Everything you need to know about Norwich City
Time may be running out for Norwich City to save their Premier League status, but the Canaries have somewhat flown under the radar to reach the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup.
Optimism was high around Carrow Road 12 months ago, as Daniel Farke's side were promoted back to the top table of English football as victors of the 2018/19 Championship. However, the Canaries look destined to head straight back down, as they occupy last place in the Premier League.
However, while securing their top-flight status looks a tall order, hope can be salvaged in their run to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, with the Canaries knocking out two top division opponents, both away from home, to make it to the last eight of the competition.
So, ahead of Norwich v United, here's all you need to know about Saturday's opponents...
The suspension of football has been a blessing in disguise for Farke, whose squad has been strengthened by a number of players returning from long-term injuries. However, Grant Hanley, Christoph Zimmermann and Sam Byram will all miss the remainder of the campaign with thigh problems.
Marco Stiepermann was on the bench for the Canaries' midweek match against Everton after testing positive for coronavirus earlier this month, The likes of Teemu Pukki, Emi Buendia, Todd Cantwell and Tom Trybull were substitutes for the visit of the Toffees, which perhaps hints at their potential involvement from the beginning on Saturday.
Prior to lockdown, Norwich had given their fans cause for optimism. The Canaries had picked up two encouraging wins; one against Champions League hopefuls Leicester City and another in the FA Cup against Tottenham, on penalties after a 1-1 draw. The result against the Foxes in particular had moved our hosts to within four points of safety.
However, the first two games of Norwich's restarted campaign have moved them ever closer to the relegation trap door, with back-to-back home defeats to Southampton and, most recently, Everton, leaving the Canaries six points adrift with seven games to play. In the Premier League era, no team with 21 points or fewer after their 30th match of a season has survived the drop.
In the FA Cup, Norwich comfortably beat Championship play-off chasing Preston North End at Deepdale in the third round, before an away win against Burnley in round four. After initially going behind against Tottenham, the Canaries restored parity and managed to edge their way through in a dramatic penalty shootout.
OUR RECORD AGAINST NORWICH
United's first-ever meeting with Norwich City came in the FA Cup back in 1906, and Saturday's match will be sixth time that we have met the Canaries in the competition. The most recent FA Cup clash came in a year that we won the tournament, 1994, as Roy Keane and Eric Cantona got on the scoresheet in a 2-0 fourth-round win at Carrow Road.
Norfolk has been a happy hunting ground for the Reds in recent times, with us bringing home the win in 10 of our last 12 visits, with the only two defeats coming in 2005 and 2012.
This will be United's 13th FA Cup quarter-final since the turn of the century, seven of which have come in the last 10 years. As for the hosts, this is the furthest they have got in the competition since 1992.
Daniel Farke is one of four Germans to manage a Premier League side, after Felix Magath (Fulham), Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) and Jan Siewert (Huddersfield Town). Farke arrived at Carrow Road in the summer of 2017 from Borussia Dortmund's Reserve side and, although his first campaign in the Championship saw our hosts finish 14th, the following campaign saw them go up as champions, playing free-flowing, attacking football along the way.
That philosophy followed the Canaries to the top flight, and they initially hit the ground running. Top scorer Teemu Pukki netted a hat-trick against Newcastle United and picked up August's Player of the Month prize. Farke's team also managed to claim one of the scalps of the season so far, as Norwich defeated Manchester City 3-2 in September 2019.
The 43-year old, who was a striker in his playing days, cut his managerial teeth at SV Lippstadt 08, before joining Dortmund II in 2015, where he spent two years.
ONES TO WATCH
It was a surprise to see top scorers Pukki and Todd Cantwell on the bench for Norwich's narrow defeat to Everton on Wednesday. The duo have contributed 17 of the side's 25 league goals this term and the goal-shy Canaries did lack a goal threat until Farke brought his creative outlets onto the pitch in the 71st and 87th minutes respectively.
At the other end of the pitch, Norwich's Tim Krul was in hot form when he faced the Reds at Carrow Road back in October. In what was a 3-1 win for United, Krul managed to save two United penalties, from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.
The Dutchman has kept five clean sheets in the Premier League and helped Norwich reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, following an inspired series of saves in their fifth-round shootout against Tottenham.