Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will take charge of his first Manchester United game as the caretaker manager when the Reds travel to South Wales to face his former club, Cardiff City, where he endured an ill-fated spell back in 2014.
This should be an easy game on-paper for United, considering the Bluebirds are down at 16th in the league table. However, this season nothing seems to come easy for United, having won just one of the last six league games. Cardiff on the other hand, have won their last three home games in a row.
Provisional Squad against Cardiff City :
Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Lee Grant
Defenders: Matteo Darmian, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young, Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia
Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Fred, Andreas Pereira, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Scott McTominay
Forwards: Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard
Team News :
United were boosted by the return of Victor Lindelof in the starting eleven and Martial who came on as a substitute at Anfield. Smalling was injured in the build-up to the game against Liverpool. Luke Shaw has been out for most of December and is not expected to return. Alexis is unlikely to return till early January.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 22, 2018
Predicted Line-up vs Cardiff City:
United fans might be wondering how Solskjaer might set up his United side in his bid to wake them from their Mourinho-induced slumber. A 4-3-3, which was fielded by Mourinho for the early part of the season, could be expected.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea
Back to his sparkling best at Anfield, was helpless for the goals conceded.
Defense: Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Ashley Young
Dalot has proved impressive at right-back. Given his attacking prowess, he is a better option than club-captain Antonio Valencia. Bailly has shown signs of regaining his form again and should start. Lindelof has been the most assured defender for United this season and following his return from injury, he should slot right back into the heart of the defense. Young should keep his place given his run of games and Shaw’s injury.
Midfield: Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera
Pogba should return to the starting line-up having been dropped for the last couple of games. It is not surprising given his relationship with Mourinho was no secret to anyone. Herrera and Matic have been marshaling United’s midfield for the last few games and should be in the starting eleven.
Forwards: Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard
Martial’s return from injury means he slots straight back onto the left side of the attack. Lingard has scored in two big games in a row now – Arsenal at home and now Liverpool away – and deserves a start. Rashford has looked the brightest in attack for United recently and should lead the line for United at Cardiff.
United boast some special attacking talent in the shape of Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, and Anthony Martial. Under Mourinho, however, they were probably not played in a system that gave them the chance to flourish.
If Solskjaer can somehow manage to find a way to release them, then getting off to a winning start on Saturday shouldn’t be a problem.