Manchester United vs Cardiff City: Odds, Preview, Live Stream and TV Info Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game in charge as caretaker Manchester United manager will see him return to Cardiff City, with whom he endured an ill-fated spell as manager in 2018.
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On paper, Saturday’s game should be an easy three points for the Red Devils as Cardiff are down in 16th in the Premier League table.
However, United have made everything difficult in 2018-19, they have won just one of their past six league games, and the Bluebirds are in fine form at home, having won their last three on the bounce at Cardiff City Stadium.
Solskjaer is a United legend. He famously scored the winning goal in the 1998-99 UEFA Champions League final to help the Red Devils claim an unprecedented treble and spent 11 years at the club before being forced to retire in 2007 because of injury:
As a result, his appointment will be welcomed by most United fans, and he should be given time to implement his methods.
However, given the state in which sacked manager Jose Mourinho left the team, the former Norway international has some immediate firefighting to do.
The atmosphere around the Manchester club this season has been poor, with the Portuguese oozing negativity and falling out with some key players, notably Paul Pogba.
That has translated into poor performances, and United’s drab showings this term have left them 11 points off the top four and 19 behind leaders Liverpool.
So Solskjaer has a huge job on his hands to revive the charismatic style of play United have long been known for and to heal some wounds in the dressing room.
If United are to have any chance of finishing the season in the top four, they need to take advantage of their relatively comfortable Christmas fixture list.
After Saturday’s visit to Cardiff, the Red Devils host Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth before going away to Newcastle United on January 2.
He has better players to work with at United, though, and they should all be galvanised by the change in manager and be looking to impress.
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Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds have been excellent at home recently, but they are fragile defensively, having conceded the second-most goals in the league this term—33 in 17 games.
United boast some special attacking talent in the shape of Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Under Mourinho, however, they were not played in a system that gave them the chance to flourish.
If Solskjaer can change that, he should be able to get off to a winning start on Saturday.