|Man Utd to win and Over 2.5 Goals Scored||27/20||Coral|
|Anthony Martial To Score||6/4||BetHard|
Not many would have thought that Manchester United’s board of directors would have actually pulled the plug on José Mourinho’s career at Old Trafford before Christmas, but after his team’s lifeless display against Liverpool, it was evident that he had lost his players.
Incidentally, former Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær has taken over as interim coach at United until the end of the season, with Mike Phelan coming in as the Norwegian’s number two.
There are plenty of rumblings about Solskjær’s previous disappointments with Cardiff in the Premier League, but this is a totally different set up with a group of players that actually have an inkling of talent.
Cardiff, under Neil Warnock, will now know they have an uphill battle to take on a resurgent United side at their Cardiff City Stadium.
The Bluebirds might have been feeling somewhat confident with Mourinho still in charge given his ill fortunes at home this season, but Solskjær is bound to get a different a tune out of his players for his first game.
This match should be on the receiving end of a jubilant away atmosphere and should spur United’s players on to grab a much needed win.
Not one Manchester United fan is expecting miracles under Solskjær by any stretch of the imagination, but they are hoping for some genuine excitement from the players they support.
It has been a rocky season so far, but with Mourinho now gone, some of the United players that were ostracised – notably Eric Bailly, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba – might lift their performances and show to everyone their quality on a weekly basis.
The Red Devils are in sixth place in the Premier League, eight points behind Arsenal in fifth and 11 off Chelsea in fourth. A top four finish (14/1 with Bet365) looks out of the question, but if there is any upturn whatsoever, three points away in Cardiff is an absolute must.
I'm all in on Ole Gunnar Solskjær taking over for the next six months, along with Mike Phelan. No expectations on silverware or league position, just want to see attacking football return.— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) December 19, 2018
Warnock has his side defensively organised but lacking creative ingenuity going forward. While Cardiff are perhaps doing better than some suggested at the beginning of the season, taking on a rejuvenated Manchester United side is never going to be an easy task - even if they have won their last three home matches.
Solskjær’s men are 6/10 with Paddy Power to claim the three points and get his managerial career at Manchester United underway in a positive manner.
If it wasn’t for Martial’s injury in recent weeks, Mourinho might have had the chance to rely on the Frenchman to save his job for a longer period of time. The left winger had been in emphatic form, scoring seven Premier League goals in eight appearances.
Martial should be back in time to travel down to Cardiff to face Warnock’s side and should be one of the key players in Solskjær’s first line-up that he releases.
The France international has shown his prowess this season and Solskjær will be keen to make sure that United are playing the free-flowing, attacking football that he was privy to as a former player under Sir Alex Ferguson’s tutelage.
Anyone else absolutely buzzing for the game v Cardiff at the weekend? Might actually see the players enjoying themselves.— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) December 19, 2018
United fans might not expect much of these next five months, but some entertainment and actual positive football will be the bare minimum.
That means getting the best from the club’s creative players, Martial included. Give the Frenchman the license to take players on and roam fluidly and Cardiff’s defence will find it incredibly difficult to stop him in his tracks.
Such was the franticness of Mourinho’s United side, there have been over 2.5 goals scored in their last seven away Premier League games. It has been clear to see that their defensive frailties are visible to all and a new manager in Solskjær is not immediately going to rectify that.
The Red Devils have conceded at least two goals in five of their last six away matches in the league and so Cardiff will be awarded opportunities to get in behind and cause damage.
With more positivity running through the spine of Man United’s team, they might just well find themselves creating more chances than usual and posing a threat to Cardiff’s goal.
This game does suggest that there will be goals involved given players are now fighting for their positions under their new boss and will want to make a lasting impression.