Preview: Crystal Palace v Manchester United – Premier League | Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get United back to winning ways?

Crystal Palace -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Selhurst Park, London

Wednesday 27 February 2019; KO 20:00 GMT

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Manchester United will travel to London on Wednesday, this time facing Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League. It will be the final fixture of February, which will have seen United play six matches, so far winning three, drawing once and losing once. In March, United will play five matches, seeing the Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League return, facing Wolverhampton Wanders and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has worked wonders since replacing Jose Mourinho in December, taking charge of 14 matches, this one being the 15th, winning 11, drawing twice and losing just once, meaning that the Norwegian caretaker manager has led United into the top four, although with Arsenal winning on Sunday afternoon, it sees them slipping back into fifth place, meaning they will need to beat Palace and hope Arsenal slip up against Bournemouth, kicking off 15 minutes before United’s match.

Solskjaer’s side has scored 30 goals, conceded nine goals, kept seven clean sheets, winning three Emirates FA Cup matches, losing one UEFA Champions League match, winning eight Premier League matches, drawing twice, earning 26 points in the league, out of a possible 30. In January, Solskjaer won the Premier League Manager of the Month award, with Marcus Rashford winning the Premier League Player of the Month award and Solskjaer could well be nominated for February’s award too.

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Form: Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last six matches, putting them in better form that United…

Manchester United: DWLWWD

Liverpool 0-0 D, Chelsea 2-0 W, Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 L, Fulham 3-0 W, Leicester City 1-0 W, Burnley 2-2 D

United have lost once in their last six matches. On Sunday, they drew 0-0 with Premier League leaders Liverpool, keeping a clean sheet despite losing four players to injury in the match. United have won three, drawn twice and lost once in the last six matches, scoring eight goals, conceding four goals and keeping four clean sheets, which is an achievement considering the number of goals the club leaked under Jose Mourinho during the first half of the season.

Crystal Palace: WWDWDW

Leicester City 4-1 W, Doncaster Rovers 2-0 W, West Ham United 1-1 D, Fulham 2-0 W, Southampton 1-1 D, Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 W

Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last six matches. On Saturday, they beat Leicester City 4-1 with former United players, Wilfried Zaha scoring a brace in the game. Palace has won four matches, drawing twice in their last six, scoring 12 goals, conceding just three and keeping three clean sheets, two of which were in the Emirates FA Cup in the victories over Spurs and Doncaster Rovers. Roy Hodgson could see his side get a victory over United this week, with injuries likely to play a big part.

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Top Scorers: Paul Pogba is United’s top scorer so far this season with Luka Milivojevic scoring the most for Crystal Palace

Manchester United:14 – Paul Pogba, 11 – Anthony Martial, 10 – Marcus Rashford, 9 – Romelu Lukaku, 5 – Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 3 – Ander Herrera, 2 – Marouane Fellaini, Alexis Sanchez, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young

Crystal Palace: 8 – Luka Milivojevic, 7 – Andros Townsend, Wilfried Zaha, 5 – Jeffrey Schlupp, 2 – Jordan Ayew, James McArthur, Max Meyer, Patrick van Aanholt, 1 – Michy Batshuayi, Alexander Sørloth, James Tomkins, Connor Wickham

Team News: United could be without Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford

United will most likely be without at least five first team players for the visit to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening. Nemanja Matic was absent for the 0-0 draw with Liverpool on Sunday with suggestions from Solskjaer that he could be out for a few weeks. Ander Herrera (hamstring), Juan Mata (hamstring), Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford (ankle) were all injured against Liverpool with the first three being substituted. Rashford played the full game and therefore could be a doubt himself.

United are also without Matteo Darmian (knock), Antonio Valencia (muscle), and Marcos Rojo (knock), although he was seen entering the team hotel on Saturday evening ahead of the Liverpool match but was not involved in the team selection. Anthony Martial (groin) was injured against Paris Saint-Germain and was set to be out of action for a number of weeks. He was not seen at the team hotel ahead of the Liverpool game although Solskjaer suggested he could play a part. Speaking about injuries, Solskjaer said:

“Well, we’ve lost a few players with muscle injuries, hamstrings, but we’ve got some good kids coming through, so don’t worry about it. We’ll have 11 players on the pitch on Wednesday night as well. Luckily we’ve got two days of recovery. Michael [Carrick] might be putting his boots on. It’s not as bad as needing me yet, but we’re alright, we’ll be fine.”

Roy Hodgson could be without Mamadou Sakho (knee), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (hamstring), Martin Kelly (muscle), Julian Speroni (thigh), Connor Wickham (knock), Pape Souare (shoulder) ahead of the visit of United on Wednesday. Obviously, Hodgson has strength-in-depth at the club and coming away from a 4-1 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, confidence in the Palace squad could well be high.

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Predicted Starting XI: Anthony Martial and Tahith Chong to flank Romelu Lukaku; Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira to team up with Paul Pogba?

Solskjaer confirmed United’s injury problems ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Whilst at least five first team players could be missing, the Norwegian suggested that youth could be given their chances in the game. Tahith Chong has featured a few times for United this season, along with Angel Gomes. Both could be given an opportunity in the team. With Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata on the sidelines, Chong could start on the right-wing with Anthony Martial returning on the left.

Romelu Lukaku will most likely keep his place as it is expected that Marcus Rashford will miss the Palace game through injury. Paul Pogba could be in a midfield trio with Scott McTominay, who started against Liverpool and Andreas Pereira, who replaced Ander Herrera inside the opening 20 minutes of the draw. In defence, I think the same four players will start; Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, and Luke Shaw, although I would like to see Diogo Dalot given the opportunity ahead of Young.

Match Prediction: Manchester United has only been beaten by Crystal Palace seven times in 54 matches; Solskjaer back to winning ways?

United and Palace have played 54 times in the history of both clubs. United has won 36 times, drawing 11 times and losing just seven times. The last defeat to Palace was in the League Cup on the 30th November 2011, a 2-1 defeat for United. This was the match that Wilfried Zaha first showed his talents to Sir Alex Ferguson, who bought the player in January 2013, just over 13 months later. In the last 12 meetings, United are undefeated, winning 10 and drawing twice, once at home, once away.

Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester United

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copyright: JW

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