Sunday English Premier League action features a matchup between Manchester United and Norwich City. The shocking thing about this game is that the two teams are separated by only 3 points on the Premiership table. Norwich City is where they were expected to be–near the bottom of the table in 19th place 2 ahead of last place Watford and one point back of 18th place Southampton and 17th place Newcastle United. The surprise is Manchester United who are in 15th place with 10 points. A win here will get them back up to at least 9th place but at the moment they’re flirting a bit to closely with the relegation zone. It’s highly unlikely, but a Manchester United relegation would be one of the most unfathomable sports stories in history.
Man U heads to Carrow Road off of a 1-0 win in Europa League play over Serbian side Partizan. This was definitely an underwhelming win but the team is now in good shape to advance to the Europa League knockout rounds. Man U is on top of the Group L table with 7 points, Dutch Eredivisie side AZ is in second place with 5 points and Partizan is in third with 4 points. FK Astana out of the Kazakhstan Premier League is at the bottom of the standings with zero points.
Man U needs to advance to the final 32 to give their fans something to mitigate their miserable performance in the Premier League. They’ve been awful on the EPL road going 0-2-2 scoring 2 and conceding 5. The win in Belgrade did break a 6 game regulation winless run in all competitions. It also ended a run of 11 straight away games without a victory. Man U is now winless in 8 straight Premier League away games–the most recent losses came at mid table West Ham United and bottom of the table Newcastle United. Manchester United has won the last two games at Carrow Road as well as 3 of the last 4.
It’s easy to conclude that Man U is the more talented side but teams don’t earn any points for their legacy. This season, they’ve scored a total of 10 goals in EPL play for an average of 1.11 per game. On the road, they’ve got 2 goals for an average of 0.5 per contest. That’s why it’s difficult to buy Manchester United as a favorite here. Norwich is nothing special but they’ve won 2 of their 4 home games in Premiership play this season and have scored 9 goals on their own pitch. If you can’t score you can’t win and Man U simply can’t put balls in the net away from Old Trafford.