Form guide: Four defeats including the recent 3-1 reverse at Chelsea, compounded by a penalty shoot-out exit in the Capital One Cup against Sunderland only two days later, has made it a tough start to the year for Manchester United. However, David Moyes and his players will be buoyed by the new signing of Juan Mata and will be looking to secure an important victory at Old Trafford against Cardiff. Rooted to the foot of the Barclays Premier League and in desperate need of points, the Bluebirds will not be relishing the tough trip to M16. The Welsh outfit have lost their last two league games against West Ham and Manchester City but will have been given a boost by their away wins over Bolton Wanderers and especially Newcastle United in the FA Cup.
Ins and outs: Michael Carrick looks set to miss this encounter after sustaining an ankle injury against Sunderland and Nani is still sidelined with a hamstring problem. However, United could welcome back Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Marouane Fellaini after the trio trained on Monday. Despite Cardiff’s lowly placing in the league table, they at least have an almost fully fit squad to call upon for Tuesday evening’s testing clash. Andrew Taylor is their only absentee - the defender is out with an ankle knock.