Manchester United return to Premier League action on Saturday as they take on struggling Norwich City. Red Devils fans will be expecting a victory despite their team's terrible run of form of late. Having only won one of their last six games, United will see this as a perfect opportunity to turn the tide of their fortunes.
The Canaries last victory over United came in 2015, with the visitors running out 2-1 winners. However, United have claimed the spoils in the last five matches between the two.
Most recently, United snatched a 1-0 win at Carrow Road thanks to a late Cristiano Ronaldo penalty. In a game that has perfectly encapsulated United's season, the Red Devils hardly showed up. David de Gea was called upon multiple times as Norwich claimed the better of the chances. It has been a disappointing season for Ralf Rangnick's men, but a win today could help the hosts finish the season on a strong foot.
Ahead of the match we look into some of the key talking points as we look forward to a hotly contested matchup.
Will Manchester United call on youth?
With United having such a poor season it would seem a waste to continue playing players who won't be at the club next season. Frenchman Paul Pogba seems to be all but out the door, as he pushes for an exit on a free transfer. Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard seem to have also outlined their intentions to leave the Manchester club. This provides a perfect opening for Rangnick to give some fresh faces a chance.
Anthony Elanga is a great example of what can happen if youth is given a chance. Following the poor form of Marcus Rashford, Rangnick trusted the Swede with a starting spot and the winger has grabbed the opportunity with both hands. He has impressed fans with his high pressing and also has a keen eye for goal, notably scoring a key goal in his sides 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid.
Another name synonymous with matchday squads is Tunisian talent Hannibal Mejbri. A mercurial talent, with a much older head on his shoulders, Mejbri has featured on the bench on multiple occasions this season. While he hasn't managed to take the field for the Red Devils, Mejbri has had the chance to showcase his talents for the Tunisian national team. Playing across the midfield for the African side, Mejbri put in a Man of the Match performance in the semi-final of the Arab Cup against the UAE.
Finally, Alejandro Garnacho has been spotted with the travelling squad for the first time. It has been quite the week for the 17-year old as he received his first call-up for the Argentinian national team. He is a tricky winger that has impressed greatly for the under-18's and under-23's respectfully. The winger, of Spanish birth, is very direct and likes to beat players. He carries himself confidently and could be just what United need to spark a lifeless attack.
While importing youth into the setup would be refreshing for many United fans, it is not an immediate fix. United's problems a far more deeper rooted than the playing staff, and the imminent arrival of Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, is just another step in an attempt to restore this club to former glories.
Can Norwich finish the season on a high?
It has been another season to forget in the top-flight for Norwich fans. Once again, they find themselves rooted to the foot of the table, seven points adrift of 17th placed Everton. As they look forward to the Championship, however, Norwich have found a little run of form.
Most recently, the Canaries picked up a brilliant 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Burnley, a result that most likely resulted in Sean Dyche's sacking as Burnley manager. They preceded this result with a resolute 0-0 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion. Norwich will be hoping they can carry this form to Old Trafford, as now is as good a time as any to get at this fragile United side.
While saving themselves from the drop seems almost impossible, with just seven games to go, a win against Manchester United will give Norwich huge confidence heading into the 2022/23 Championship season. The Canaries will be relying on the goals of Finnish striker Teemu Pukki if they are to do the unthinkable this weekend. The hitman has bagged nine Premier League goals this term, a respectable tally with games still to go. Always a threat, he will be looking to get at Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane in a hopes to cause the pair problems.
Norwich fans will be keeping half an eye on the teams around them as look to pull off the great escape. Watford host Brentford on April 16, Burnley travel to West Ham on April 17, while Everton take on Leicester on April 20.