Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs a win to snap a miserable recent run when Manchester United host Norwich City at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday.
Solskjaer's Red Devils have lost two of their last three in all competitions. United were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal in the league on New Year's Day before playing out a dire goalless draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup third round.
The nadir came on Tuesday when neighbours Manchester City bossed United 3-1 in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. United were outclassed on home soil but should still feel confident about beating a Norwich side rooted to the bottom of the table.
There is some talent in the Canaries ranks, notably playmakers Emiliano Buendia and Todd Cantwell. Yet a problem keeping clean sheets has hampered the team, and they have conceded 41 goals through 21 league games.
Date: Saturday, January 11
Time: 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET
TV Info: NBC Sports Gold
Live Stream: NBC Sports App.
- United: -280 (bet $280 to win $100)
- Norwich: +750 (bet $100 to win $750)
- Draw: +410
Odds per Caesars.
Anthony Martial came off the bench during the defeat to City, and the Frenchman's pace, vision and technique should have Norwich worried. Martial combined superbly with fellow forward Marcus Rashford when United won 3-1 at Carrow Road back in October.
While Martial has been inconsistent since, Rashford has remained among the goals. The England international scored against City to net his 17th in all competitions.
Having Rashford and Martial combine with winger Daniel James gives United awesome pace on the break. It's something the Canaries should fear if they can't make their possession game count.
The Norwich team is loaded with flair and ingenuity in midfield. Specifically, 23-year-old Argentinian Buendia has been catching the eye:
Buendia has been ably supported by Cantwell, who has six goals and two assists to his credit during his first season in England's top flight. Who they will supply remains a mystery after striker Teemu Pukki missed training on Thursday while he continues to deal with toe and hamstring injuries, according to Paddy Davitt of The Pink Un.
Fortunately for Norwich, 18-year-old Adam Idah proved his quality by netting a hat-trick to help the Canaries beat Preston North End 4-2 in the third round of the 2020 FA Cup:
Regardless of who plays up front, Cantwell and Buendia can pick holes in a United defence set to miss centre-back Harry Maguire.
The world's most expensive defender is out with a hip injury, per Sky Sports. Maguire's absence will put the onus on United's front three to make their chances count.
Rashford and Co. will fashion enough opportunities to punish the Canaries' fragility at the back and restore United's momentum for a top-four finish.