Norwich vs. Manchester United: view from the opposition

Anthony Pilkington heads home for Norwich City v Manchester United
Anthony Pilkington scores the winner for Norwich City last season against Manchester United

Manchester United travel to Norwich this afternoon looking to improve further on five back to back wins in all competitions. United lost 1-0 to Norwich last season following a great goal from Anthony Pilkington. Norwich are currently three points above the relegation zone and were subjected to a disappointing defeat to Fulham on Boxing Day after a late Scott Parker winner.

David Moyes travels today without the suspended Antonio Valencia, who received his marching orders late in the 3-2 victory over Hull City and Rafael who pick up a groin injury in the same match. Michael Carrick, could return to the starting lineup for the first time since the 1-0 win over Arsenal back in November.

We caught up with Gary who blogs over at and discussed the in form Gary Hooper, the capital of East Anglia and that Jeremy Goss volley. You can follow Gary on Twitter @LGRGary.

1) How would you sum up the season so far and is Chris Hughton the right man to lead you forward?
I think so, although accept I may now be in the minority. Our season had been the epitome of stop-start – the form away from home (as you witnessed in the Capital One cup) has been dire – and some of the football has been lees than pleasing on the eye. The very loud calls for change seem to reach a crescendo following every defeat and subside after the wins, and so the cycle continues. I’m not convinced change in itself will automatically bring a change in fortune.

2) Where do you think you’ll finish this season?
I still think we’ll be OK although it’s going to get a little hairy at times. A horrific run-in means we need to get points on the board sooner rather than later but I’m confident we can get the job done. I’m plumping for 14th.

3) Gary Hooper has been in great form over the past few weeks. Just how good is he and how many can he get this season?
He’s taken a while to get going but now he’s hit a rich vein of form and has scored on four consecutive league games at home. An old fashioned poacher, he’s capable of getting 12-15 league goals this season.

4) The January transfer window is just around the corner, what areas do you need to strengthen in and what players have been linked to the club?
I think we need a quality centre-back; one who can obviously be as solid as a rock defensively, but who can also pass the ball! Is that too much to ask?!

5) Norwich deservingly beat United 1-0 at Carrow road last season – are you confident history will repeat itself?
Not really. In fact I’m less confident *because* we beat you last season; lightening strikes and all that…

6) What have you made of United since we last met in the league cup? Are United out of the title race? Who is your money on?
I think Moyes will eventually get you there but can’t see it being this season; a little too much ground to make up perhaps. Sorry to say it, but I have an inkling that Citeh will win it.

7) What volley was better, Jeremy Goss against Leeds or Wayne Rooney’s against Hull City on Boxing Day?
Now there’s a leading question if every I heard one! A Rizla paper between them, but I’m (obviously) going for Gossy’s.

8) what have you made of Adnan Januzaj; both talent wise and simulation accusations?
A great talent with a huge future, but he clearly spends too much time in training drooling over Ashley Young.

9) How will you line up and what is your prediction for the game?
Of late we’ve been going 4-4-2 but I’m wondering if Hughton will revert to 4-5-1 today with Hooper as a lone striker. Hopefully Jonny Howson, our best player this season, will return from injury to bolster our midfield.

With the benefit of yellow-tinted spectacles I’m going 2-2.

10) Give us a little known fact about Norwich and we’re is the best pub for travelling fans to have a pint.
Little known fact is we’re the capital of East Anglia (no competition) and the best (and designated) pub for away supporters is the Compleat Angler, near the railway station.

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