Cardiff City fans may give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a mixed reception on his return to south Wales this weekend, as the former Bluebirds boss heads back to the scene of his first managerial job in the Premier League. After Jose Mourinho’s sacking earlier in the week, the Norwegian coach was appointed on an interim basis at Manchester United.
His spell in the Welsh capital was short-lived and disappointing, meaning Solskjaer will be keen to get off to a good start at a club that has been struggling this season. The bad news for the travelling Red Devils, however, is that Cardiff have won four of their last five top-flight games at home.
Kick-off: 5:30pm on Saturday 22 December at the Cardiff City Stadium
How to watch: Watch live on BT Sport 1. Available to stream from the BT Sport website or the BT Sport app.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Form: Cardiff LWLWL, Man United DDDWL
Odds: Cardiff 11/2, Draw 13/4, Man United 6/10
Team news and expected line-ups
Neil Warnock will be without Jazz Richards due to a hamstring injury, while Greg Cunningham could be fit for the weekend after suffering a knock last weekend. The left back’s injury was expected to be worse, but ended up as just a scare.
Danny Ward is also a doubt with a knee problem, which could see him miss out on Saturday evening. Cardiff have tightened up and could be tough for United to play through given the three central defenders and wing backs they deploy on occasion. Given the away side’s absentees, utilising wingers could be key.
Read more: Pogba’s Instagram and Twitter posts spark fury after Mourinho sacking
Scott McTominay, Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw are all injury doubts for the away side, while Alexis Sanchez won’t return to action until mid-January due to a hamstring injury. Shaw and Smalling would stabilise a leaky defence, and may therefore play from the start.
After the sacking of Jose Mourinho, there is expected to be a shake-up in terms of style and system. Solskjaer champions a more free-flowing and attacking style of play, without leaving his team short at the back. Paul Pogba could return to the fold.
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