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Huddersfield Town-Manchester United Preview
Though it expects to be a rather brief one, the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era at Manchester United is off to a good start.
The Red Devils look to make it two in a row under their caretaker manager Wednesday when he makes his Old Trafford return as gaffer against a porous Huddersfield Town side that's trying to avoid a sixth straight defeat.
Days after the sacking of Jose Mourinho and naming of former United star Solskjaer as boss, the Red Devils (8-5-5) ripped Cardiff City 5-1 at Wales on Saturday. Jesse Lingard scored twice and had an assist whilst Paul Pogba, free of Mourinho's wrath, added two assists.
Marcus Rashford scored in the fourth minute, and Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial also had goals for United, who are sixth in the Premier League table, but now eight points out of the coveted top-four positions.
"Football is easy if you've got good players," said Solskjaer, who will remain in charge of United for the rest of the season, after which the club is expected to name a likely more prominent full-time manager.
"They are a great bunch of players and their quality is unbelievable.
"We've caught up eight, nine points before from teams," he told Man United's official website. "We've got Huddersfield (on) Boxing Day. ... We'll look forward."
And the United faithful will look forward to welcoming back Solskjaer, who recorded 126 goals in 366 matches for the club from 1996-2007. He will, too.
"If you have the honour of walking out leading a Man United team out at Old Trafford, you've got to look forward to that," said Solskjaer, who claimed he would like to be considered for the full-time United gig, as reported by Yahoo! Sports, and also, as reported throughout England, may be using legendary club manager Sir Alex Ferguson as a sounding board during his interim stay.
His players will also look forward to Boxing Day, whilst also keeping things in perspective and not getting too caught up within what many feel could be a moment of resurgence for the club.
"A lot of it will be about the legend of Ole coming back to old Trafford," midfielder Ashley Young said of this contest. "But as players we have to concentrate with what happens on the pitch, not off it. This was a crazy week, but as players we concentrate on the pitch."
It's uncertain what Huddersfield's players are thinking about on the pitch, because it doesn't seem to be totally about football. The Terriers went 2-1-0 whilst outscoring their league opponents 4-1 in November, but have been outscored 9-3 during a five-game losing streak this month.
Following four straight one-goal defeats, Huddersfield fell 3-1 at home to resurgent Southampton on Saturday, and sit in the middle of the drop zone.
"This is a tough time at the moment, of course," Huddersfield manager David Wagner said, as reported on the club's official Twitter feed. "We have to make ourselves independent from the circumstances and perform again. We have to show we have learned from (the) lesson (Saturday)."
Last season, these sides met three times, beginning Oct. 21, 2017, when Huddersfield stunned United 2-1 at John Smith's Stadium. Man U, however, posted consecutive 2-0 victories over the Terriers, the latter during the FA Cup.
Updated December 24, 2018