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Key Players and Battles: Palace’s crisis to be confirmed by another top Lukaku performance

Manchester United return playing in the Premier League this weekend against Crystal Palace. Roy Hodgson’s side is yet to register a positive result this season in the league and as a result of this disappointment, Frank De Boer was sacked. The Reds are currently second in the league due to goal difference while Crystal Palace sit last in the table of standings. Back on Wednesday night, United defeated CSKA Moscow and are willing to make another good impression in the league on Saturday, 15:00 BST at Old Trafford. The results have been promising from United who are fighting for the title this season and Romelu Lukaku has been in a fine form scoring ten goals in nine games.

Key Players: Mkhitaryan to continue his fine form, Mamadou Sakho to make an impression for the new manager

One thing is for sure, a show will be guaranteed at Old Trafford on Saturday all thanks to the midfield Armenian who keeps doing the job at United offering a lot to Romelu Lukaku with the help of Anthony Martial as well, making everything even better. On the other side, we have Sakho who needs a big game to take the frustration away from Palace that have not won a single point this season. Odds are not in his favour as he has to confront Romelu Lukaku whose first touch has been so terrible.

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The midfield Armenian who has performed really well this season has registered five assists and two goals in all competitions for 2017/2018 and has been quite impressive with his game lately. Differently from the Mkhitaryan of last season, he has served right, playing really well and of course doing his job in the middle, mosltly playing as a number ten. What makes him so important in that system is his creativity and the incredible way of producing game even when he is not performing well throughout the game. Things didn’t go well last year as both the player and manager had a little issue in the beginning but he has settled very good and now he is one of the first names in United’s Starting XI. Things always change and this time for good.

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Mamadou Sakho

As Wilfried Zaha has returned in training ahead of the game against Manchester United, but yet not to return for the match, Sakho is set to make another appearance after making his debut against Manchester City last week. The player transferred from Liverpool to Palace this summer and is looking to impress the new manager. He will have a tough time considering whom he has to confront and Crystal Palace’s issues may continue as Timothy Fosu – Mensah is not eligible to play and Palace have no sign of improvement from week to week.

Key Battles: Nemanja Matic at it again, Mkhitaryan and Lukaku to kill the defence or is it Rashford time? 

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Nemanja Matic -v- Ruben Loftus-Cheek 

It will be a battle of Chelsea ex’s in case Loftus Cheek (currently on loan from Chelsea) plays for Palace this weekend. Playing as the linkup man for Christian Benteke who has been sidelined with injury and things are going from bad to worse for Hodgson again. As for Nemanja Matic, we keep hearing Chelsea fans who are warning us regarding his bad moments, yet nothing has happened and he has turned into a favourite among United supporters. It is his class that is defining the way he plays and even Herrera who has occupied Pogba’s place at the moment has changed for good. In those terms, it will be hard for the Chelsea loanee to move past him. Let’s see what happens on Saturday.

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan -v- Luka Milivojević

Whatever system Jose Mourinho decides to play on Saturday it is obvious that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be doing damage down the middle and Milivojevic might be in trouble as he won’t have Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s help this time. His style of play has resolved many issues and despite the fact he has been slattered many times for his poor performance he is doing better than the rest in terms of statistics showing us all that he could be the right player on the right time, something he didn’t offer much last season. That is the big difference.

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Romelu Lukaku -v- Wayne Hennessey

It seems that there will be no calm for the Crystal Palace goalkeeper. Having faced Manchester City last week, it is United’s time to kill him off. Romelu is the man where the attention will be as he keeps on scoring constantly and has helped the team win, keep on the good result winning the three points for them. On the other side, the Palace keeper has had a hard time throughout the first games, conceding time after time and there have been moments where he must have doubted himself about a lot of things. Big issues coming ahead for Roy Hodgson’s goalie.

Written by Fabiola Cejku

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