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Norwich City - Manchester United Preview: Visitors have lost just once in 13 games against the Canaries

Paul Lambert's men host the Red Devils in good home form and knowing that a win will take them a point behind Liverpool, while a United legend could make his 900th appearance



Naughton, R. Martin, Ward, Drury
Pilkington, Hoolahan, Fox, Surman
Holt, Morison

De Gea
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Young, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs
Rooney, Welbeck

The home side have a number of injury worries in defence with Kyle Naughton and Zak Whitbread facing late tests, while Daniel Ayala remains sidelined with a hamstring injury. Marc Tierney may be available for selection though.

Therefore manager Paul Lambert is likely to stick with the partnership of Russell Martin and Elliott Ward, which has worked well in recent games. Jed Steer started in goal for the 2-1 FA Cup loss to Leicester but John Ruddy is in line to make a return, as is Grant Holt, who missed the fifth round defeat and the last meeting with United.

Sir Alex Ferguson rested a number of players for the Europa League second leg loss against Ajax, and is due to recall the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, Patrice Evra and Jonny Evans and field a strong side in this Premier League clash in order to keep the pressure on United's rivals. Wayne Rooney missed the European clash with illness and a decision will be made late as to whether he is fit enough, with Nani also in with a chance of starting.

Other doubts include Tom Cleverley, who has reportedly suffered a recurrence of his ankle injury, while Antonia Valencia has a hamstring problem and will not recover in time, opening the door for Ryan Giggs to return after sitting on the bench in midweek. Anderson, who scored when the sides last met in the league, could return.

  • In the previous 13 league meetings between the sides, Norwich City have only ever beaten United once.
  • The Canaries' top scorer Grant Holt has committed 60 fouls this season, more than anyone else. He is also the second highest scoring uncapped Englishman in the league, after Swansea's Danny Graham.
  • Lambert's men have scored 20 goals from crosses, more than any other team in the top flight.
  • If the hosts claim victory they will end the weekend just one point behind Liverpool and a possible Europa League spot, with the Reds featuring in the League Cup final against Cardiff.
  •  Norwich have kept clean sheets in each of their last two home games, having previously failed to do so since the start of the season.
  • Manchester United have lost on just one of their last 13 league away days, while their opponents on Sunday have lost just one of their last six at home.
  • Ryan Giggs (pictured right) is already the most capped United player and he will make his 900th appearance on Sunday, if he plays a part in the fixture. Sir Alex Ferguson has labelled his record as 'unbreakable'.
  • The champions have kept the most clean sheets in the league this season with 12, while Norwich are at the other end of the spectrum, having stopped the opposition from scoring just twice; the only side to have achieved fewer are Blackburn, with zero.
  • The last four times Norwich have played United at Carrow Road the score ended 2-0, as did the game at Old Trafford earlier in the season.
  • The referee for the day, Andre Marriner, sent off Red Devils' centre-back Nemanja Vidic in a clash with Liverpool at Anfield three years ago and was criticised by the visiting manager for being swayed by the home crowd. Marriner also took charge of the clash in October when the Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez spat began.

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