Man Utd v Cardiff City. Match preview

Dead rubber at the Theatre of Reflective Thinking.

Oh what might have been for both clubs.

Cardiff City end their Premier League season at Old Trafford on Sunday in a game that means nothing for either side. United have missed out on Champions League football for next season and are in a stinking run of form while Cardiff, also failing to deliever results, are already relegated.

Harry Arter is injured and will not pull on a City shirt again as he leaves the club at the end of the season. Victor Camarasa will also depart, he might be fit enough for a run out at Old Trafford. Long term injuries keep out Sol Bamba, Matthew Connolly, Joe Ralls and Callum Paterson.

It will be a farewell appearance for Aron Gunnarsson before he departs for Qatar.

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Antonio Valencia could play for the last time for Manchester United. He has not played since January 2nd but may get some time on the pitch as he exits the club.

United, who can finish no higher than fifth in the Premier League, could also inject some youth into their starting line-up.

James Garner, Dylan Levitt, Arnau Puigmal, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood all worked with the senior group on Thursday.

Jesse Lingard could return from injury but there are doubts over Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial, while Eric Bailly is sidelined with a knee problem.

Opta stats

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their last eight league meetings with Cardiff (W6 D2) since a 0-3 away loss in November 1960.
  • Cardiff have never kept a clean sheet in 15 away games against Man Utd in all competitions (W3 D6 L6).
  • Manchester United have won 18 of their 26 closing day Premier League games, more than any other side in the competition. They've not lost such a game since 2006-07 (0-1 vs West Ham).
  • Manchester United have kept just two clean sheets at Old Trafford this season. Even if they don't concede in this game, it will be their fewest home clean sheets in a single league season since 1962-63 (2).
  • Man Utd are winless in their last four Premier League games (D2 L2), last going five without a win in May 2017. They'd only failed to win four of their opening 16 Premier League matches under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær (W12 D2 L2).
  • Cardiff have won just two points from 69 available in Premier League games against the six ever-present sides (P23 W0 D2 L21). They've lost their last 19 in a row by an aggregate score of 13-51 since a 2-2 draw with Manchester United in November 2013.
  • Cardiff have led at half-time in just three Premier League games this season - only two teams have ever done so on fewer occasions in a season; Derby County in 2007-08 (1) and QPR in 2012-13 (2).
  • Manchester United have given more players their Premier League debuts in the final match of the season than any other side (11), with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær handing out two debuts in his only previous final day Premier League match as a manager when he was Cardiff boss in 2013-14 (Tom James and Rhys Healey).


Match Officials:

Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistants: Marc Perry, Mick McDonough
Fourth official: Simon Hooper