sure starter at the opposite end, with the Spaniard taking his place between the sticks. Victor Lindelof will continue as Harry Maguire’s partner at the heart of the Manchester United defence, with Alex Telles another player who picks himself. As for the last change, Diogo Dalot should replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was dreadful against Everton last weekend.

Dean Smith’s side recorded a huge 2-0 win over Burnley last weekend to make it four points from their last two Premier League matches, but they are still seven points behind 17th-placed Everton, who have a game in hand, so it is going to take something special to escape the relegation zone.

Finding the back of the net has been a real problem for the Canaries this term, having struck just 20 times in their 31 Premier League matches, with nine of those coming from Teemu Pukki, who has once again been relied on too heavily to contribute goals during the 2021-22 campaign.

Norwich have a huge game at home to Newcastle United next weekend, while they will also take on Aston Villa, West Ham, Leicester City, Wolves and Tottenham before the end of the season, and there will have to be a lot of victories in there to stand a chance of remaining in the top flight.

Smith’s team have the second-worst away record in the Premier League this season, picking up just nine points from their 15 matches on their travels, but Man United’s recent performances have largely been poor, and the visitors can take encouragement from the struggles of their opponent this weekend.

Man United will again definitely be without the services of Edinson Cavani and Luke Shaw through injury, while Mason Greenwood remains suspended by the Red Devils.

The home team are also without Raphael Varane, Fred and Scott McTominay against the Canaries, so Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba are in line for starts.

Alex Telles will continue at left-back in Shaw’s absence, but there could be a change at right-back, with Diogo Dalot potentially replacing Aaron Wan-Bissaka, while Anthony Elanga could come in for Marcus Rashford.

Ronaldo suffered a nasty cut to his shin during the defeat to Everton last weekend, but the Portugal international has trained this week and is fit to lead the line for the home side.

As for Norwich, Adam Idah, Ozan Kabak, Joshua Sargent and Andrew Omobamidele are all definitely out of the match through injury, while Brandon Williams is ineligible against his parent club.

Billy Gilmour and Przemyslaw Placheta are also minor doubts for the visitors despite returning to training, so it would not be a surprise to see Smith name an unchanged side from the one that took to the field against Burnley.

That said, Max Aarons was on the bench against Burnley after recovering from injury, so the 22-year-old could come back in at right-back, but Pukki should again lead the line with support from Pierre Lees Melou, Milot Rashica and Kieran Dowell.

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