Norwich City vs. Manchester United Odds, Prediction, Preview: The Prop to Bet Saturday
Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images. Pictured: Ralf Rangnick.
- Manchester United is a huge favorite over lowly Norwich City on Saturday morning in Premier League action.
- Anthony Dabbundo is taking a unique angle, banking on both teams to find the back of net.
- Get his full Man United vs. Norwich pick and preview below.
Norwich City vs. Man United Odds
|Norwich City Odds||+650|
|Man United Odds||-235|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-140 / +115)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 12:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||NBC | fuboTV | Peacock Premium|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Manchester United won its first match under new manager Ralf Rangnick, defeating Crystal Palace 1-0 at home after a golazo from Fred from outside the penalty area. The Red Devils now hit the road to take on Norwich City, the 20th-ranked club in the Premier League on Saturday.
United is unbeaten in five matches since the firing of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with three wins and clean sheets in the process. It isn’t the only club with a relatively new manager in this match, however.
Aston Villa fired Dean Smith heading into the November international break, and Norwich City immediately hired him to replace Daniel Farke. In four matches under Smith, the Canaries have one win, two draws and a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
The performances have been improved, though, as Norwich had a positive expected goal difference over those four matches and deserved a better result and scoreline from the matches against Wolves and Spurs.
Norwich City Showing Promise Under Smith
No team in the entire Premier League has underperformed expected goals in attack more than Norwich City, and that’s part of the reason they have the worst goal difference in the league and sit bottom of the league.
Compare the Norwich attack to Burnley and Newcastle, the other two teams in the relegation zone. All three teams have created 14.3 or 14.4 expected goals this season, but the Canaries have only scored eight compared to 14 for Burnley and 17 for Newcastle.
That kind of variance tends to even out in the long term and the benching of American winger Josh Sargent — a main culprit of underperformance — could help the Canaries change course.
The insertion of 20-year old Adam Idah seemed to liven up the Canaries attack against Tottenham last week, except Idah couldn’t finish when he was given a huge scoring chance right in front of goal. The Canaries completed three crosses and 10 passes into the penalty area, the second-highest total of box pass entries of the season.
The Canaries don’t have the talent to stay in the league at the current moment, especially given the hole they’ve already dug themselves. Adding young Billy Gilmour to the midfield has improved the Canaries’ ability to retain the ball against pressure, which will be important against United’s new press under Rangnick.
The two highest passing completion percentage matches of the season came in the last two weeks for the Canaries and that’s how they’ll be able to attack a still vulnerable United defense to find a goal.
How Real is United’s Defensive Improvement?
Rangnick has a clear plan of how he likes to build his teams. He wants to instill a defensive press first and foremost, one that looks more like Ralph Hassenhuttl and Southampton than Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.
United’s defense has been a major weakness at this point in the season — the Red Devils rank 14th in non-penalty xGA per 90 — and Rangnick needs to start there before United can challenge for, and ultimately secure, a top-four finish.
You can expect United’s passes per defensive action to improve as the pressing intensity increases. It likely means more Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford to aid with ball progression and chance creation, and it also could mean more Donny van de Beek in the midfield.
Rangnick has a ton of options that he can choose to piece together his starting XI, but it doesn’t change that his top two center backs have been out of form of late.
Form is temporary, but both Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have struggled recently. United still allowed 2.9 xGA to Chelsea, 1.5 xGA to Arsenal and 0.9 xGA to Crystal Palace. The United defense is getting a lot of respect in the market given expected improvement, but it’s going to take some time before we truly see it.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The market is pricing in an expected Rangnick bump here, especially in defense. I’m expecting United to make significant improvements defensively in the next month, but the price here is still showing quite a bit of respect on the road, even against the worst attack in the league.
Until United shows it can consistently keep clean sheets, especially away from home, I’m going to look to play against its defense when overvalued as a favorite.
My projections have both teams to score at -134 odds. Even if you expect some improvement from the Red Devils, they can win this game and still cash BTTS tickets.
Pick: Both Teams to Score — Yes (-120)
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