Premier League Preview – Manchester United
As we find it difficult to recall the last time Palace played a Premier League game on a Saturday, the next to visit Selhurst Park are Manchester United.
With the television cameras firmly fixed on this Monday night match up, few will be betting against Jose Mourinho and his men to get anything less than a win as they bid to return to second on the table.
Success against United has been very few and far between, the last win was in the League Cup at Old Trafford all the way back in 2011 when Darren Ambrose scored THAT goal. The last league win was at Selhurst in May 1991 when Ian Wright put Palace into an early lead and John Salako adding a double in the second half. They are just two of seven wins against United in 52 meetings.
Many will consider this a ‘free hit’ but Roy Hogdson will be all too well aware that with the current run of fixtures being difficult, the Eagles must pick up points from somewhere before heading in the final six games. The club dropped into the relegation zone following a big win for Swansea City against West Ham United on Saturday.
With what has been a horrific injury list hampering the starting eleven in recent weeks, there are signs that it will ease in the coming games with one or two players becoming available for selection once again. However, fans are already banking their hopes on an upturn in form once Wilfried Zaha returns from injury, and perhaps they are right in thinking that he will be the catalyst for the side to pick up enough points for survival come the end of the season.
TEAM NEWS (courtesy of Physio Room)
CRYSTAL PALACE – Yohan Cabaye (abductor strain), Joel Ward (muscle) and Martin Kelly (hamstring) are major doubts. Mamadou Sakho (calf), Wilfried Zaha (knee), Julian Speroni (knee), Bakary Sako (ankle), Jeffrey Schlupp (knee), Scott Dann (knee), Jason Puncheon (knee), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (ankle) and Connor Wickham (knee) are not available. James Tomkins (cramp) should be fit to start.
MANCHESTER UNITED – Ander Herrera (hamstring), Marcus Rojo (knock), Phil Jones (knock), Marouane Fellani (knee), Danny Blind (ankle), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee) are all unavailable.
The last time the two sides met at Selhurst Park, the visitors returned to Manchester with all three points. French international Paul Pogba put the Red Devils into the lead at the end of the first half but James McArthur deservedly levelled for the Eagles. With the hosts looking good for a point, the enigmatic Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the winner in the dying minutes.
Who Scored man of the match – Paul Pogba (9.4)
Last FIVE meetings between the two sides;
- 30/09/2017 Manchester United 4-0 Crystal Palace
- 21/05/2017 Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace
- 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
Last FIVE results for Palace;
- 25/02/2018 Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham Hotsur
- 10/02/2018 Everton 3-1 Crystal Palace
- 04/02/2018 Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United
- 30/01/2018 West Ham United 1-1 Crystal Palace
- 20/01/2018 Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace
Last FIVE results for United;
- 25/02/2018 Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea
- 21/02/2018 Sevilla 0-0 Manchester United
- 17/02/2018 Huddersfield Town 0-2 Manchester United
- 11/02/2018 Newcastle United 1-0 Manchester United
- 03/02/2018 Manchester United 2-0 Huddersfield Town
FORM PLAYERS (courtesy of Who Scored)
Top two rated players from each team so far this season;
- Paul Pogba 7.52
- Romelu Lukaku 7.33
- James Tomkins 7.22
- Wilfried Zaha 7.17
ONE TO WATCH
Former clubs – Caribe Junior, El Nacional, Villarreal, Recreativo (loan), Wigan Athletic
Born in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, the 32 year old began his career with Caribe Junior before moving to El Nacional in 2001. Valencia made his professional debut for the club in 2003 and went on to make a little under a century of appearances before signing for Villareal in La Liga in 2005. The move was not a success and after loan spells at Recreativo and Wigan, he signed for the English club permanently in 2008. United came calling in 2009 where he signed a four year deal for a transfer fee believed to be in the region of £16million.
To date he has made almost a century of international appearances for his country after making his debut in 2004.
Final league position – 2nd
Jose Mourinho and his United side have gone quietly about their business this season. They have not been particularly extravagant but if it was not for their close neighbours running away with the title, they would most likely have been in with a chance. Regardless, the improvement to see the club return to be challengers on several fronts will be pleasing for the fans but with all their past success, progress must continue towards a real title challenger next season.
- TEB prediction – draw
- Who Scored prediction – away win
BETTING ODDS (courtesy of Paddy Power)
- Home – 11/2
- Draw – 3/1
- Away – 1/2
- Both teams to score – 11/10