The FourFourTwo Preview: Cardiff vs Man United
David Moyes made an inauspicious start to his tenure as United manager, with the club winning just two of their opening six league matches.
But the reigning champions have recovered well from that start, and a 1-0 victory over Arsenal before the international break left them just five points adrift of Arsene Wenger's table toppers.
United's form is even more ominous considering the side have amassed 20 points from 11 matches, and have gone on to claim the Premier League title with a lower points tally at the same stage on three occasions.
Ahead of the fixture United have issues in midfield with Michael Carrick ruled out by an Achilles injury and Phil Jones almost certain to sit out with a groin problem.
Those absences could hand an opportunity to Brazilian midfielder Anderson, who will be keen to take the chance should it arise at the Cardiff City Stadium, having been linked with a departure in January recently
Moyes expects to have Nemanja Vidic available after he was withdrawn in the Arsenal fixture with concussion, while Rafael (ankle) and Robin van Persie (toe and groin) will hope to be in contention, but the fixture is likely to come too soon for Danny Welbeck (knee).
Cardiff have not beaten Manchester United since a 3-0 victory in November 1960, although the sides have only met on five occasions since, with the last encounter resulting in a 4-0 home success for United in March 1975.
Malky Mackay will be looking for his side to bounce back from a 2-0 setback to Aston Villa before the international break, as second-half strikes from Leandro Bacuna and Libor Kozak consigned Cardiff to their fifth Premier League defeat.
That result left the Welsh side in 14th position, with 12 points from 11 top-flight fixtures this season.
Mackay welcomes back close-season signing Andreas Cornelius to his squad, with the striker having only featured in two competitive fixtures for the side this season due to an ankle injury sustained in the League Cup against Accrington Stanley in August.
Peter Odemwingie should also shake off a knock picked up in training in time to feature against Moyes' charges.