Despite being just three days away from the massive second-leg of their Champions League tie with Real Madrid and with murmurs already beginning of a possible treble, Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has said that the side is fully focused on Saturday’s visit of Norwich.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to make changes ahead of the clash with Madrid, yet Evra believes that, if the club is to achieve its ambitions this season, the players have to take it one game at a time.
“Every game is important now," he told MUTV. "I hear a lot of people talking about the Treble and this is the wrong way [to do it]—you have to think game-after-game.
"If we start to think about Madrid before Norwich, then you lose to Norwich. It's a big game and we have to win—if we go into Tuesday after losing against Norwich, it's going to be a nightmare.
United should need little reminding of the danger Norwich could pose having lost at Carrow Road back in mid-November. Incredibly, that was the last time United tasted defeat in the Premier League.
"Of course, Norwich are going to come here for a win,” Evra added. “Don't forget, we lost three points away. I know it was a difficult game but every team comes to win against Manchester United.”
Robin van Persie is in the squad following his hip injury suffered in victory over Queens Park Rangers last time out. Phil Jones is not yet ready to return and is doubtful for the game against Madrid. Paul Scholes is still out with a knee injury.
Norwich should come to Old Trafford with confidence after a first win in 10 Premier League matches last weekend. The 2-1 victory over Everton was inspired by substitute Kei Kamara, and the forward, on-loan from Sporting Kansas City, could earn a first start against United.
Manchester United (probable)
G: De Gea
D: Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Buttner
Nani, Kagawa, Young
Norwich City (probable)
D: Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido
Snodgrass, Johnson, Howson, Pilkington
F: Kamara, Holt
Prediction: There will be much intrigue into Manchester United’s defensive lineup. If Nemanja Vidic is selected then it will almost certainly mean that Ferguson will again opt for Jonny Evans alongside Rio Ferdinand against Real Madrid.
Vidic’s presence would certainly be a boost against Norwich, but, even with a few changes, United should get the three points.
Manchester United 3-1 Norwich City
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League match will kick-off from Old Trafford at 10 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by ESPN2, with a live stream available on ESPN3.