The Red Devils’ clash against the already-relegated Bluebirds is a relative dead rubber, although Manchester United will at least be hoping to earn a win to try and finish fifth.
That would secure them automatic passage to next season’s Europa League group stages and will definitely see them avoid having to face a qualifier which would require them to face a first leg clash in late July if Watford beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final.
To claim a fifth-placed finish, United need to beat Cardiff and hope Arsenal drop points to Burnley at Turf Moor. Man City winning the FA Cup would also see them avoid the need for a qualifying campaign.
Having picked up just eight points from their last eight games to end the season, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could look to restore some good feeling by offering game-time to the club’s next generation of stars.
Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood, James Garner and Angel Gomes are all in the Norwegian’s match-day squad.
Chong has made a handful of appearances since his first-team bow against Reading in the FA Cup in January including coming off the bench in the draw at Huddersfield last weekend and almost scoring.
Fellow academy graduates Garner and Greenwood were both on the bench for the first time in defeat to Valencia under Jose Mourinho back in December and have also made debuts from the bench under Solskjaer.
Garner played away at Crystal Palace in February while Greenwood came off the bench in the dramatic Champions League win away at Paris Saint-Germain the next month, also facing Arsenal and West Ham since then.
Meanwhile Gomes made his debut as a 16-year-old two years ago in the club’s final game of the season against Crystal Palace and under Solskjaer faced Huddersfield back on Boxing Day.
The clash with Cardiff will act as a farewell for two players, with club captain Antonio Valencia departing Old Trafford after 10 years at the end of his contract. He is expected to play a part by making his first appearance since January.
Midfielder Ander Herrera also confirmed yesterday that he will not be staying on beyond the expiry of his deal next month after joining United from Athletic Bilbao in 2014.
But it appears he will not be given a chance to say farewell to the club.
Herrera was not among the players to get off the team coach at the Lowry Hotel last night.
On his squad, Solskjaer said earlier on in the day: “It might be the last game [for some players] but it might be the start of some careers as well. We’ve had some young players knocking on the door all season really and we’ll start with one or two of the kids as well.
“Ander might play, I don’t know yet. We haven’t picked the team and he’s probably going to announce himself later on where he’s going to continue his football.”
Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian, Eric Bailly and Alexis Sanchez were all missing from United’s squad meet-up on Saturday evening.