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Manchester United v Norwich City: De Gea eyeing Premier League leaders

David de Gea insists Manchester United are working hard to turn their form around as Norwich City prepare to head to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday.

Louis van Gaal’s side are without a win in their last five games in all competitions and are six points behind table-topping Leicester City following a 2-1 defeat at AFC Bournemouth last weekend.

However, United have been strong on their own turf this season and are yet to be beaten in seven home league matches.

With four fixtures in the space of two weeks approaching, including the visit of Chelsea, goalkeeper De Gea hopes hard work on the training ground pays off. 

“We know that the month of December is always a tough one with a lot of fixtures, and the tiredness can build up, so we need to come out of it at the end with a few good results,” De Gea told United’s official website.

“We’re working on it right now. We’re training hard and we’re preparing well so we can go into those games at our highest level of fitness in order to get through December well-placed near the top of the league.”

Defensive injuries have forced Van Gaal to hand debuts to the likes of Guillermo Varela and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson. United, though, have been formidable at the back this season, conceding just 12 league goals and having kept the most clean sheets in the Premier League with nine. Norwich, by comparison, have kept the fewest (one). 

The emergence of Varela and Borthwick-Jackson excites De Gea and he believes it signals a bright future for the club.

“I think we have a very young side and I think that the youngsters who are coming up through the youth ranks are fitting in really well,” he added.

“They are all good players and after all they represent the future of Manchester United and I reckon that gradually they will become the side of the future and we’re all delighted that they’re with us.”

Norwich have only beaten United twice in the Premier League, though neither of those came at Old Trafford.

Alex Neil’s side have only been victorious once in their last 11 games in all competitions and sit in the relegation zone due to an inferior goal difference to Swansea City.

The Norwich boss will remain without Andre Wisdom (hamstring) and Matt Jarvis (knee) as he looks to end a run of four straight top-flight defeats on the road.

Van Gaal could welcome Wayne Rooney back to the side with the striker’s recovery from an ankle injury that has kept him out since last month’s clash with Leicester nearing completion.

Should he feature at Old Trafford, the captain will become the 10th United player to reach 500 appearances for the club. 

Bastian Schweinsteiger, however, will be suspended, but Chris Smalling (groin), Matteo Darmian (hamstring) and Ander Herrera (hamstring) could return.


Key Opta stats:
– Manchester United have kept six clean sheets in their last seven Premier league games at Old Trafford.
– Norwich City have won just one of their last 19 Premier League away games (W1 D5 L13).
– Old Trafford is the stadium to have seen the fewest goals scored in the Premier League so far this season (10).
– Wes Hoolahan has been involved in more goals in the Premier League this season than any other Norwich City player (seven – two goals, five assists).
– Wayne Rooney has netted three goals and provided three assists in four Premier League games against the Canaries.

Thu 17 Dec, 2015
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