|Image from The United Devils|
Teams: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United
Date: Thursday 16th July 2020
KO Time: 20:15 BST
Stadium: Selhurst Park
Managers: Roy Hodgson and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Referee: Graham Scott
This week the preview is rather less upbeat than those from weeks past, as Manchester United fans need to pick themselves up after the late disappointment of the Premier League draw with Southampton. Conceding a late goal is always tough for fans and players alike, and it’s something that Manchester United have inflicted on a lot of opposition teams, so it’s a bitter taste of our own medicine. Nonetheless, we still look forward to the Crystal Palace game with confidence and our 18-match unbeaten streak still intact. United fans are confident of a win to pick our spirits back up and continue our chase for a Champions League spot.
For Crystal Palace, they have received a boost in that Jeffrey Schlupp has returned to training, along with James Tomkins, but neither are unlikely to start. Martin Kelly was in the squad against Aston Villa, but didn’t make it onto the pitch, and Hodgson said he would like to keep the former Liverpool man on rest for longer. Hodgson mentioned that he could start, but only if they were really desperate.
Manchester United lined up against Southampton with the same team for the fifth time in a row, the first time we did that since 1993. What followed was,a deflated performance from our boys, as fatigue it seems so many Premier League games in a row took it’s toll perhaps as United looked sluggish despite overall, performing well sicne the restart. Manchester United did pick up two injury worries in Luke Shaw and his fellow left back Brandon Williams, who had an ankle and eye injury respectively. Solskjaer said that they were still doubts for the game, with neither player training on Tuesday. Other than that, there are no injury worries for United’s team, Diogo Dalot could perhaps take the field.
- Despite losing the game against Crystal Palace at the start of the Premier League season, United have not lost at Selhurst Park since May 1991.
- Of the current players to play for Manchester United, only Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard have scored against Crystal Palace
- Juan Mata enjoys scoring against Palace, having done it 4 times in his career, his joint-most against any team he’s scored for United including in the FA Cup Final win in 2016
- Manchester United have not kept a clean sheet at Selhurst Park since 2015 in a 0-0 draw
As I mentioned previously, United looked a little lacklustre against Southampton on Sunday, so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may want to change things a little for the Premier League game against Crystal Palace. Something else that may be on his mind will be the FA Cup Semi-Final against Chelsea on Sunday, where he will want his best XI to be fit. At left-back, if neither Shaw or Williams are fit, we could see Dalot fill in for him on that left-hand side.
In the midfield, Fred could come in to freshen things up a bit, whilst McTominay could also see a start. Up front, we may see Daniel James coming in to rest one of our fantastic front three, whilst Odion Ighalo could make his first Premier League start.
Predicted Team: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Dalot, Fred, McTominay, Fernandes, James, Rashford, Ighalo
As for the score, I expect Manchester United to pick up where they left off last week against Aston Villa, than from Sunday. A fresh lineup, where the players know that they will have to perform well to outplace one of our first XI players, could force the ones coming in to up their game. I think it will be a tough game, despite the fact that Hodgson’s team are on a poor run of form, but I believe in Solskjaer and the team to get a result and keep our push on.
Predicted Score: 2-1 to United