|Wayne Rooney during a training session
London: Manchester United will aim to end a tumultuous week with victory over relegation-haunted Norwich on Saturday in what will be Ryan Giggs’s debut as manager.
The evergreen Welshman was put in charge for the final four games of the season following Tuesday’s sacking of David Moyes.
Norwich, who are one place above the drop zone, could probably not have picked a worse time to visit Old Trafford where a backlash is expected now the shackles are off in the wake of Moyes’s troubled 10-month reign.
Giggs, who has made 962 appearances and won 23 major trophies during a 24-year career with the club, will be determined to end a Premier League season of unwanted records, fly-by protests and humiliating defeats on a high with a positive return from the club’s remaining four matches.
With Champions League qualification out of their reach, the 40-year-old cannot undo the damage done throughout the Moyes tenure, but can salvage pride and re-enthuse fans if he delivers on his promise of “going back to playing like Manchester United”, made during his first training session in charge.
His opposite number this weekend has only 15 more days of senior managerial experience, with Neil Adams yet to pick up a point since taking the hot seat following the sacking of Chris Hughton.
Good performances in defeats to Fulham and Liverpool mean nothing to the Canaries at this stage of the season as they hover perilously above the drop zone with United, Chelsea and Arsenal still to play.
They could be in the bottom three by the time they kick-off at Old Trafford, with Fulham having the opportunity to wipe out their two point cushion when they host Hull City in the afternoon.
Giggs is unlikely to name himself in the United squad, and will probably look to inject some more pace into an attack that has been pedestrian at times this campaign. Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck could be selected on the wings, with Juan Mata playing in behind Wayne Rooney.
Robin van Persie and Rafael remain injured for the soon-to-be dethroned champions, while Patrice Evra is also a doubt and may not be risked, allowing Alexander Buttner a rare start at left-back.
Norwich have lost their last four top-flight matches, and their last three meetings with United.
In another match of the day, Fulham, who are second from bottom, have a gilt-edged opportunity to climb out of the bottom three if they beat Hull City on Saturday.
Champions League-chasing Everton will be without veteran French defender Sylvain Distin for their match against Southampton due to a hamstring injury.
The 36-year-old centre-back was substituted at halftime in the 2-0 home win over United last Sunday and manager Roberto Martinez said that the player would not be available for the trip south.
“It’s a little bit too early to know how long he is going to be out,” said the Spaniard. “It’s a soft tissue injury with his hamstring and I do feel in a few days we will have a clearer idea of whether he is going to be available before the season ends.”
West Ham are 12th in the league, seven points clear of the drop zone, and play 16th-placed West Brom in another match of the day with a draw likely to be enough to secure their Premier League status.