Old Trafford - Premier League
There’s little left to play for as Manchester United and Cardiff City meet at Old Trafford on the final day of the Premier League season. There’ll be no Champions League football for the hosts next season, while the visitors were relegated at the weekend.
United thrashed Cardiff 5-1 in South Wales earlier this season, in what was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game in charge of the Red Devils. Before that, the Norwegian was in charge of the Bluebirds the last time the teams met, as David Moyes’s defending Premier League champions won 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer looks set to have a serious clear-out in the summer, and we may have seen the last of Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia in a United shirt. They’re all on the injury list, although club captain Valencia may be handed a farewell appearance on Sunday. An injury to Sergio Romero means David de Gea won’t be dropped following a series of high-profile blunders.
The away team will be missing Sol Bamba, Callum Paterson, Joe Ralls and Matthew Connolly for their final top-flight fixture for at least a season. Victor Camarasa is also a doubt with a dead leg, while Harry Arter is in a race to prove his fitness. Neil Warnock will be desperate for the duo to play.
Manchester United v Cardiff City Preview and Predictions
Manchester United have never come close to winning the Premier League title since they last played Cardiff City at Old Trafford. The Bluebirds meanwhile have secured their highest ever Premier League finish this term, but it’s still not enough to save them from the drop.
United’s dismal draw against bottom club Huddersfield last weekend was another damning indictment of how far they’ve fallen since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. A number of players who weren’t considered good enough all those years ago are still playing and underperforming, and not good enough to take three points from a must-win game against one of the poorest teams we’ve seen in recent years.
Sunday’s draw means United are in next season’s Europa League, following a run of just two wins in 11 games. That’s the same number of matches Cardiff have won in their last 11. Relegation form aside, United surely still have the players to see off the 18th-placed Bluebirds in front of their own fans.
The bookmakers certainly think the home team can beat a side who’ve lost six of their last seven matches. United start as the heavy favourites in the betting at 1/4, while Cardiff are 12/1. If you think the Reds will slump to their third successive draw, that’s available at 6/1.
United to win and BTTS at 7/5
The Reds haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 14 fixtures, while goalkeeper De Gea’s confidence and form has completely deserted him.
Paul Pogba to score first at 9/2
The Frenchman may be on his way out of the Old Trafford door this summer, but he’s still the club’s top scorer this season, helped in no small part by his status as United’s penalty taker.