MX23RW : Wednesday, June 16 12:05:55| >> :60:2318:2318:
May 12, 2019 at 3pm UK at Old Trafford
Attendance: 74,457
Man UtdManchester United
CardiffCardiff City
FT(HT: 0-1)
Mendez-Laing (23' pen., 54')

Preview: Manchester United vs. Cardiff City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Sunday's Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Cardiff City.

Manchester United host Cardiff City in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon looking to end a relatively disappointing campaign having returned to winning ways.

Cardiff City make the trip to Old Trafford knowing that they will finish in 18th position, but the Bluebirds supporters will want to return to the Championship having earned a positive result against their former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watches on during the Premier League game between Huddersfield Town and Manchester United on May 5, 2019© Reuters

Solskjaer has endured a wide range of emotions since first replacing Jose Mourinho at the end of 2018, and the Norwegian will probably be pleased to see the back of this season.

Everyone at the club will be disappointed having finished outside of the top four in the standings, but it could prove to be a blessing in disguise as Solskjaer looks to reshape his squad.

Participation in the Champions League would have left Solskjaer potentially throwing his younger players into high-pressure games, but they can now be blooded in in the Europa League and gain regular game-time.

That is a likely scenario, with Solskjaer having stressed that he wants to introduce the club's prospects into first-team action, and there will be a youthful look to the side which starts against Cardiff.

However, Solskjaer is aware that it is important for United to end their recent dismal form, with just eight points coming from their last eight outings in the Premier League.

United were perhaps unfortunate not to see off Huddersfield Town last weekend, but there will be an understanding that failing to beat the division's bottom side was unacceptable given the gulf in class between the teams.

Scott McTominay netted United's goal at the John Smith's Stadium, and the Scotland international remains a rare shining light with too many experienced players performing well below their ability.

Such is their fall from grace that they may not even be provided with the opportunity of a farewell appearance this weekend, and it would be a sign that Solskjaer is ready to enforce change at the club.

Recent form: LWLLDD
Recent form (all competitions): WLLLDD

Cardiff City

Neil Warnock watches on during Cardiff City's defeat to Wolves on March 2, 2019© Reuters

Cardiff City have experienced small highs and irreparable lows during their first season back in the Premier League, and Neil Warnock will take a huge amount of pride from how his players have dealt with a difficult start to 2019.

However, there has been an inevitably about Cardiff's relegation for some time, and that was guaranteed last weekend with a 3-2 defeat at home to Crystal Palace.

Warnock has decisions to make regarding his future at the club, while the Bluebirds hierarchy must put together a plan of action to earn an immediate return to the big time.

There will be an ambition from both parties to provide their passionate fans with a positive end to the season, and there will unlikely be a better time for the club to gain a rare win at Old Trafford.

Cardiff have lost on each of their visits to top-six teams over the course of the season, but the squad have performed better away from home than in Wales's capital over the past few weeks.

A 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion was recorded at the Amex Stadium, while Cardiff had more decisions go against them during a narrow 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Calls from referees have been a regular topic of debate following many of Cardiff's matches this season, although it would have taken at least two more victories for the club to have retained hope of remaining in the Premier League.

A lack of draws for Cardiff has arguably been the telling factor this season, with just four coming from 37 games, although it would not come as a surprise if they produce the performance required to heap further misery on Solskjaer on Sunday.

Recent form: LLWLLL

Team News

Tahith Chong in action during the FA Cup third-round game between Manchester United and Reading on January 5, 2019© Reuters

Tahith Chong is likely to be handed his first Premier League start, while James Garner, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood could also be provided with minutes against Cardiff.

Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata could all make their final appearances for United, but Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku may not be involved due to ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.

Jesse Lingard is back in contention after a knee problem, while Victor Lindelof has shaken off a knock sustained during the closing stages against Huddersfield.

Cardiff will be without each of Harry Arter and Victor Camarasa due to injury, and the loanees are likely to have played their last game for the club.

Leandro Bacuna should come into the team as a replacement for Camarasa, but the rest of the side could remain the same.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw; Herrera, McTominay; Chong, Pogba, Mata; Rashford

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Etheridge; Peltier, Morrison, Ecuele Manga, Bennett; Gunnarsson, Bacuna; Mendez-Laing, Reid, Murphy; Ward

Head To Head

Sunday's fixture will represent just the 31st competitive meeting between the clubs, with United registering 15 wins in comparison to seven victories for Cardiff.

However, just three of those matches have come since 1975, with United registering two wins and a draw in the last three top-flight fixtures against the Welsh side.

United recorded a 5-1 victory over Cardiff in December, just days after Solskjaer had been appointed as the replacement for Mourinho.

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We say: Manchester United 3-1 Cardiff City

United and Solskjaer may be prepared to field some of their younger players, but we still feel that a positive result will be recorded at the Theatre of Dreams. Cardiff are still conceding too many goals, and a fresh-looking home side may relish the opportunity to stake their claim for places ahead of next season.

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Angel Gomes in action for Manchester United in the FA Cup in January 2018
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