Manchester United will try to maintain their momentum when they travel to London to take on Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Crystal Palace will host a jubilant Manchester United at Selhurst Park, with the Red Devils redefining their season under the stewardship of Erik ten Hag. Manchester United came back from behind in a 2-1 derby delight against Manchester City, while Crystal Palace had a narrow defeat at the hands of Chelsea.

Crystal Palace have not been fortunate with their recent line of fixtures as they had to face their three London rivals in the span of the last four matches in the top flight. And they have conceded eight goals in the process, losing all three.

The Eagles’ clash with Manchester United was supposed to take place in September. But the passing of Queen Elizabeth II did not allow the game to happen. And the Premier League has even apologised for scheduling the game in the middle of nowhere.

Crystal Palace are closer to the relegation zone than the top six. So ideally, they will want to register as many points as they can from these kinds of games, which could set the tone for the remainder of the season.

For Manchester United, it has been a rollercoaster ride so far. The fixture against the Eagles could not have come at a better time, as the Red Devils will have the opportunity to build on their heroic display against Manchester City.

Erik ten Hag refused to emphasise much on their potential title charge. But the Manchester United boss knows a win can put them two points clear of Manchester City, who will face Tottenham Hotspur a day later. Knowingly or unknowingly, Manchester United seem to be in title contention. And if they somehow manage to grind out a win against the Eagles, Arsenal will be waiting at the Emirates for them.

Team News and Tactics

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace did not come out unscathed in their loss to Chelsea, as Joachim Andersen had to be replaced by James Tomkins in the backline. A further injury update will be due, and it remains to be seen whether he gets to nod.

Patrick Vieira should pick up a strong lineup to stop the Manchester United juggernaut. Vicente Guaita should pick up the spot in the sticks. Andersen’s availability should be subject to his fitness, and he will pair up with Marc Guehi in the defensive setup.

Nathaniel Clyne and Tyrick Mitchell will feature in the two full-back positions. Vieira opted to field a two-man midfield against Chelsea. But to snuff out the danger against Manchester United, he might opt to field a three-man midfield.

Cheick Doucoure, Michael Olise and Will Hughes should feature as the starting midfielders. Eberechi Eze and Jordan Ayew will appear from the flanks, while Wilfried Zaha will be leading the line once again.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Guaita; Clyne, Guehi, Andersen, Mitchell; Hughes, Doucoure, Olise; Eze, Zaha, Ayew

Manchester United

Erik ten Hag has been quite unconventional when it comes to selecting his team. Both discipline and form have been the two foremost criteria for the Manchester United manager, and he will opt for a similar approach against Crystal Palace.

Marcus Rashford appeared to injure himself in the middle of the match but did not want to withdraw and went on to score the winner later in the game. The manager will have a keen watch on his progress. And the 25-year-old could be rested keeping in mind the Arsenal match.

Luke Shaw has been revolutionised into a central defender, but he will have to pave the way for Lisandro Martinez, who has been waiting for his chance since return from the World Cup break. David de Gea has been magnificent for the Red Devils and will be vying for another clean sheet.

Harry Maguire will be restored to the lineup, and he will be assisted by Lisandro Martinez. Aaron Wan-Bissaka should have another chance to command his presence on the right side of the defence, while Shaw should start on the left.

Casemiro’s vital contribution has not really gone unnoticed. And the Brazilian international will be in the midfield alongside counterpart Fred, who will be assisting him in the proceedings.

Bruno Fernandes will reprise his usual number 10 role. Alejandro Garnacho will likely be stationed on the left, and Antony will start on the right flank. January arrival Wout Weghorst is expected to lead the line for Manchester United for the first time.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Fred; Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Garnacho; Weghorst

Key Stats

  • Manchester United have lost three of their last six league games against Crystal Palace (W2 D1), as many as they had in their previous 31 (W22 D6). They lost 1-0 against the Eagles last time out in May but have never lost consecutive league games against them before.
  • Manchester United have lost three of their last five Premier League games in London (W1 D1), as many as they had in their previous 20 visits to the capital (W11 D6). However, they did win their last such game 2-1 at Fulham thanks to a 90th minute winner from Alejandro Garnacho.
  • Crystal Palace have lost their last two home Premier League matches without scoring a goal and shipping seven themselves. They have not lost three in a row at Selhurst Park without scoring since September 2017.
  • Manchester United have won five of their last eight away Premier League games (D1 L2), after losing seven in a row before this. They are looking for three consecutive away league wins for the first time since a 10-game winning run between June and December 2020.
  • Wilfried Zaha has scored three Premier League goals against Manchester United. One more will make him the outright top scorer against them among players to have previously played for the Red Devils in the competition.

Key Player

Alejandro Garnacho

The young winger produced a blistering performance in the Manchester derby, as he laid the assist for Marcus Rashford’s match-winner. Garnacho has been the rage this season and has chipped in with valuable contributions.

He is expected to continue his fine form in the potential absence of Rashford on the left flank. Amid rising interest from clubs in Spain, Garnacho will be eager to continue making his mark. Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag and Manchester United will be eager to tie him to a new contract.


Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester United

Manchester United’s recent performance should lay them a comfortable path against Crystal Palace, who have struggled to get their things in line in the top flight. Consecutive losses have put them under pressure, but the Red Devils should expect a tough fight.

The two teams will likely combine for a keenly-contested affair. But a confident Manchester United should be too strong to drop any points against a stuttering Crystal Palace. The Hard Tackle predicts Erik ten Hag’s men to clinch a 2-0 win at Selhurst Park on Wednesday.

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