Manchester United will look to bounce back from their 2-2 draw against Wolves as they host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Manchester United came away from Wolves disappointed at not having accumulated three points from the game. They dominated the first half, in contrast to their game against Chelsea. But, a flashy strike from Ruben Neves ensured Wolves continue their streak of not being beaten by Manchester United. United fans though, are likely to be happy at having 4 points from the two games they had lost last season.
Crystal Palace, on the other hand, are in heaps of trouble. Roy Hodgson has seen his side fail to trouble the scorekeepers for two games now, one ending in a positive draw after an encouraging performance against Everton. But, their 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United was an eye-opener that Palace may be in for another season of relegation battle, if things continue to go this way.
The two teams’ summer business was also a heavy contrast. While both have managed to retain arguably their best respective player in Paul Pogba and Wilfried Zaha, respectively, United dug in to improve their backline along with the arrival of a speedy winger in Daniel James. Palace, on the other hand, have not made any statement signings, but the arrivals look mostly like placeholders.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seen another defender added to the injury list. Diogo Dalot is confirmed to be sidelined for a couple of weeks and is expected to return after the international break. The Portuguese full-back joins his fellow defenders Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah on the sidelines.
The backline though, is set in stone, with Luke Shaw also improving his performance from the first game. Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka complete the back four, with David de Gea the last line of defence for Manchester United.
Scott McTominay has made the holding midfield spot his own now and is likely to be preferred again over Nemanja Matic. Paul Pogba hasn’t been in the best of forms, but his presence alone is enough impetus for Manchester United. The Frenchman is a crucial creative outlet and will continue to partner McTominay in the double pivot.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have also locked their places down in attack, with the other two likely to be up for grabs. Daniel James might drop to the bench after an uninspiring first full start for Manchester United against Wolves, making space for Andreas Pereira to come into the lineup. Jesse Lingard should ideally be retained, but Solskjaer could also go for Juan Mata, if he wants more creativity in attack.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Pereira, Lingard, Rashford; Martial
Roy Hogdson only has James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho on the sidelines for the away game at Manchester United. Gary Cahill is likely to make his Crystal Palace debut in central defence after arriving on a free transfer. The former Chelsea star will likely partner Scott Dann at the heart of the Crystal Palace defence.
Patrick van Aanholt and Joel Ward have their respective slots locked in on either side of the centre-back pairing. Vicente Guaita will be expected to be in form, with attacks expected to come in from Manchester United throughout the ninety.
Max Meyer is likely to lose his place on the left side of the midfield four, with Hodgson likely to bring in Jeffrey Schlupp in an attempt to threaten United on counter-attacks with the pace of the former Leicester City star.
The rest of the midfielders should retain their spots, with Luka Milivojevic a crucial presence in the centre of the park. James McArthur will keep his place above summer arrival James McCarthy for now.
Wilfried Zaha will start alongside Christian Benteke, with the duo likely to be tasked with the responsibility of troubling the Manchester United backline.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Guaita; Ward, Cahill, Dann, Van Aanholt; Townsend, McArthur, Milivojevic, Schlupp; Zaha, Benteke
1. Manchester United Clean Sheet – YES @ 1.83
2. Manchester United Asian Handicap – 1.0 @ 1.525
1. Manchester United Asian Handicap – 2.5 @ 3.550
1. Crystal Palace have failed to score at Old Trafford in the last six Premier League games.
2. Manchester United are undefeated against Crystal Palace in their last 22 league matches.
3. Crystal Palace have been unable to beat Manchester United in the Premier League era (20 games), the longest any side has gone without a victory against a particular team.
4. Crystal Palace have gone goalless for the first two games thrice now in four seasons.
5. Anthony Martial could join an esteemed group of Manchester United legends in the form of Wayne Rooney, Dwight Yorke and Ruud van Nistelrooy if he scores against Crystal Palace by becoming only the fourth United star to score in each of the first three games of a Premier League season.
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The Manchester United star has been subject to a host of abuses and racist comments on social media from all over the world after his costly penalty miss against Wolves. The teammates have come out in force to defend him and fire back at the racism against the Frenchman.
But, it will be down to Pogba to show he has the will to recover from the penalty miss and the abuses to put in a masterclass of a display against Crystal Palace. Up at Old Trafford, Pogba is likely to be showered with a lot of support and it will be up to the midfielder to respond.
Manchester United 4-0 Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace have started the season in very poor form and it doesn’t seem like it is going to get better anytime soon. Manchester United aim to make Old Trafford a fortress once again, having kept a clean sheet against Chelsea and will be odds-on to do so against a misfiring Crystal Palace as well.
Zaha is a handful, but Manchester United have the tools to handle attackers now, especially after the addition of Wan-Bissaka and Maguire. Expect Martial and Rashford to continue their sizzling chemistry up top for Manchester United. A comfortable win for Manchester United is what we are going for. If Crystal Palace are not careful, the scoreline could get embarrassing.