Manchester United vs Crystal Palace Preview

A United debut for Rangnick against hoodoo team Palace

Manchester United host Crystal Palace finally on the back of good form! United are unbeaten in three under interim manager, Michael Carrick. Following the 3-2 win over Arsenal, Carrick stepped down from the United helm and will leave the club of his own volition and leave it in the hands of Ralf Rangnick. Rangnick will take charge of Sunday’s match against an exciting and impressive Crystal Palace side under Patrick Vieira.

Crystal Palace are 11th but have been truly impressive this season. They have already beaten Spurs and City and taken points off Arsenal, West Ham and Leicester. They are not a team to take lightly but are winless in their last three and have lost the last two on the bounce. Albeit the most recent game was lost due to a controversial penalty claim.

Palace have a good record at Old Trafford recently but United should have the bounce a new manager brings along with the form and momentum Carrick restored to the team before his departure. Will United continue December as they started? Here’s all you need to know:

Match Information:

Teams: Manchester United and Crystal Palace
Date: Sunday 5th December 2021
KO Time: 14:00 GMT
Stadium: Old Trafford
Managers: Ralf Rangnick and Patrick Vieira
Referee: Craig Pawson

Team News:

Manchester United

Manchester United are set to be without Pogba, Shaw and Varane again. Varane is back in training but Carrick stated ahead of the match against Arsenal that Varane would not be ready this week and may need another to get back to match fitness. Pogba is certainly out and Luke Shaw is ‘touch and go’ according to Carrick. Cavani is back in training too and may be ready for the bench.

Wan-Bissaka and Matic missed the game against Arsenal but, while the former could be ready for Sunday’s match, the latter is unlikely to be ready. Cristiano Ronaldo came off against Arsenal with what looked like a hamstring injury. He may not be risked for this match with a heavy fixture list ahead.

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace will be without Joel Ward while he serves his one game suspension for 5 yellow cards. Joachim Andersen could miss out as he remains out with a thigh injury. Palace will wait and see whether he will be fit for Sunday. James McArthur and Nathan Ferguson remain out with long-term injuries.

Interesting Facts

  • Manchester United failed to beat Crystal Palace last season and haven’t beaten the Eagles at Old Trafford since a 4-0 win in 2017 (P3 D1 L2). Fellaini scored twice with goals from Mata and Lukaku starting and ending the rout.
  • Of the current team, only Juan Mata has more than one goal against Crystal Palace. He has scored four times against Palace, all in a United shirt.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has only played against Crystal Palace once in a 0-0 draw in 2005.
  • United have kept five clean sheets in their last ten matches with Palace. Although the last two came at Selhurst Park.
  • Bruno Fernandes is one goal off 80 goals for Manchester United. No one has contributed more goals and assists in the Premier League than Fernandes since his arrival in February 2020.

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace Predicted XI:

Manchester United could make a fair few changes on Sunday. They should not take Palace lightly but have to rotate a bit with the turn-around from Thursday. One of Fred and McTominay should make way for Van de Beek while Rashford and Ronaldo are also likely to make way. Rashford played mostly on the right on Sunday and while it allowed Sancho to create and earned Rashford an assist, he didn’t play too well overall and I could see Greenwood returning to the side for the first time since his layoff from COVID-19. This could also be a chance for Lingard to prove himself with his high intensity pressing.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, van de Beek; Lingard, Fernandes, Sancho; Greenwood

Predicted Score:

United will be out of the traps early and look for a quick opener. This could backfire with Palace having plenty of clever, fast forwards on the counter. They have a young and promising midfield and attack with Edouard, Olise, Gallagher and Eze all dangerous players with their talisman, Zaha always a huge threat. Can I see United keeping a clean sheet? It’s unlikely. But will they dazzle and turn the screw on Palace on Rangnick’s debut match.

United to win 4-1

Author: Arjun Handa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *