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Norwich vs Manchester United: Preview and likely XI

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The trip to Norwich City marks the start of a demanding schedule for Manchester United until the end of 2021. The Red Devils play 5 Premier League games over the next three weeks. Every game is winnable (at least on paper).

Indeed, the next stretch of games gives United the chance to catch up with the top-4. For now, Ralf Rangnick’s men will take things ‘one game at a time’. But if unable to defeat a Norwich side dead last in the table, serious questions will (rightfully) be asked of the Red Devils’ capabilities.

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NORWICH CITY LIKELY XI

Krul, Aarons, Kabak, Hanley, Gibson, Omobamidele, Lees-Melou, Gilmour, McLean, Idah, Pukki

Milot RashicaChristoph Zimmerman & Sam Byram are ruled out. Brandon Williams is ineligible against his parent club.

MANCHESTER UNITED LIKELY XI

De Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Bruno, Sancho, Greenwood, Ronaldo

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Paul Pogba is definitely out, while Anthony Martial & Aaron Wan-Bissaka are unlikely to recover from knocks. Edinson Cavani & Raphael Varane could be on the bench at most.

NORWICH CITY VS MANCHESTER UNITED PREVIEW

As Rangnick works hard to properly drill his United squad to his ‘gegenpressing’ style, the primary objective remains to win every game. After the draw to Young Boys in the Champions League, the German gaffer is desperate to win again.

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Dean Smith’s side, however, can’t be underestimated. Smith frustrated United earlier this season when his Aston Villa side got a narrow win at Old Trafford. He’ll again play a deep, five-man backline on Saturday to frustrate the Red Devils.

It’s time for the players to prove they can break a low block in this new system. Cristiano Ronaldo & Bruno Fernandes are the ones who often come up big when needed the most. The two should look to continue their impressive chemistry, with Bruno using his creativity to set up big chances for CR7 to pounce on.

Mason Greenwood should start after impressing at the mid-week. The youngster aims to create some big chances with his clever chances & get into prime scoring areas to get among the goals again.

Jadon Sancho could thrive against a Norwich’s shaky. With his pace, ability to go past defenders – he can cause utter chaos  – but has to be decisive with his final product. Fred looks to continue his impressive form, being a livewire in midfield and helping his side dominate the game.

Norwich might be the lowest goal-scorers in the PL this season, but that doesn’t mean United’s backline can take them from granted. The likes of Teemu Pukki & Adam Idah can clinically finish off swift breaks – while Billy Gilmour could also hassle the Red Devils’ midfielders.

Harry Maguire & Victor Lindelof must be thoroughly alert to get another PL clean sheet for David de GeaDiogo Dalot has to maintain his sturdy defensive form, but will be asked to attack more ferociously & set up some chances with his dangerous crosses.

Luke Shaw should return and has to be near-perfect on both ends to solidify his chances of remaining a regular under Rangnick. United have to maintain the ‘attack, attack, attack’ mantra to torment Norwich.

They, of course, must be aware & reactive to stop counter-attacks. But the players have to maintain utmost concentration and be innovative with their attacking moves to break the Canaries’ spirit & begin their busy end-of-year schedule with a big win.

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