Norwich City Vs. Manchester United, 2012 Premier League Week 26: Red Devils Need Win To Keep Pace

Nani of Manchester United battles with Wesley Hoolahan of Norwich City during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Norwich City. They play again on February 26, 2012. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Manchester United are in need of a win at Carrow Road, where Norwich have been good in their first season back in the Premier League.

Following Manchester City's convincing defeat over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, Manchester United are in need of an away win on Sunday to keep pace in the race for the Premier League title. They face a considerably tougher test than City did with Steve Kean's unambitious crew, traveling to Carrow Road to take on Norwich City.

The Canaries sit in eighth place and have all but secured safety, with 35 points from their first 25 games. Given how poor the current bottom three have been as of late, they probably won't even need the magic 40-point number to ensure that they will be playing top-flight football next season.

Norwich pass and keep the ball better than low-budget promoted sides usually do, but they have still found the most success when counter-attacking quickly and directly against opponents who have pushed too far up the pitch. United's back line has been shaky at times this season, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Wes Hoolahan and Grant Holt make an impact.

Rio Ferdinand should start for United after sitting out their Europa League match against Ajax. Tom Cleverley's play is in doubt with an ankle problem, while Wayne Rooney is ill and could be rested. Norwich are without Daniel Ayala, Marc Tierney and Johnny Howson, but American Zac Whitbread will probably return to the 18-man squad after an injury, and could start.

Game Date/Time: Sunday, February 26, 8:30 a.m. ET, 1:30 p.m. local

Venue: Carrow Road, Norwich, England

TV: FOX Soccer Plus

Online: FOXSoccer.tv

For more on the Red Devils, head over to Manchester United blog The Busby Babe.

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