Premier League Preview – Manchester United
Almost ten months on from opening day, the Premier League season finally comes to an end as the Eagles bid a fond farewell to a fourth successive campaign in the top flight.
There have been plenty of suggestions that the fixture at Old Trafford means very little for either team but try telling Steve Parish that. While Manchester United have secured a sixth place finish and £28.5million in prize money, Palace can finish as high as eleventh (£19million) in the table or as low as sixteenth (£9.5million) which is a difference of £9.5million. Certainly something worth playing for.
With the hosts firmly looking ahead to their Europa League final date with Ajax just three days after this game, Jose Mourinho will be keen to avoid any further injuries to his already depleted squad. The Portuguese boss has been highly critical of the fixture conjestion as the season winds down which he claims has hindered United’s chances of being triumphant in European competition for the first time in a number of years.
Regardless, he will will not be given an easy ride by Sam Alardyce and his Palace team who will be looking to finish as high up the table as possible after securing safety last week with the demolition of Hull City.
CRYSTAL PALACE – Neither Andros Townsend (achilles), Yohan Cabaye (foot), Mamadou Sakho (knee), Scott Dann (knee), Connor Wickham (knee) or Pape Souare (leg) are expected to feature. James Tomkins (ankle) is a slight doubt.
MANCHESTER UNITED -Marouane Fellaini (hamstring) and Eric Bailly (knock) will both face late fitness tests. Chris Smalling (knock), Ashley Young (hamstring), Luke Shaw (foot), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (shoulder), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee), Marcus Rojo (knee) and James Wilson (knee) will not feature.
The last time these two sides met was at Selhurst Park in December. A goal right at the end of the first half from Paul Pogba put the visitors into the lead but Palace pegged them back with an equaliser scored by James McArthur. Unfortunately, Palace could not hold on for what was looking like a very good point as Zlatan Ibrahimovic popped up in the dying minutes to score the winner.
Who Scored man of the match – Paul Pogba (9.4)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 14/12/2016 – Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester United
- 21/05/2016 Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester United
- 20/04/2016 Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace
- 31/10/2015 Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester United
- 09/05/2015 Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester United
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 14/05/2017 Crystal Palace 4-0 Hull City
- 06/05/2017 Manchester City 5-0 Crystal Palace
- 29/04/2017 Crystal Palace 0-2 Burnley
- 26/04/2017 Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
- 23/04/2017 Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for United;
- 17/05/2017 Southampton 0-0 Manchester United
- 14/05/2017 Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Manchester United
- 11/05/2017 Manchester United 1-1 Celta Vigo
- 07/05/2017 Arsenal 2-0 Manchester United
- 04/05/2017 Celta Vigo 0-1 Manchester United
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Paul Pogba 7.71
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic 7.41
- Wilfried Zaha 7.39
- Christian Benteke 7.37
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Espanyol, Villarreal
Born in Bingerville, Ivory Coast, Bailly’s career begain at the Espanyol youth set up in 2011. He made his professional debut in 2013 for Espanyol B where he made 21 appearances before making his first team debut in 2014. The centre back only made 5 appearances for the first team before moving to Villarreal in 2015 for 5.7million Euros. After just one season with ‘The Yellow Submarine’, United came calling and he signed a four year deal at Old Trafford in exchange for a transfer fee in the region of £30million. While the defender has yet to score a competitive goal, he has appeared for the Ivory Coast 23 times.
Final league position – 6th
Perhaps a disappointing finish in the Premier League in Mourinho’s debut season at Old Trafford but adding the League Cup to the trophy cabinet once again and the potential of a European success, things have not been all that bad for the Red Devils. There is no doubt that the focus will be on a title challenge for next season so the comings and goings at the Manchester club will be worth keeping an eye on.
- TEB prediction – draw
- Who Scored prediction –
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 13/8
- Draw – 23/10
- Away – 7/4
- Both teams to score – 4/6