Man Utd vs Huddersfield preview: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get hero's welcome on home bow
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Last Updated: 26/12/18 7:30am
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be given a hero's welcome before his first home game in charge of Manchester United against Huddersfield on Boxing Day.
Solskjaer got off to a winning start on Saturday with a 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff in south Wales, the first time United have scored five goals since Sir Alex Ferguson's final game in charge.
Chelsea's surprise defeat to Leicester enabled United to close the gap on the top four to seven points ahead of the visit of Huddersfield.
Christmas is for football
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Huddersfield slipped to another home defeat to Southampton on Saturday, meaning they are winless in their last five Premier League games, with manager David Wagner feeling the heat, especially having to face a club lifted by a new managerial appointment.
"It is a tough time, anything else would be a lie," Wagner said. "In general I don't like that managers get sacked, but having to play against teams with a new manager makes it so much harder for us, which is something we do not need at the moment."
Romelu Lukaku looks likely to miss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first home match as caretaker manager. The Belgium international was given time off due to a private matter and missed the trip to Cardiff, where fellow forward Alexis Sanchez was absent through injury.
Defenders Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian were also missing in the Welsh capital, as were full-back Antonio Valencia and midfielder Scott McTominay.
David Wagner is hopeful midfielder Jonathan Hogg will be available for the trip to Old Trafford.
Hogg missed last weekend's loss to Southampton after taking a knock to his knee. Fellow midfielder Rajiv Van La Parra could also return nearly three months after suffering a back injury.
Tommy Smith (hamstring), Aaron Mooy (knee), Danny Williams (knee) and Abdelhamid Sabiri (collarbone) definitely remain sidelined.
- Manchester United have lost just one of their previous 14 games against Huddersfield in all competitions (W10 D3), with that one defeat coming away from home (1-2 in October 2017).
- Huddersfield are looking for their first away win against Manchester United since September 1930, when they won 6-0 in a top-flight clash. They've failed to win any of their last 15 trips in all competitions since then (D5 L10).
- Huddersfield have failed to score in seven of their last 10 games against Manchester United in all competitions, netting just four goals in total in this period.
- Manchester United have never lost a Premier League game at Old Trafford against Yorkshire opposition (W26 D6). The last Yorkshire side to win away against Manchester United in the top-flight were Sheffield Wednesday in April 1986.
- Manchester United haven't lost a home league game on Boxing Day since 1978/79 (0-3 versus Liverpool), winning 14 and drawing three since.
- Manchester United find themselves outside the top five positions of the Premier League on Christmas Day for the third time in six seasons since Alex Ferguson retired (also in 2013-14 and 2016-17). Under Ferguson, United were never outside the top five places on Xmas Day in any of the 21 Premier League seasons.
The change at Man United is not down to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It is the players and it is a joke. You watch them on Saturday, and the difference was pathetic, a joke, embarrassing.
I would be ashamed. All of a sudden Solskjaer is 100 times better than Jose Mourinho as a manager? Come on…. I do not like it.
The players are all running around now, so I am going to go for a 4-0 win here. They are grown-ups and they should have been able to go out and express themselves like at Valencia when they had nothing to play for. It is up to the players in the end….
PAUL PREDICTS: 4-0 (10/1 with Sky Bet)