In a serendipitous turn, Cardiff City welcome Manchester United to the CCS on Saturday just as United deemed it pertinent to get rid of the Grinch and replace him with a resident of Whoville. A long winded way to say Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has, somehow, got the job at United and will take charge of his first game at the scene of his managerial nadir…
Cardiff City vs. Manchester United
Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
22nd December 2018, 5:30pm (GMT)
Referee: Michael Oliver
How Cardiff might line-up
And three things to watch out for…
Decordova-Reid to return. Hoilett has scored a couple since he’s been back but he’s not set the world on fire. He’s a potent force off the bench but I’d like to see Decordova-Reid get a start. He scored against Watford and deserves a decent run in the squad to show what he can do. Paterson needs a bit of real support up front and having Decordova-Reid off his shoulder might keep people like Lindelof on their toes.
The importance of Gunnar. United have some good midfielders – World Cup winners in fact. Arter plays well against big teams but the stability of Gunnar will be vital. The defence will need a screen against players bombing on from midfield and while that failed somewhat against Watford, they will be ready to make amends against United.
Camarasa to find space. The United midfield is attacking and this sets up Victor to find some space between their last midfielder and their defence. Victor has been knocking on the door in recent weeks with a few decent efforts and I feel like he’s building toward to decent attacking performance and a goal.
Players to watch out for
United haven’t been performing at their best, but they do have some pretty good players don’t they? Pogba’s been at the heart of the rumblings off the pitch but now he’s got his way (if you believe the press), it’s high time he showed what he can do on the pitch. And there’s no doubt he’s got some talent.
Martial is another who suffered under Jose but he’s still been scoring goals. He’s got some pace and our wing backs will need to be careful with him cutting inside.
Best case result
We are better at home. We are relatively solid at home and the team will be buoyed by a big crowd behind them. It’s time we got a big result this season and this could be a real bonus couple of points. With a few of our relegation rivals facing each other, a win could add a bit more of a gap between us and the bottom three. 2-0.
Worst case result
United is United. They have a stellar squad who have underperformed in every way this season but a new manager could release their shackles. Pogba needs a big game. He could be instrumental. 0-2.