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Manchester United expected to play in a 4-3-3 formation against Crystal Palace; here’s how the side could look…

Manchester United face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Monday evening. Fresh from their 2-1 victory over Chelsea last weekend, United may well have turned a corner after their poor run of results in the last few weeks.

United did return to second in the league after beating the reigning Premier League champions, but after Liverpool beat Newcastle United on Saturday, Jose Mourinho’s side slipped back into third place this weekend, which could see Liverpool occupying the second spot for more than 48 hours, which is something they will probably celebrate.

Manchester City continued their great run this season by beating Chelsea, albeit by only one goal, opening up a 19 point lead over United. Mourinho will be looking for a continued response from the Chelsea victory, preparing his side to face Liverpool on Saturday, which will be a big task at this stage of the season.

Starting XI Formation and Prediction: Jose Mourinho to stick with the 4-3-3 formation to destroy Crystal Palace and ready his side for Liverpool test?

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Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish number one is on course to contend for the Manchester United Player of the Year award once again, based on his performances so far this season – not that having the goalkeeper as the stand out player during a season is a good thing, but it is something the player is worthy of. De Gea was unlucky not to keep a clean sheet against Chelsea last weekend, although he has kept 15 clean sheets this season – matching his highest feat from the 2015/16 season, and beating last seasons tally of 14.

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Back Four: Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw

United’s defence is not in its best shape with Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, and Daley Blind on the sidelines. However, in the last few matches, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof have both done well, the Swede showing signs of why Jose Mourinho paid £30 million for him last summer. Eric Bailly has been back for a number of weeks now, playing a few minutes here and there, playing about ten minutes against Chelsea last weekend. I would prefer the Ivorian to start over Smalling to see how both he and Lindelof play together, but I think he might be eased back in to prevent a recurrence of his injury. Antonio Valencia should be rested ahead of the Liverpool match on Saturday, so Ashley Young could fill that role with Luka Shaw playing on the left.

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Midfield: Scott McTominay, Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba

United’s midfield is threadbare too right now. Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera are both on the sidelines through injury leaving Nemanja Matic, Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba, and Scott McTominay. Matic has played many matches this season and I think he should be rested ahead of the Liverpool clash with Carrick travelling to the capital on Sunday afternoon. Pogba and McTominay could play on either side of him, which should give United enough midfield players to get the better over this fallen Palace side. United have been unbeaten in their last ten matches against the club, winning nine and drawing once.

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Forward Three: Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial

There has been plenty said about United’s forward line this season. They started the season in fine form, scoring goals galore but that soon fizzled out, came back and fizzled out again. Romelu Lukaku had been criticised by so-called supporters and pundits for not being good enough, especially as he had not scored against a top-eight club this season, ending that with his goal and assist against Chelsea last weekend.

Alexis Sanchez has not turned on the class yet, not that it was expected immediately but he has played a part in matches, especially against Chelsea. Anthony Martial is another who has been criticised, but playing well at times, just needing that confidence to continue his fine season. The trio could be selected to face Palace, with Marcus Rashford coming on in the second half to finish the game with United taking all three points back to Old Trafford.

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