Manchester United host Crystal Palace on Saturday evening, the Red Devils looking to make a positive start to their Premier League campaign.
Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s clash at Old Trafford:
Expectations for season and team news
Manchester United: n/a
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are yet to play so far this season having been given an extended break from competitive action due to their European exploits last month.
With extra time off there were hopes that it would allow the club to make some much needed additions in time for the clash with Palace, yet so far it would seem that former Ajax midfielder Donny Van de Beek is likely to be the only new face who’ll be taking to the Old Trafford turf.
Having secured an unlikely third place finish last season, United’s next ambition will be to potentially close the gap on the dominant top two of Manchester City and Liverpool, although with such limited recruitment any such improvements look slim.
As for Saturday’s fixture, United are likely to be without long-term absentee Phil Jones, while midfielder Paul Pogba remains a doubt having only recently returned to training after testing positive for coronavirus last month.
How did Crystal Palace get on on opening weekend?
The Eagles began their Premier League campaign with an impressive 1-0 over Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton, ‘keeper Vicente Guaita putting in a remarkable performance to keep Danny Ings and co at bay.
Roy Hodgson’s men took an early lead through wantaway winger Wilfried Zaha, the Ivorian international opening his account for the season having struggled for any sort of form last term.
While the trip to Old Trafford will be a much tougher prospect, the away side will no doubt be buoyed by their 2-1 win at the Theatre of Dreams last season – a game which saw Jordan Ayew secure a stoppage time winner.
The visitors will, however, have to make do without a number of first team stars due to injury, with the likes of Christian Benteke, Nathan Ferguson, Gary Cahill and Patrick Van Aanholt all likely to be absent, as well as Connor Wickham, James Tomkins and former Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho.
Last Meeting – Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester United, 16 July 2020
The two sides last meeting saw United claim a VAR-aided win despite a shoddy performance, the destructive duo of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial grabbing a goal apiece.
The hosts were left frustrated, however, following a tight offside call which ruled out a second-half Ayew effort, while former United man Zaha was also displeased as a legitimate claim for a penalty was waved away during the first-half.
Despite not being quite at their best towards the latter stages of the season, the Red Devils would go on to secure Champions League football, while Palace would register just one point in their final eight fixtures.
Predicted Line ups
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; Fernandes, Matic, Van de Beek; Greenwood, Martial, Rashford.
Crystal Palace: Guaita; Ward, Kouyate, Dann, Mitchell; Zaha, McCarthy, McArthur, Townsend; Schlupp, Ayew
Who is the referee?
How can I watch?
UK and Irish Readers can watch on Sky Sports Premier League.
What time is kick off?
Man Utd 1/4
Crystal Palace 9/1