Norwich haven’t been able to recapture their form of last year, since Paul Lambert has left, however, they are sitting in fifteenth place and look to be slowly picking up form after their win against Arsenal has kick-started their season, as they went on to win one and draw to of their next three league games, and beat Tottenham Hotspur in the Capital One Cup – so could an upset be on the cards?
Manchester United have started the season in extremely impressive form, picking up huge wins against rivals Chelsea and Arsenal in their last three games, leaving them sitting pretty at the top of the table. After overcoming Paul Lamberts Aston Villa thanks to super-sub Javier Hernandez, they’ll look to continue their form and make it seven wins in a row, against the Scots old club.
There aren’t any huge injury concerns for either team, with the main news being that Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie had to pull out of their international squads due to injury – however, this was seen as more of a precaution, to make sure they are fit for this game. A big debate will be if Javier Hernandez should start, after making huge impacts from the bench, because of these knocks. England international Tom Cleverley may also be rested, after being involved with Englands 4-2 Friendly defeat against a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired Sweden.
If Norwich want to win this game, they’ll want three players to be on top form; Grant Holt, Anthony Pilkington and John Ruddy. Holt is Norwichs top scorer this season, with three goals, and was the scorer of the goal that sunk Arsenal, so they’ll be hoping he can take his chances once again. Anthony Pilkington is quite an underappreciated player, overall, despite looking good last season and scoring some good goals, and despite not getting on the scoresheet as often, he has been a huge creative outlet, with thirteen key passes and the second most clear-cut chances created in the league - one behind Spaniard Juan Mata – the Norwich faithful will definitely be looking for him to supply target man Grant Holt. Then, with Manchester Uniteds attacking approach and terrific attacking players, John Ruddy will have to be on top of his game if they don’t want to concede against one of the most deadly strike-forces in the league, with Robin van Persie finding his form quickly and Javier Hernandez getting amongst the goals recently.
For Manchester United to win this game, they’ll be looking towards their strike force to ‘score one more’ than the opposition, with Dutchman Robin van Persie and Mexico international Javier Hernandez leading their goal-scoring charts with eight goals and four goals, respectively. Van Persie has adjusted to life at Old Trafford extremely quickly – however, his signing has had an adverse effect on the goals of his partner Rooney – and has been scoring for fun, almost, whilst Hernandez has come off the bench in two of their last three matches to score the winner, with an extremely important winner against Chelsea – in controversial circumstances – and a glorious off-the-bench hat-trick at Villa Park.
It’s a tough one to call. Norwich have been picking up form, but Manchester United have been beating teams left, right and centre. Winning six in a row, and their strikers being on top form, it’s hard to look past United, I firmly expect them to make it seven, however, Norwich will be no pushovers. It should be an interesting game, and hopefully a good one for the neutrals.