Saturday, 11 May 2019

Match preview: Man Utd v Cardiff City

Old Trafford will bid farewell to two departing United stalwarts as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces old side Cardiff City in our final game of 2018-19.
Neil Warnock's relegated Bluebirds provide the Reds final opponents of a troubled season, but the fixture is something of a subplot with Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia set to leave the club after five and ten years at the club respectively. It could also see Paul Pogba, David de Gea and Juan Mata make their curtain calls with ongoing uncertainty over the future of all three men. Herrera has made 189 appearances for the club, and Valencia - who has not featured since 2 January - has played 338 times.

The club captain hopes to be fit enough to make a farewell appearance after a decade at United.
Jesse Lingard could return after injury but Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial are fitness doubts.
Cardiff are without loanees Harry Arter and Victor Camarasa because of a calf strain and dead leg respectively.

United boss Solskjaer has pledged to involve Academy youngsters such as Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood against the south Wales side who return to the second tier after a single Premier League campaign. There may be nothing riding on the result but what happens over the summer and into next season is extremely important for both.

 A week of two incredible comebacks.
A weekend when an epic title tussle will reach its climax.
A season that will see four English clubs meet in European finals... but, for once, instead of writing such headlines, Manchester United are noticeable by their absence.
Second last season and seemingly back in the pack, we're miles off the pace again, faced with the unpalatable situation of being only spectators as our fiercest and most hated rivals compete for the most prestigious honours. 
With a summer of comings and goings predicted, this could represent an Old Trafford farewell for several donning the famous red jersey.
But will it be the denouement in the career of Cardiff manager Warnock?
After relegation at 70, retirement may yet beckon but he would miss football - and football would certainly miss him.

 Ole said: "Challenging for the title next year would be a miraculous season because we are so far behind at the moment, points-wise.
"It's not like when I used to play that it was us or Arsenal that were going to win the league, and then Chelsea came.
"Now it's a very, very competitive competition and we're challenging against the best teams in the world for these trophies. You have five, six, seven sides to get the better of. That tells us that it's going to be a great challenge. We want to get back to where we used to be."

 Form guide: Man Utd W L L L D D Cardiff City L L W L L L
Match odds: Man Utd 2/7 Draw 11/2 Cardiff City 17/2 (Skybet)
Referee: Jon Moss takes charge in game 38 of 38

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