Mata can emulate the Man Utd debuts of Scholes, Giggs and Keane
For a player out of favour at his club, Juan Mata still somewhat remarkably racked up 17 appearances for Chelsea this season, with his only goal coming in the Capital One Cup.
This could be a good omen for Manchester United, as Mata prepares to make his Manchester United debut when Cardiff visit Old Trafford and supporters will be hoping that he can mirror some early appearances from the club’s other legendary midfielders of the Premier League era.
Roy Keane scored twice in his first Man Utd game at Old Trafford in a 3-0 win over Sheffield United, Ryan Giggs was credited with the goal in his full debut in a Manchester derby and Paul Scholes struck twice against Port Vale in the League Cup on his debut.
Scholes also went on to score in his first league appearance for the Red Devils.
Mata has been given the number eight shirt at Man Utd following Anderson’s departure and this could also be significant, as this was Wayne Rooney’s shirt number when he first joined from Everton and everyone remembers his debut.
Rooney helped himself to a hat-trick against Fenerbahce in the Champions League on his first Man Utd start and the questions are whether Mata will firstly, start against Cardiff and secondly, score on his debut?
Coral are offering the top price that Mata opens the scoring against Cardiff at 7/1 and the best industry odds of 2/1 that the Spaniard nets at any time in the 90 minutes.
It is worth remembering that Mata was on target on his Chelsea debut in a 3-1 Stamford Bridge success against Norwich, where he struck in injury time after coming on as a second-half substitute.
Alternatively, it is 11/1 that Mata follows Scholes and Keane by scoring twice or more and 40/1 that he emulates Rooney with a three-goal debut and the match ball.
Furthermore, he is no stranger to scoring at Old Trafford, having done so only last season in a 1-0 Chelsea victory.
Despite his 20 goals for Chelsea in all competitions last season, it is Mata’s fondness of assisting others that have made him so sought after.
Nine teams have scored more Premier League goals on their own patch than Man Utd this season and their three blanks at Old Trafford is already the most since the 2004/05 campaign.
Man Utd’s odds to beat Cardiff are 1/4.