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Friday, June 26, 2020

Norwich v Man United: Solskjær's side to impress

Norwich v Man United: Solskjær's side to impress

The FA Cup takes centre stage this weekend and Paul Robinson isn't expecting any respite for beleaguered Norwich when they take on Manchester United.

Norwich v Man United
Saturday 27 June, 17:30
Live on BBC One

The Championship beckons for Norwich

The Canaries are all but down when it comes to the Premier League, as after losing both of their matches since the return, they are six points adrift of safety. Even if the other teams down there didn't win any more games, I wouldn't bank on Norwich winning another two matches in order to save themselves. Little wonder that Betfair Exchange punters make Norwich 1.03 to go down at the end of this unique season.
Daniel Farke's side won't be thinking about that at Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon though, as in this competition, they are just two games away from a Wembley Final.
Preston, Burnley and Spurs have been despatched on their way to this point, and as gets said every year, anything can happen in the cup.
As for the team news, Farke's defensive crisis continues, with Christoph Zimmerman, Sam Byram and Grant Hanley all remaining sidelined. Teemu Pukki was on the bench against Everton, but he is expected back in the starting XI against United.

United look set for a strong finish

It might have come against a weakened Sheffield United side, but the swagger was back in the Manchester United team in their 3-0 win over them on Wednesday.
Paul Pogba returned in midfield to start alongside Bruno Fernandes for the first time, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood flanking Anthony Martial - a move which certainly worked well for the latter.
They have to back that performance up on Saturday though, as there have been a couple of false dawns under Solskjaer before. That being said, they are well in the hunt for a Champions League place - as predicted by our own Dimitar Berbatov - and if they can avoid Man City, they have a fantastic chance of reaching another FA Cup Final.
It will be interesting to see what team the manager puts out here, but I would be shocked if he tinkered too much, even allowing for the fixture pile-up.

Back United to keep it clean

No surprises in the Match Odds market as United are the overwhelming 1.48 favourites. The draw is 4.90 and a Norwich win is the outsider at 8.20.
If this wasn't behind closed doors you would give more of a chance to Daniel Farke's side, but they have already been beaten twice at Carrow Road since they returned - without scoring a goal, and against teams who aren't of United's calibre.
Given that, I am inclined to look at the odds of Manchester United winning to nil, which as of writing is available to back at 2.32 on the Betfair Exchange - a price that should be a touch bigger by Kick-Off as the market becomes more liquid.

Take the outsider when it comes to goals

The Betfair layers are expecting goals in this one, as Under 2.5 is the outsider at 2.12, with the Over at 1.82. I do not believe Norwich will score in this game, so I am leaning towards the bigger price here.
Yes, United did put three past the Blades during the week, but Chris Wilder didn't have his first choice defence available to him and Dean Henderson was also ineligible against his parent club.
It took United 81 minutes to score against Spurs, prior to that, and even then it came from the penalty spot. Fatigue could also come into play given the amount of games the players have been expecting to play after a long break, and that will mean to an even bigger dip in intensity levels.

Key Opta Stat

Manchester United have kept a clean sheet in all four FA Cup matches this season, last keeping five in a row in the competition between April 2004 and March 2005 (seven consecutively).