Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford can get what they need for Manchester United vs Norwich

When Manchester United won 1-0 away at Norwich in December, their season looked quite different. Cristiano Ronaldo’s second-half penalty earned interim manager Ralf Rangnick his second consecutive Premier League win in as many matches.

There was the sense that United’s winter slide — which culminated in a devastating 4-1 defeat at Watford — had been halted, and they could resurrect their season. But despite that optimism, Rangnick’s side have failed to find consistency, and are seeing their top-four aspirations fading with every week.

United sit seventh in the Premier League at present, six points behind Tottenham with just seven fixtures to go. Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Everton was the latest underwhelming performance from Rangnick’s side, and after the 1-1 draw at home to Leicester the previous week, United needed a positive result.

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Who better to visit Old Trafford this coming Saturday than bottom-of-the-table Norwich City, then? Dean Smith’s side won 2-0 last time out against fellow relegation strugglers Burnley, but United’s record against the Canaries doesn’t bode well for the East Anglian side.

United have won the last four consecutive Premier League matches against the Canaries, with Norwich last winning this fixture in 2015, when the relegation strugglers recorded a shock 2-1 win at Old Trafford. One player who will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing Norwich on Saturday is Marcus Rashford.

The England international scored in both fixtures against the Canaries last season and will be hoping to produce another goalscoring performance this weekend to shake off his recent indifferent form. Of the 19 Premier League matches that have been played between the two sides, United have won a whopping 15, while Norwich have been victorious on just three occasions.

History tells us that a draw is an unlikely result, as only one has ever been recorded between the sides in the Premier League. One thing that can be expected, however, is goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal for Manchester United against Norwich City, delivering another three points to his side. But if United are to be successful this season, then you can not keep relying on the player.

Some 13 goals have been scored across the last five Premier League clashes between the sides, and, while you couple this with the fact that United have kept just seven clean sheets this season, and Norwich’s six, you get the sense that leaky defenses will play a role in this fixture.

United have only won half of their 16 home fixtures in the Premier League this season, but despite Old Trafford no longer being the fortress it once was, Norwich have only ever won one Premier League match at the Theater of Dreams. The Canaries were demolished 4-0 the last time they visited, with Rashford scoring a brace while Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood also found the net.

The prospect of the Premier League’s bottom club visiting Old Trafford shouldn’t be a daunting one for United, but this season means fans will fear anything could happen. History indicates that United should blow Smith’s side away, and Rangnick will hope his side can replicate that form this weekend to arrest their current slide.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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