Match: Manchester United vs Crystal Palace
Competition: Premier League
Stadium: Old Trafford
Date & KO Time: Saturday 30th Sept 17 at 1500BST
Where can you watch it? – Not Televised in the UK.
So here we are; the seventh and final match in September before the second International Break. Manchester United are at home to Crystal Palace in what has been a tale of two teams so far this season. Man Utd have had an impressive start to the season dropping only 2 points, scoring 17 goals and keeping 5 clean sheets out of a possible 6. Crystal Palace on the other hand have yet to get any points in the Premier League, find the back of the net or keep a clean sheet in any of the 6 opening games. This match has surely only got one out come hasn’t it? Or will it be the upset of the season so far?
Manchester United haven’t got any fresh injury updates in terms of what we knew after the last match against CSKA Moscow. Valencia and Shaw were rested. Jones, Fellaini, Martial & Carrick could all return and feature some of the match after picking up slight knocks. Pogba, Rojo and Ibrahimovic remain our three ‘longer’ term injuries and will not be featured in the game later today.
Crystal Palace have been plagued with injuries recently. Benteke has been ruled out for at least six weeks with a knee injury picked up last week against Man City. Loftus Cheek is out with a thigh strain, as well as Tomkins being out with Illness. Fosu-Mensah is not playing as it’s against his parent-club. Zaha is out long term with a knee injury as well as Wickham. Despite injuries to key places they still have the threat of Townsend and Puncheon from midfield with an organised defence of Dann & Sakho who successfully frustrated Man City until the 44th minute.
Predicted Line Ups
Considering the opposition, the number of injuries Crystal Palace have and the way Palace set up against Man City last week; Mourinho may opt to go more offensive in this game. Palace only have one recognised striker who has yet to play a premier league minute this season and are currently playing a left back playing as a winger; I feel that Palace will come to Man Utd to park the bus, the tank, cement a brick wall on the goal line….you name it! They will not come to Old Trafford to try and win, 0-0 at best.
Therefore, in goal I’m sticking with David De Gea. Right back should be the rested Valencia who will be fresh from not traveling to Moscow midweek. In central defence, I think Jose will be tempted to stick with Bailly and Lindelof, and not risk Jones’ injury. Palace will have little to nothing going forward, this will be the perfect game to start building Lindelof’s confidence and he’d be able to utilise his ball playing abilities. It’ll also be an opportunity to start to building his relationship with Bailly on the pitch. Finally left back, I’ve gone with Shaw; excellent going forward and with very little defensive duties required in this game, we need wing backs that can get behind Palace’s bus.
Moving up into midfield; mopping up loose balls we’ll have Matic and Herrera who will feed that attack with their passing abilities. Ahead of them will be Mkhitaryan as the number 10 to link up with our number 9. On the right hand side I think Mourinho will go with Young, as we’ll need someone with a good delivery to help us find the opening goal to help open up Palace for a goal fest. On the left wing I think Jose will start with Rashford who isn’t an injury risk (Martial) and played only 20 minutes mid-week. He has pace to get behind the defence and I think would link up well with Luke Shaw.
Up top for Man Utd would obviously be Lukaku who is on fire and can’t stop scoring. Plus he’s my triple captain this week so he has to bang in at least 5 goals!
With Palace’s complete misfortune with the number of injuries they have in their squad at the same time. A lot of the selection was trying to fill in the holes with the best possible replacements.
In goal should be the Welsh International Hennessey. With Fosu-Mensah being unavailable against his parent club, I think Roy will pick Joel Ward to come back in as right back after missing last match against Man City. In central defence should be Sakho and Dann for some stability in the team, with van Aanholt as left back.
In Defensive Midfield I think it’ll be both Cabaye & Milivojevic covering the back four, try to smother any form of attack building and break quickly using Townsend’s pace. Just ahead of the two CDM’s should be Puncheon orchestrating any potential attack whilst organising the defensive duties of the midfielders. On the left flank, I think Hodgson will stick with make-shift left winger Schlupp and have Townsend on the opposite flank making runs and being ready for any counter attack.
Up top on his own I have put Freddie Ladapo who is yet to play a minute in the league so far this season. It’s either Freddie or a false nine, and I think Freddie would be better placed if the chance of a smash an grab presented itself in the match later on this afternoon.
This is actually one of the harder score predictions to go for. It’ll either be a very frustrating affair with an organised Crystal Palace going for damage limitation from the start. Or we could get an early goal similar to the match against CSKA Moscow and the flood gates open.
I think any goal in the first half and the flood gates open second half. Not to mention Palace are very thin on the bench and could tire quite significantly late in the game, or risk less quality players coming on. I’m going for the more optimistic approach. So here we go:
Manchester United 6-0 Crystal Palace FT (Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace HT)