Manchester United v Cardiff City. Match preview

Last updated : 28 January 2014 By Michael Morris

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will return to Old Trafford tonight to a heroes welcome.

The Baby Faced Assassin played 366 games for United, scoring 126 goals, winning 6 Premier League titles, 2 FA Cups, 1 Champions League & 1 Intercontinental Cup.

He will fancy his chances of causing an major upset after United's poor form so far this season. In all likliehood Cardiff are going to end their Premier League fixtures for January with no points but they will give it a go at 'The Theatre of Dreams' and hope to follow teams like West Brom and Southampton who have taken points back home with them.

United are boosted by the £37m signing of Juan Mata. The Spaniard is set to make his debut this evening. Cardiff have signed Kenwyne Jones but he is not eligable to play tonight.

Once tonight's game is out of the way The Bluebirds face a February fixture list against teams in the bottom half of the table. Anything from tonight's game would be a massive bonus.


Early team news

Juan Mata is set to make his Manchester United debut against Cardiff at Old Trafford.

The club record £37.1million new arrival could be joined by Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, who are back training again after recent thigh and groin problems.

Marouane Fellaini has also recovered from a broken wrist as United look to claw their way back up the Premier League table after suffering their seventh defeat of the season at Chelsea.

Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reports no new injuries other than a couple of minor unspecified knocks.

Defenders Andrew Taylor and Matthew Connolly remain in the sidelines with ankle problems and midfielder Don Cowie has a calf strain.

New signing Kenwyne Jones did not sign in time to play and deals have yet to be announced for United players Fabio and Wilfried Zaha who are both joining Cardiff.


The managers:

David Moyes

“Ole will get a fantastic reception and deserves it.

“He is a legend for what he has done here.

"His goal to win the Champions League, and all-round he has been a great ambassador for United, and rightly so he will be given a great reception.”


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

"We can't say that we are going to win; we are going to go there, put on a performance that we will be proud of and come back home with no regrets.

"As long as you give it your all, you can come back from places like Old Trafford with pride.

"Of course the fear factor is still there - you're going to the biggest club in the world."


Match Appointments

Referee: Craig Pawson. Assistants: D Cann, M McDonough. Fourth Official: H Webb.




  • Cardiff's last win in this fixture was a 3-0 victory in the old Division One at Ninian Park on 26 November 1960.
  • The Bluebirds have played 13 league matches at Old Trafford and have won just twice.
  • Their last victory at Old Trafford came back on 3 April 1954 when they won 3-2.
  • In 28 previous meetings between the sides. Manchester United have won 13 times, Cardiff seven and there have been eight draws.
  • Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored 91 goals in 235 Premier League appearances for Manchester United between 1996-97 and 2006-07.
  • In total, he played 366 games and scored 126 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils. He won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups, one Champions League and one Intercontinental Cup whilst at Old Trafford.

Manchester United

  • Victory would make Manchester United the first club to earn 1,000 points at home in the Premier League - they currently stand on 998.
  • Thirty seven points from 22 matches is the lowest total they have mustered in any previous Premier League season at this stage.
  • They have already lost seven league games, a tally they have only previous exceeded in two Premier League seasons (they lost nine times in 2001-02 and 2003-04).
  • Against Chelsea in their last Premier League fixture, captain Nemanja Vidic received his fifth red card in the league - only Roy Keane has more (seven) for the club in the Premier League.

Cardiff City

  • Cardiff have won none and lost six of their last eight Premier League away games.
  • They have conceded at least two goals in six successive league matches, conceding 16 goals. January to April 1961 was the last time they had a longer top-flight run of conceding two or more goals (11 matches).
  • The Bluebirds have the best disciplinary record in the top flight this season with just 27 yellow cards and no reds.
  • They have scored 35% of their goals via headers - the highest proportion in the Premier League.
  • Five of Frazier Campbell's last six league goals have come against Manchester United or Manchester City, and 42% of his overall total Premier League strikes have been against those two teams.



Manchester United (from): De Gea, Lindegaard, Buttner, Evans, Evra, Ferdinand, Jones, Rafael, Smalling, Carrick, Cleverley, Fellaini, Fletcher, Giggs, Januzaj, Kagawa, Nani, Valencia, Young, Hernandez, Rooney, Van Persie, Welbeck.

Cardiff City (from): Marshall, Caulker, Hudson, McNaughton, Theophile-Catherine, Turner, Daehli, Eikrem, Gunnarsson, Kim, Medel, Mutch, Noone, Whittingham, Bellamy, Campbell, Cornelius, Berget.