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Preview: Risks need to be taken with this Manchester United team, especially against Crystal Palace

Manchester United -v- Crystal Palace

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 24 November 2018; KO 15:00 GMT

Referee: Lee Mason

Manchester United will be pitted against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. It is going to be a tough month and a bit for United, who in the next two and a half weeks will see their fate in the UEFA Champions League, also playing four matches in the league, which could see them start to climb into the right part of the table, if they win the matches, as many will expect them to.

The final international break of 2018 has now ended, which saw United end their winning run after a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Jose Mourinho will be seeking to return to winning ways against Palace, a team who have not won any of their last six matches; five defeats and one draw. That means nothing at this moment for United though, who seem to have similar problems themselves; which team will turn up!

Pre-Match Thoughts: Winning is necessary, especially if the top four is where United want to find themselves when it counts this season

After beating Everton, Bournemouth and Juventus, the Manchester derby was a match where United had a good chance to claim something. However, with Romelu Lukaku not performing and Paul Pogba on the sidelines, the club suffered and failed to take City on. This seemed to end the good feeling which was gained, especially after beating Juventus in Turin. United have a decent festive period coming up, aside from facing Arsenal at Old Trafford and Liverpool at Anfield.

On Tuesday, United will entertain the Young Boys from Bern in the Champions League, a chance to put one foot in the door of a place in the last 16 stage of the competition, the minimum United need to be doing at this stage of the season. The final game in the group will come a fortnight later, facing Valencia in Spain. Other than the Champions League matches, after Palace, United will face Southampton (A), Arsenal (H), Fulham (H), Liverpool (A), Cardiff (A), Huddersfield Town (H), and Bournemouth (H).

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Team News: United seem to have many players back from injury which could be the worst news for Crystal Palace, who need to register victories

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that many of the players who missed the international break will be back in action, in some form or another. Both Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial withdrew from the France squad, Marouane Fellaini stayed in Manchester to get fit for the upcoming matches, Marcus Rashford came back form England duty with a minor problem and Romelu Lukaku has been struggling recently but is ready to continue. It may not be the best new for Palace manager Roy Hodgson though. Mourinho said:

“It’s been two weeks waiting for news, good or bad, from the boys playing for their national teams. [Anthony] Martial stayed with us, he didn’t go with the [France] national team. He worked really hard. He was in a pre-injury situation, but worked really hard and he’s going to play tomorrow.

“[Marouane] Fellaini is going to play. [Marcus] Rashford came back [from England duty] with a little problem but he is ready. [Romelu] Lukaku is ready, with a little bit of a risk, but ready and Paul [Pogba], we knew in this break he would recover so I don’t think we have players who I can say are out of the game tomorrow.

“We have a huge group to choose from tomorrow.”

Predicted Starting XI: Mourinho to have a near full squad to face Palace and changes are needed to become that fluid, attacking team supporters crave

United need to find that team capable of clearing their lines, playing the ball forward, at speed, threatening the opposition defence and scoring goal after goal. This season, that seems to be something which is not materialising for the Old Trafford club. Goals win you games and defence win you titles, but recently, the entire set up has been calamitous and is needing change. Risks need to be taken and some will pay off, it is now the time to take the risk and see if it pays off, taking one match at a time…

Match Prediction: Four goals for Manchester United is not something you see all that often but against Palace, it could well ring true…

Crystal Palace have conceded 10 goals in their last six matches, drawing once and losing five times. It is not a great situation for any team to be in, especially when having to visit Old Trafford. United have not been in the best of form this season and are in need of licking their own wounds, especially after losing their winning run with a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City in their last game. United need to be scoring goals and regaining momentum they will need to fire them through this busy period of matches.

Manchester United 4-0 Crystal Palace

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