Manchester United will look to end a disappointing season on a high when they host Cardiff City at Old Trafford on Sunday.
After finishing in second place last season, the hopes were high for United. But Jose Mourinho’s season unraveled, and he was sacked in December. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced him, and the team’s performances shot up for a while. But the form has petered down of late, and United are set to finish outside the top four. They were in contention for the Champions League places till last week, but they failed to win at Huddersfield.Embed from Getty Images
Scott McTominay opened the scoring for United, but Isaac Mbenza scored to rescue a point for the Terriers. That draw meant that can’t finish in the top four. It is a massive blow to Solskjaer, and he will have to ply his trade in the Europa League next season. The lack of participation in the Champions League will hamper United’s ability to attract top-notch players in the summer.
United’s form has been poor, and they are winless in their last four Premier League games. Two weeks ago they drew with Chelsea, and that result hurt their top four chances. Since United beat Paris Saint-Germain in March, they have played 11 games in all competitions. Solskjaer has picked up just two wins in that time. He has some serious work to do in the summer, and rounding off the season with a win would be a good starting point.
Cardiff City, meanwhile, are finally down. The Bluebirds were alive with two games left to go and were holding onto a faint chance of survival. Last week’s 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace officially relegated them. Cardiff will go to the Championship after just one year in the Premier League, just like fellow promoted side Fulham.Embed from Getty Images
The Welsh side was the odds-on favorite to get relegated, but they fought to stay in the race until May. Neil Warnock does not have a lot of talent at his disposal, but no one can doubt Cardiff’s determination and team spirit. In the end, the lack of quality was telling. Four losses in the last five league games spelled the end for Cardiff City.
Their weak attack has been the major problem. Cardiff have scored just 32 league goals this season, which is the second-lowest in the league. The lack of a consistent striker has severely dented them. They will go into the last game of the season with a depleted squad. Victor Camarasa injured his thigh against Palace, and he could have played his last game for the club. The Real Betis loanee has impressed this season. United have injury problems as well. The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, and Jesse Lingard are all doubts for the game.
Manchester United vs Cardiff City Prediction
Despite United’s poor form, they will be the favorites in the game. Neither side has been good in the final third recently, and we should see less than 2.5 goals in this one. A narrow home win seems the likely result at Old Trafford on Sunday.
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