Premier League

Manchester United-Norwich City Preview

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said he wants to build on a positive start with the Red Devils as his side travel to face Norwich City on Saturday.

Rangnick defeated Crystal Palace in his first game in charge last Sunday, becoming the first of six German managers to win their opening game in the Premier League.

United were subsequently held in midweek Champions League action against Young Boys but Rangnick has been satisfied with the progress of his side.

"In the first instance, it was about getting to know the players," he added. "We did quite a lot of video footage with them in order to tell them how we want to play.

"As we all saw, they did well in that game. Not everything was perfect, but quite a few things worked out well. We were always on the front foot, we had control of the game.

"Now it's about taking the next steps. What we showed against Crystal Palace was good. We didn't allow them to score or give them too many opportunities.

"But we want to improve our performance, we want to build on what we showed against Crystal Palace and hopefully get the next win tomorrow."

Strugglers Norwich are bottom of the table, three points adrift of safety, but new head coach Dean Smith has already beaten United once this season with Aston Villa but his side have been hit by a potential COVID-19 outbreak.

"We have got a couple of knocks and have got a couple of Covid-related issues that we are waiting on results for this morning," Smith said.

"I can't really let you in on any names, but there's a couple of players whom we are worried about, so we have tested and we will wait for the PCR results back on them."

Norwich City - Grant Hanley

Grant Hanley will be key to muting United's attacking sources, and the centre-back goes into the fixture in good form, having won all eight of his duels in the 3-0 loss against Tottenham.

Manchester United - Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford has been involved in four goals in his two Premier League games against Norwich (3 goals, 1 assist), averaging a goal involvement every 37 minutes against the Canaries in the competition.

·This will be Ralf Rangnick's first away league match in charge of Manchester United - none of the previous four permanent Man Utd managers have lost their first league game on the road (W3 D1), with Alex Ferguson the last to do so (2-0 at Oxford United in November 1986).

·None of Manchester United's last 14 away league games against Norwich has finished level, with the Red Devils winning nine of these (L5).

·Manchester United are winless in their last four Premier League matches against newly promoted sides (D3 L1), losing 4-1 to Watford earlier this season. The Red Devils haven't gone five league games in a row without a win against such sides since a run of seven between January 1992 and January 1993.

·Two of Norwich's last four home Premier League matches have ended goalless, one more than in their previous 47 at Carrow Road. The Canaries' two clean sheets in four home games is also as many as they managed in their previous 26 in the top-flight.

·Norwich have failed to score in a league-high nine different Premier League games this season, while their eight goals scored is their fewest after 15 games in their league history. Of the 17 previous clubs to have netted eight goals or fewer after 15 top-flight games, only three have avoided relegation - Sheffield United (1990-91), Everton (2005-06) and Crystal Palace (2017-18).

Updated December 10, 2021