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Opposition Scouting: Crystal Palace looking for first win of the season with poor Old Trafford record

Crystal Palace will travel to Old Trafford where they will face Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. After a poor start to the new season where they drew 0-0 with ten-man Everton, then a 1-0 away defeat to Sheffield United, Roy Hodgson’s side will be seeking their first victory of the season. Palace last beat United back in November 2011.

Since then, the London club has met United 13 times, losing 11 matches and drawing twice. One of those was the Emirates FA Cup final at the end of the 2015/16 season in which United won by a 2-1 scoreline. Palace are well overdue a victory over United but at this moment in time, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side looks to be in the driving seat for a victory, however, Palace may not just roll over. They will need to be fired up.

Manager: Roy Hodgson

The 72-year-old had been a manager at both club and country level since 1976, utilising his knowledge of the game at the top level in England. In his time as a manager, Hodgson has managed Inter Milan, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion, England and now Palace. Hodgson has won many honours in the game, the last at the turn of the current century. I don’t think he will be adding to those. Hodgson had some success as a youth player for Palace in the 1960s bit never actually made the grade at the club as a first-team player.

After leaving Palace, he played non-league football for a period of time, qualifying as a coach at the age of 23. He then joined Maidstone United, where he was a player and the assistant to Bob Houghton, starting his management career in the game. After a spell at Ashford Town, where he also worked as a PE teacher, he left for South Africa before returning to England to join Carshalton Athletic, where he retired as a player

Tactics: Palace have played their last two matches with a traditional 4-4-2 formation with Wilfried Zaha returning to the starting XI in their 1-0 defeat away to Sheffield United.

Hodgson utilises a traditional 4-4-2 formation, which is good to see in this day and age. However, it is not the best formation for him to be using based on the players he has in his ranks. Is Wilfried Zaha a striker or is he a winger? The 26-year-old scored ten goals and registered five assists last season in the Premier League and was seeking a departure from the London club this summer, who so far has not happened and will not unless he moves abroad.

Sheffield United got the better of this Palace side at the weekend with John Lundstram scoring two minutes into the second half, registering their first victory of their newly-promoted season. Palace, who have not been all that great during pre-season; losing 4-0 to Hertha Berlin and 1-0 to Bromley, also drawing 2-2 with AFC Wimbledon. It is time for Palace to stand up and be counted but there is nothing more difficult that having to do that at Old Trafford, a stadium where the side last won in November 2011 in the League Cup.

Form: Palace has not started the season very well with a draw and a defeat but pre-season was not all that good for them either. It could be a long, hard season for Hodgson’s side this season.

Crystal Palace: LDLDWL

Sheffield United 1-0 L, Everton 0-0 D, Hertha Berlin 4-0 L, AFC Wimbledon 2-2 D, Bristol City 5-0 W, Bromley 1-0 L

Predicted Starting XI: Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke to lead the attack against Manchester United at Old Trafford?

Match Prediction: Palace has not beaten United in their last 13 matches. It will be tough for them to overcome this quick-attacking side at Old Trafford.

Manchester United 3-1 Crystal Palace

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