REPORTS & PREVIEWS

27/01/2014 20:28, Report by Nathan Thomas
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Preview: Cardiff

Last meeting: The teams last faced off back in November in what was a frustrating affair for the Reds. Having taken the lead through Wayne Rooney on 15 minutes, the champions were pegged back by former United man Frazier Campbell. Patrice Evra restored United’s advantage before a last-minute header by Kim Bo-Kyung denied the Reds what would have been an important win.

Betting: Unsurprisingly, United are firm favourites to take the spoils in this encounter with the club's official betting partner bwin placing the Reds at 1.25 with Cardiff coming in at 12.00 and the draw being 5.50. If you think new boy Juan Mata might cap a potential debut with a goal, then why not take a punt? He’s priced at 6.00 to score the opener.

Sub-plot: Tuesday’s game will be a case of welcoming the old and the new to Old Trafford. Cardiff City manager and United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will return to the Theatre of Dreams nearly four years after leaving his post as the Reds' reserve-team coach. However, the star of the show is now likely to be Juan Mata who could make his debut for the champions either as a starter or from the bench. United fans will be looking forward to seeing what the new man can do.

The manager: The aforementioned Solskjaer is now at the helm of Cardiff City after the recent sacking of Malky Mackay and will be looking to cause a big upset against his former club. The former United striker previously spent three successful years in charge of Norwegian club Molde FK, during which he secured the club’s first league titles in their history.

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