The month from hell got off to a flying start as United won ugly at Wolves at the weekend. It was the ultimate gritty win that no one will remember in three years time. They get you promoted. While the pressure isn’t necessarily off for this game on Tuesday, it’s certainly been dialled down a bit after three massive points in the Black Country.
Norwich at home was the game of the season. despite being 3 1 down, it remains one of United’s most consistent, attacking home performances this season. We should have been three or four up before Gayle did eventually give us the lead. Then Norwich had three shots and scored three goals. What happened next was crucial for both us and Norwich. United have won sixteen of twenty league games since that night in September. Norwich have lost nine of twenty since. That night in September City had the chance to pull seven points clear of us, they know find themselves fifteen points behind us.
United have two massively winnable home games after this fixture, a draw would be an excellent result. Norwich’s form has improved of late though they’re still capable of blips. Norwich have won four of their last six fixtures but have drawn with Wigan and lost to Rotherham. For all the talk of Alex Neil turning things around, it’s been seven games since they last played a team in the top half of the division. Norwich have the third best home form in the division however, with only Huddersfield, Leeds and Preston coming away with wins.
United have two very winnable games at home after this one before we face probably the toughest run of games any team has all season in this division. I believe we know need nine more wins to achieve promotion in our sixteen remaining games. A draw would be a great result here. It’ll be interesting to see how Norwich set up. Very few teams have ‘attacked’ United at all this season, especially away from home. Alex Neil isn’t know for his tactical brilliance or defensive solidity. I think Rafa will have the edge over Neil and Shelvey can thrive in the room afforded to us by Norwich.
The back five thrived against Wolves so if the attacking players could return the favour, that’d be ideal. Murphy may come in, though possibly not with Mitrovic not exactly being ‘tired’ after having the second half off against Wolves, plus he has a habbit of scoring against Norwich. I’d expect Hayden and maybe Atsu to come in.
If we can go into Villa on Monday unbeaten, that’d be swell.
Prediction: 2 1 United
ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892
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