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Premier League

  • 2 March 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: N. Swarbrick
  • • Attendance: 75586
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Manchester United - Norwich City Preview: Red Devils look to continue rampant run against Hughton's side

The league leaders will hope to extend their 15-match unbeaten streak against a Canaries team with just two wins in their last 11 in Saturday's game at Old Trafford

Sir Alex Ferguson will be without defender Phil Jones (ankle), but Robin van Persie has been passed fit after overcoming a hip injury.

However, veteran midfielder Paul Scholes (knee) may recover in time to feature this weekend, while Ryan Giggs and Danny Welbeck will also be in contention.

Nevertheless, Sir Alex will no doubt cast one eye over next Tuesday's momentous Champions League clash with Real Madrid and may look to rest some of his big-name stars as a result.

Chris Hughton, meanwhile, should stick with a similar side to the one that conquered Everton at Carrow Road last weekend, although he may be able to welcome back Andrew Surman (knee) and Alexander Tettey (knock).

The Canaries will still be without John Ruddy between the sticks, however, although the 26-year-old is expected to return this month.

Elsewhere, Kei Kamara and Luciano Becchio are in contention for a starting berth up front if Hughton decides to go for a more attacking line-up with two forwards.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Manchester United are now undefeated in 17 games in all competitions and an impressive 15 in the Premier League.
  • United have taken 89 per cent of the league points available to them recently, having won five and drawn one of their last six matches. In the same period, title rivals Manchester City have taken just 61% of their potential points.
  • The Red Devils have also won every single one of their home league games this season bar one - a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham in late September.
  • Sir Alex's side are still on course for a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble, having already achieved that feat once in 1999. United have also completed a league and FA Cup double on three occasions, and won a league and European double in 2008.
  • Norwich City are unbeaten in their last four league games but have won just two of their last 11.
  • However, Chris Hughton's side will be buoyed by the knowledge that they beat Manchester United 1-0 in November's reverse fixture thanks to an Anthony Pilkington header (United's last defeat in the Premier League).
  • The Canaries' away form has been nothing short of dire this term - they have won just once in 13 games on the road, having drawn six and lost six.
  • Norwich's Kei Kamara (pictured) has already scored against Manchester United this campaign - in a pre-season friendly for Sporting Kansas City. He also scored the equaliser for the Canaries in their 2-1 win against Everton last week.
  • Hughton's side have three points less than Norwich did this time last season under Paul Lambert, though a win this Saturday could lift them to 10th place.

Players to watch

Rafael

Position: Defender

Games: 6

  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
Often underrated or identified as United's weakness, the Brazilian has been in fine form this season and has already turned out more than 100 times during his tenure at Old Trafford. At 22, Rafael still has several years to fulfill his potential - and he is making a fine fist of it as things stand. This weekend, expect to see more of the same from the full-back, whose outside foot volley against QPR last week is a guaranteed contender for goal of the season.

Javier Garrido

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
As a former Manchester City player, the 27-year-old would surely love to do the Red Devils some damage. And if the Spaniard is allowed any space down that left-hand side, that is exactly what he will do. A consistent starter and performer for the Canaries this term, loanee Garrido is equally adept in defence and attack and if anyone can inspire Norwich at Old Trafford, it will be the left-back. What's more, he may just boost his credentials for a permanent stay at Carrow Road in the process.

Editor's Prediction

Norwich are in the bottom half for a reason; Chris Hughton is doing an admirable job at Carrow Road but the Canaries simply lack the requisite talent to trouble United. If the visitors perform at their best, however, there is no reason to anticipate a complete rout.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Manchester United

Norwich City

Wins
4
0
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Manchester United FC MNU
Manchester United FC Manchester United
Draw
Norwich City FC NOR
Norwich City FC Norwich City
88%

Top 3 Predictions

Manchester United FC MNU
3 - 0
Norwich City FC NOR
Manchester United FC MNU
2 - 0
Norwich City FC NOR
Manchester United FC MNU
3 - 1
Norwich City FC NOR

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