Who: Manchester United vs Crystal Palace
When: Saturday, August 24th @ 10:00 am ET on NBC Sports
Where: The Etihad
Line: Manchester United -278 | Draw +400 | Crystal Palace +800
After flying high for about a week, Manchester United crashed into reality when Wolves bit back in a frustrating draw in the Monday Premier League fixture. Well, there goes their chances of winning the league! In all seriousness, they had the chance to win but Paul Pogba’s penalty miss has been making the rounds since.
United struggled to create many chances against the rigid Wolves side, but now aim to use Crystal Palace as their punching bag. Roy Hodgson is walking on thin ice after failing to win/score a goal so far. With former devil Wilfried Zaha aiming to make a statement, the match won’t be the easiest for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. However, they still look more confident than last season and should put on a wonderful show for Old Trafford.
Manchester United Likely XI:
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Pogba, James, Pereira, Rashford, Martial.
Despite the setback at Wolves, OGS shouldn’t really make many changes to the team which looks set together nicely. Jesse Lingard should, for me, be dropped after a toothless outing at Wolves, as perhaps Andreas Pereira will get another chance to shine. Fred, as well as Diogo Dalot, could return to the bench after being absent for two weeks.
Crystal Palace Likely XI:
Guiata, Ward, Kelly, Dann, Van Aanholt, Townsend, McArthur, Milivojevic, Meyer, Zaha, Ayew.
Hodgson could be forced to make a couple of changes to hold his own at Old Trafford, as the more mobile Jordan Ayew, I think, should come in for the wasteful Christian Benteke to lead the line for his side. Gary Cahill will need to wait for his Palace debut, while defender James Tomkins is still on the sidelines nursing an injury.
Manchester United vs Crystal Palace preview
When questions were raised from United against Wolves, they failed to really come up with concrete answers. However, they’ll aim to continue their fine run at Old Trafford by picking up another resounding victory. Crystal Palace might be in a tough place right now, but have enough quality to cause an upset on any given day, which is enough reason for the Red Devils to be cautious.
Despite all their frailties being exposed at Wolves, United seems to have found back their dominant form and controlled proceedings at the Molineux. Ole’s side looks more menacing going forward thanks to the pace inlued by Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Paul Pogba also looks more comfortable dictating play from deep, while also being allowed to contribute defensively.
With his robust system, United are less exposed to attacking pressure. Even though Aaron Wan-Bissaka along with Harry Maguire have added two-folds protective layers in their backline with their stellar defensive work. As AWB plays against the side which moulded him into this superstar, he’ll aim to put in his third MOTM-candidate performance against former team-mate Zaha.
The visitors, meanwhile, would hope that Lady Luck shines brightly on them to give them a freak win to get their season in shape once again. Roy Hodgson’s quickly becoming a favorite to be the first sacked manager of the Premier League season, but a poor summer transfer window hindered his side’s chances. He’ll hope Zaha, Andros Townsend and co can destabilize United’s defence and for his backline to be ready for the onslaught that’s coming.
With a tough September ahead, United need to win this one convincingly and I think should get a compelling 2-0 win to get their momentum back on track.