Premier League: Manchester United welcome Norwich City with one eye on Real Madrid
Last Updated: 01/03/13 11:32am
Robin van Persie: Injured his hip in a collision with a camera at Loftus Road
Manchester United will have one eye on Tuesday's clash with Real Madrid when they welcome Norwich City to Old Trafford on Saturday.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side go into the game with 12 points' breathing space at the top of the Premier League, but with their Champions League last-16 clash with the Spanish champions on a knife-edge at 1-1.
Robin van Persie has recovered from a hip injury and although he could face Norwich, Phil Jones is fighting to regain fitness after an ankle injury and will not be risked given that he has a potentially crucial role to play against Jose Mourinho's men.
Minimum energy expansion and exposure to injury while gaining maximum points is likely to be the order of the day for Ferguson, who will be keen for his side to score first-half goals to allow key players to be substituted early.
However, United will not be taking Norwich lightly. Chris Hughton's side were the last team to inflict defeat on United in the league - a 1-0 reverse at Carrow Road on November 17.
Although that result stunned United into an unbeaten run that currently stands at 15 league games, Hughton's players will travel north with the belief they can be competitive and the knowledge that United have split priorities.
They also go into the game at the start of what could be a return to form. Having ended a slump of five defeats in six games with three consecutive draws, they registered their first win in 10 attempts with a 2-1 win over Everton in their last outing.
Robin van Persie will be in the Manchester United squad for Saturday's Premier League encounter with Norwich City.
Van Persie hurt his hip when he crashed into a TV camera at QPR last week, but has recovered and will come into contention.
Ryan Giggs is set to make his 1,000th career appearance, but Paul Scholes (knee) and Phil Jones (ankle) are sidelined, although the latter man could be fit for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Real Madrid.
Norwich will again be without midfielder Alex Tettey because of a knee injury.
On-loan Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara is pressing for a place in the starting line-up after coming off the bench to score in the win over Everton.
Winger Andrew Surman (knee) remains out, while England goalkeeper John Ruddy continues his rehabilitation from thigh surgery and is set for a return at the end of March.
- Sir Alex Ferguson's side have kept three consecutive league clean sheets for the first time this season. This is their best run since March/April 2012 when they kept five in a row.
- Robin van Persie has hit the woodwork seven times, more than six Premier League sides in their entirety.
- Norwich's last league win at Old Trafford came in August 1989.
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 1 De Gea
- 2 Rafael
- 12 Smalling
- 6 Evans
- 3 Evra
- 23 Cleverley
- 4 Jones
- 8 Anderson
- 25 Valencia
- 19 Welbeck
- 18 Young
Team taken from Manchester United vs Stoke City (Capital One Cup) on Wednesday 18th December 2013
- 1 Ruddy
- 3 Whittaker
- 6 Turner
- 5 Bassong
- 23 Martin Olsson
- 22 Redmond
- 8 Howson
- 4 Johnson B
- 10 Fer
- 11 Hooper
- 16 Elmander
Team taken from Norwich City vs Swansea City (Barclays Premier League) on Sunday 15th December 2013
Barclays Premier League
Barclays Premier League
|16||West Bromwich Albion||16||15|
|17||West Ham United||16||14|
Man Utd v Norwich
Norwich manager Chris Hughton feels Manchester United's second goal was particularly damaging as they lost 4-0.
Norwich manager Chris Hughton felt that Manchester United's second goal killed the game in their 4-0 defeat.
Sir Alex Ferguson insists Shinji Kagawa will only get better for Manchester United following his hat-trick heroics.