NORWICH welcome Manchester United to Old Trafford on Saturday evening.. Jack Langford (@jacklangford95) shares his favourite fancies.
Norwich vs Manchester United | Saturday 11th December 2021, 17:30 | Sky Sports
Ralph Rangnick couldn’t have asked for more favourable fixtures to kick-start his Manchester United career. United take on Norwich next and then face Brentford, Brighton, Newcastle and Burnley in the following four games. Dean Smith’s Norwich aren’t so lucky as they face his former Villa side who look revitalized under Steven Gerrard, and then top-four chasing West Ham and Arsenal.
The Reds are predictably firm favourites to take home all 3 points on Saturday night. But I don’t think the game will be as straightforward as many are predicting. This Norwich team is undoubtedly a more organised outfit under Dean Smith, and they’re unbeaten in his two home games in charge.
The Canaries beat Southampton 2-1 in Smith’s first game in charge, and two weeks ago, they held eighth place Wolves 0-0, reducing them to just 0.36XG. However, problems persist at the other end of the pitch.
Norwich never looked like scoring against Tottenham last weekend and the Canaries sit rock-bottom of the Premier League XG table. To add to the Canaries’ woes, Dean Smith confirmed they’ll be without four players due to knocks and COVID-19 issues.
Ozan Kabak will hope to return to the Norwich side and gain his first start under his new boss. The Turkish international has been less than impressive in his six starts this season, picking up two bookings and making some costly mistakes for the Canaries. If he returns to the side, he’s likely to be off the pace and find himself in the referee’s notebook.
Switching our attention to their opponents, and there are already signs Rangnick has rejuvenated this Manchester United side. They’re unbeaten since Solskjaer’s departure and looked much more organised at the back in Rangnick’s preferred 4-2-2-2 formation against Crystal Palace last week.
However, his football philosophy is not one which will be learned overnight, and it may be a while before things click in attack for United. In truth, The Red Devils failed to create many openings against Palace, this reflected by their XGF of just 1.1. Having said that, their attacking quality will surely prove too much for Norwich on Saturday.
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