Preview: Manchester United vs. Cardiff City

Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prior to kick-off against Newcastle in their FA Cup third round match on January 4, 2013
© AFP
Sports Mole looks ahead to Manchester United's Premier League clash against Cardiff City.

All eyes - and not for the first time this season - will be on Old Trafford on Tuesday night for more than one reason.

Ordinarily, the return of the man responsible for Manchester United winning the Champions League back in 1999 would dominate the headlines, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been trumped by Juan Mata.

The Spaniard, who completed his club-record £37.1m switch from Chelsea to United at the weekend, has been tipped to make his highly anticipated debut against Solskjaer's Cardiff City.

As well as Mata, Red Devils manager David Moyes may be able to call upon the fit again Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, although the latter of that duo may start the encounter as a substitute.

Rio Ferdinand and Marouane Fellaini have also recently returned to training following injury layoffs, but captain Nemanja Vidic is suspended and Michael Carrick is doubtful.

Meanwhile, having started on the bench against Bolton Wanderers at the weekend, it is expected that Solskjaer will hand recalls to Fraizer Campbell and Craig Noone.

Man United full-back Fabio da Silva may also be part of the Cardiff squad, providing that his proposed transfer is completed, while the same can be said for Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones.

The away side, who are bottom of the table, have not defeated United since November 1960, which is a sequence of results that dates back six encounters.

Recent form

Man United: LLLWLW

Cardiff: DLWLLW

Possible starting lineups

Man United: De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Fletcher, Giggs; Januzaj, Mata, Rooney; Welbeck

Cardiff: Marshall; Fabio, Caulker, Turner, Theophile-Catherine; Whittingham, Medel, Gunnarsson, Mutch, Noone; Campbell

Sports Mole says: 2-0

Dimitar Berbatov holds up his shirt at his Manchester United unveiling.
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