Long-range shooting makes Rooney most likely to score at Cardiff

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Collecting 13 points from a possible 15 has allowed Manchester United’s Premier League title charge to gather momentum, but 11/20 still looks a tad short that they win at Cardiff in the next round of top-flight fixtures.

After all, at home, Cardiff have already beaten Manchester City, while Man Utd are still waiting for their first clean sheet on their travels. The Red Devils have the worst away defensive record of the top seven clubs in the Premier League standings too.

Therefore, they are likely going to need to score at least twice if they are to leave the Cardiff City Stadium with maximum points and there is a strong possibility that it will be Wayne Rooney that helps in this quest, and not strike partner Robin van Persie.

Van Persie has seven league goals to his name thus far, while Rooney only has five, but it is significant that three of those from the England international have come from long range.

Cardiff have already shipped six goals from outside of the penalty box this season, which is at least double the number of every other Premier League club except West Ham, who have a knack of conceding from direct free-kicks.

In contrast, Van Persie has only scored once from further than 18 yards.

Looking at the entire Premier League, 13 teams have conceded fewer goals than Cardiff this season, but only five have let in less from inside the penalty box, which aids Rooney’s prospects of being on target over his Dutch partner.

This fact may also cause David Moyes to have a deeper think over his midfield selections for the trip to Cardiff, with Nani arguably one of the better long-range shooters in the club’s ranks.

Nani has become more of a first-team option in recent weeks, with four starts since the end of September and he is certainly due a goal. Not since joining Man Utd in 2007/08 has Nani ‘Gone till November’ without opening his seasonal Premier League account.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.