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Preview: Manchester United to pile on the suffering against winless Palace at ‘fortress’ Old Trafford

Manchester United -v- Crystal Palace

Premier UEFA Champions League 2017/18

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 30th September 2017; KO 15:00 BST

Not broadcast live in the United Kingdom

Manchester United welcome Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace to the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday afternoon with Roy Hodgson’s side seeking their first win point(s) in the league this season. Six matches played, six lost, 13 goals conceded and not one goal scored. Frank De Boer was sacked with Hodgson coming into replace him, surprisingly. Palace are currently bottom of the Premier League and could be in dire straits come the close of play on Saturday with seven gave and not point on the board. Jose Mourinho will be seeking another three-pointer ahead of the second international break of the season with Liverpool on the horizon for the Red Devils, the first major test of the new season. Palace may be in terrible form, losing to Manchester City 5-0 last weekend, and this may seem a bad time to be playing United, but it could be just as uncertain for United with Palace aiming to change their poor form.

The form of United, especially against CSKA on Wednesday could well be something Palace fear. United played in a 3-4-3 formation, which is something Mourinho has been testing from time to time, probably something he will test again this weekend possibly in view of playing that way against Liverpool after the international break. Palace could be the perfect test, despite it being at home, but could well give that swashbuckling football the supporters crave for. Chris Smalling playing in the 4-1 victory over CSKA and spoke to BT Sport after the match, relayed by the official Manchester United website, saying:

“The fans were brilliant. The commitment they showed to travel all this way, it’s brilliant. So we’re thankful we could put on a performance that warrants that journey.

“It’s always nice to be able to play at home, our home form has been brilliant and if we can finish this month strongly and go into the internationals on the back of another great win, then it’s been a great month.”

Previous Matches: 

Manchester United and Crystal Palace have played 51 times in the history of both clubs, the first match being played on the 26th August 1922, a 2-1 victory for United. In total, United have won 34 times, drawing ten times and losing just seven times. In this fixture last season, United won 2-0 with Josh Harrop scoring the opening goal, his debut goal and Paul Pogba scoring the other. It was also a match which saw 16-year-old Angel Gomes make his first team bow, the youngest player since Duncan Edwards to make his debut. United have had many unbeaten runs over Palace, a 13 match run commencing with a 3-1 victory on the 30th November 1991, lasting until the 0-0 draw on the 5th March 2005, losing 2-1, that League Cup match on the 30th November 2011 – the last time United were beaten by Palace. Currently, United are on a nine-match unbeaten run over Palace, winning eight times, drawing once. United could open a ten-match unbeaten run against Palace on Saturday afternoon.

Form: Manchester United the favourites on Saturday, Palace could cause an upset, but it will be one of their own

Manchester United started their season well, beating West Ham United and Swansea City with 4-0 scorelines, then beating Leicester City 2-0 ahead of the international break. Stoke City was United’s test immediately after the break, suffering a 2-2 draw. United then faces FC Basel in the UEFA Champions League, winning 3-0 before facing Everton in the league, winning 4-0 again. United saw fixtures coming thick and fast in September with the Carabao Cup coming into play with United facing Championship club Burton Albion, winning 4-1 and conceding the first goal at Old Trafford this season. United continued their unbeaten form with a 1-0 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday, not playing well but turning the 0-0 draw in the fixture last season in to a match which earned United another three points, keeping the chase on league leaders, Manchester City. A 4-1 victory over CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday continued United’s great start to the season.

Crystal Palace have had a season to forget, even after six Premier League matches. The Londoners’ have been beaten 3-0 by Huddersfield Town, 1-0 by Liverpool, 2-0 by Swansea City, 1-0 by Burnley, 1-0 by Southampton and 5-0 by Manchester City – 13 goals conceded, none scored! Only in the Carabao Cup, playing against lower league opposition Ipswich Town, winning 2-1 and beating Huddersfield 1-0 in the third round, have Palace tasted victory this season. Timothy Fosu-Mensah, a player on loan from United, playing well, apologising for the defeats and actually gaining some experience from the matches – he won’t be eligible to face United though. Frank De Boer has been sacked, Roy Hodgson replacing him to salvage something for Palace, which seems unlikely at this moment in time. Palace could be about to have another match to forget, meaning they could head into the second international break of the season still searching for their first point of the season.

Team News: Injuries and absences galore but Jose Mourinho will remain confident in his team ahead of Palace match

Jose Mourinho has an injury crisis to contend with at this moment in time with Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, and Michael Carrick all out of action from the midfield and Phil Jones unlikely to play a part against Palace this weekend. The manager also saw Anthony Martial come off the field early on Wednesday evening, which was a shame as the manager wanted to give him 90 minutes, the Frenchman being on fire against the Russian side. Mourinho, speaking to the official Manchester United website, said:

“I think [Michael] Carrick has no chance. I think [Phil] Jones, I have many doubts, and [Marouane] Fellaini, I have a hope but just a hope. It was a pity he [Anthony Martial] couldn’t play for 90 minutes because I was ready to leave him on the pitch for the whole game.”

Predicted Starting XI: Lethal Romelu Lukaku to continue to cause devastation in the Premier League against lowly Palace

Match Prediction: Manchester United have scored four many times this season; now is the time to score five!

Manchester United 5-0 Crystal Palace

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