Norwich City: 5 Things Needed for the Canaries to Get a Result at Old Trafford
Norwich City travel to the champions elect this weekend, and many people will expect them to go to Old Trafford and just roll over.
However, the Canaries have shown that they are not averse to upsetting the odds from time to time and will hopefully be adding another scalp to their collection.
Of course, it will take a monumental effort on Chris Hughton's part to get anything from a game in which they are considered to be huge underdogs, but in football, anything can happen.
Here are 5 things needed for Norwich to achieve the impossible...
Belief That They Can Get Something
There's no getting away from the fact that Manchester United are formidable opponents in every sense of the word, and as a result, some teams often go to Old Trafford with the mentality that defeat is inevitable.
However, Norwich City shouldn't fall into this trap because every team in the world is beatable on any given day.
To borrow an old phrase from the now departed Paul Lambert, "We've earned the right to play them", and although Lambert may have passed on— the philosophy remains the same.
It's obvious that Norwich will be up against a whole host of world class players on Saturday afternoon, but strip that reputation away, and the United players are still human beings like the rest of us.
Matches like this are exactly why the Canaries fought so hard to claim a place in the Premier League 18 months ago and now they have a chance to face one of the world's very best teams as equals.
Financially, there may be light-years between the two clubs, but in terms of the English footballing pyramid, there is nothing.
Simply put, Norwich City and Manchester United are both Premier League clubs, playing for three Premier League points.
Hope That United Have an off Day
Not even the most avid Norwich City supporter could realistically claim that Norwich can wish to compete against their illustrious opponents if Manchester United are firing on all cylinders, because simple logic dictates that they have far superior players.
If both teams play to their best, then United will come out on top more often than not, due to the immense quality that they have at their disposal.
But football doesn't always work like that.
As said on the first slide, there isn't one team on this planet that is completely unbeatable because other factors determine that ability isn't enough on it's own.
It's amazing how often the gap can be reduced between two outfits if the fancied team doesn't turn up and Norwich will have to make sure that they capitalise on such a scenario.
United have bigger fish to fry in their Champions League tie against Real Madrid a few days later and the Canaries could capitalise if the Red Devils take their eye off the ball.
Take Their Chances
When Norwich City last visited Old Trafford in October of 2011, the Canaries created a string of chances but were unable to convert any.
Anthony Pilkington in particular had a glorious opportunity to put his side into the lead midway through the second half, but saw his shot go agonisingly wide of the post.
Little did we know then that Pilkington would have his revenge the following season in Norwich's historic 1-0 victory over the Red Devils, but had he also found the net on that fine autumn afternoon in Manchester who knows what could have happened?
As it was, United did what they do best and went on to gain the three points despite not being at their maximum.
If Chris Hughton's men are lucky enough to get such clear cut openings this time out, then they must take them because you can be rest assured that the home side will take theirs.
Don't Give the Ball Away Easily
It would come as a major surprise if Manchester United doesn't dominate possession against Norwich, which makes it imperative that City treasure the ball in the moments that they do have it.
Playing against such quality will inevitably mean that the Canaries will spend a lot of their time chasing their opponents around the pitch.
Therefore, when Norwich do get possession, they must try and keep it in order to provide some much-needed respite from defending and also to stop United attacking.
The home side possess many players of outstanding ability and the last thing that Chris Hughton's men need to do is invite pressure back on to them by being careless in possession.
Seize the Moment
Norwich City go into this game in the enviable position of having no pressure whatsoever on them.
Everyone expects them to go to Old Trafford and get beat, and the Canaries should use this to their advantage.
It's a wonderful stage for these players to express themselves because these are the type of games that many City players have worked so hard for.
They can go out and play without any shackles and without any fear, because they have absolutely nothing to lose.
These are not the matches that dictate your entire season, and any point gained here would be a complete bonus.
However, there's no reason that Norwich City can't go to Old Trafford and do themselves justice.
If they are able to that, then no one can expect any more of them.
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