It is essentially a game of top versus bottom as Manchester United host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
- Manchester United v Crystal Palace
- Old Trafford
- Premier League
- Saturday 30th September
- Kick off – 15:00 BST
The two teams could go in this fixture in any more contrasting form if they tried. For the hosts, Manchester United, they come into the game level on points with league leaders Manchester City, only with a marginally inferior goal difference thanks to City’s demolition of Crystal Palace last week. United come into this having scored 17 goals in the Premier League so far, as well as a further seven in their two Champions League fixtures.
As for Crystal Palace, they couldn’t come into this game in any worse form. Their record stands at six games, six defeats, 13 goals conceded, no goals scored, and one manager sacked. They were battered 5-0 last week when they also travelled to Manchester to face Man City, and face the prospect of Chelsea next weekend too just to add to their misery.
Manchester United could be without seven first team players for this game as a mini injury crisis strikes Jose Mourinho’s side. Paul Pogba has been ruled out ‘long term’, while Marcos Rojo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Michael Carrick are also out. Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, are doubts while Mourinho says he is hopeful that Marouane Fellaini could be involved after a knock last week. Anthony Martial also picked up a knock against CSKA but should be fit.
Crystal Palace’s lack of goals has not been helped as Christian Benteke has been ruled out for the Eagles, leaving new boss Roy Hodgson short on striking options. Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also out, as is long term absentees Connor Wickham and Wilfred Zaha. James Tomkins is sick while Tim Fosu-Mensah is also unavailable to face his parent club.
Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw; Matic, Herrera; Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford; Lukaku.
Crystal Palace: Hennessy; Ward, Dann, Sakho, van Aanholt; Milivojevic, Cabaye; Townsend, Sako, Schlupp; Ladapo.
It’s hard to see past a Manchester United victory in this one. United should have too much quality for the League’s bottom side, although their midweek Champions League fixture in Moscow should mean that Crystal Palace will be fresher than the hosts.
Roy Hodgson’s side caused Manchester City a few problems last week before completely collapsing, and after a week of likely defensive drills, Palace may be difficult to break down. However, we anticipate a 2-0 victory for Jose Mourinho’s men.