Manchester United vs Cardiff City Preview

Image result for manchester united vs cardiff
Image from Cardiff City 
At last this torrid season is over and Manchester United can sort themselves out over the summer. The final game of the season is at home to Cardiff and really, United need to win big to at least begin to get back on their feet. Here's all you need to know:

Teams: Manchester United vs Cardiff City
Location: Old Trafford
KO: Sunday 12th May 15:00 GMT
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Neil Warnock
Referee: Jonathan Moss

What form are both teams in?
Manchester United have not won a game since beating West Ham and have most recently drawn twice against Chelsea and Huddersfield which led to the Red Devils missing out on Champions League qualification for next year. After last week's disaster, only a win will do.
Form: LLLDD GF: 2 GA: 11

Cardiff have had a tough season and after being relegated at home to Crystal Palace and have only won four times in 2019 but the last time they have done so was mid-April against Brighton but still could not manage to overtake the Seagulls in a race to avoid relegation. Cardiff could easily bounce back to the Premier League if their squad stays together and will want to begin their preparation for next season as soon as possible.
Form: LWLLL GF: 4 GA: 8

What could this result mean for both teams?
This game means nothing to Cardiff other than personal pride as win, lose or draw, they will remain 18th. As for United a win could see them go to fifth place if Arsenal fail to beat Burnley and undeniable qualification for the Europa League as if Watford somehow beat Manchester City, they will take sixth place's qualification spot and force whoever ends the season sixth to cut their pre-season short and enter the first qualifying round of the Europa League. Not only this but anything less than a win will certainly make many fans question Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's ability to continue as United's manager.

Team News:
Manchester United have doubts over the fitness of Eric Bailly, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez and as a result six u23 players have trained with the first team - Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, James Garner, Arnau Puigmal, Mason Greenwood and Dylan Levitt - all of which may feature on Sunday. Antonio Valencia could play in his final game of his United career after returning to training last week as could Ander Herrera after confirming he would leave Manchester United at the end of the season. Jesse Lingard is also fit to play after missing the last two games.
As for Cardiff, there are only two concerns for Neil Warnock with Harry Artur and Victor Camarasa both unable to play through injury. Camarasa is a big loss for Cardiff City and has been one of the stars of the team all season.

Interesting Facts:

  • United have a good record against Cardiff and in fact haven't lost to the Bluebirds since a 3-0 away defeat in 1960
  • United have won their last three final-day games and in fact are unbeaten on the last day since their 1-0 home loss to West Ham in 2007
  • Romelu Lukaku is set to miss this game and thus has his lowest league tally since managing only ten goals in the 2014/15 season
  • Manchester United have only managed seven clean sheets all season with the last coming against Liverpool in late-February
  • Cardiff have scored only 32 goals, the second least in the league and conceded 69 goals with only Fulham and Huddersfield letting in more
  • Luke Shaw could make his 30th league appearance of the season, the first time he has reached this number since the 2013/14 campaign
Team Selection and Prediction
I think De Gea will start as a token of faith from Solskjaer. Valencia will probably start and lead the teams out one last time and will hopefully mean Ashley Young will not play. Lindelof and Smalling should start as Jones was nightmarishly poor against Huddersfield and missed a sitter. Shaw will also start after being announced as United's player of the year. Pogba may start alongside Garner and Gomes to add some experience to the youth players. As for the attack I think Rashford will play with Chong and Greenwood either side in a pacy and young front line. 

As for the result, you would hope United would win and win well, especially with nothing to lose and so should play good attacking football but you never know. If United get an early goal it could be anything but if not then Cardiff will dig deep and hold out as long as possible and try and attack United on the counter. I expect United to finish with style. 

De Gea, Valencia (c), Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Garner, Pogba, Gomes, Chong, Greenwood, Rashford

PREDICTED SCORE: 4-0

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