The arrival of record signing Juan Mata and the return to fitness of star strikers Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, means Cardiff’s visit to the home of the champions was timed just a few weeks too late.
Old Trafford may have witnessed nervousness in the crowd not seen in a quarter of a century of late, but by signing Mata the place will be bristling again when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brings bottom-side Cardiff to the club where he secured legendary status as a player.
The net result of this much-needed injection of feel-good is that United’s fans will be treated to a home win which, in its basic form can be backed at 1/4, or at more attractive odds of 4/9 as part of Ladbrokes’ generous five-fold football accumulator offer.
But there is further statistical evidence to suggest it could be another tough night for Cardiff, who are in dire top-flight form – winless in six and losing five of those games to boot.
The Blue(ish)birds’ poor form can be attributed to the high quantities of goals they are shifting, which stands at a little over 2.5 per game during that torrid run.
Reason enough to plump for the 23/20 on United grabbing over 2.5 goals in the match, or indeed the safer option of the 17/20 about the home side winning as part of a total result containing north of the 2.5-goals cut off.
Meanwhile, discounting a reverse against Tottenham, the last two struggling sides which arrived at Old Trafford in the form of West Ham and latterly Swansea, were both sent packing by a two-goal margin of victory.
That outcome is a none-too-shabby looking 14/5 with Ladbrokes, while the returning Rooney is a tantalising 11/4 to mark his comeback with the first goal of the game.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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