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Confirmed XI: Martial, Rashford, Fernandes and Pogba start against Palace; Van de Beek on the bench

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Manchester United start the 2020/21 Premier League season against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford this evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side should have started at Turf Moor against Burnley last weekend but both United and Manchester City has their opening matches postponed due to their participation in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League respectively. United have played just one pre-season match this summer, losing to Aston Villa at Villa Park last Saturday.

That said, United’s players should still be fresh from their European endeavours and playing for their countries during the international break, which came before the season actually started. Roy Hodgson’s side have played two competitive matches already this season, added to four pre-season matches whilst United were still playing in Europe. This will be an important match for United as they lost this fixture last season and will be seeking to start the 2020/21 season well.

This summer, there was so much promise that United could partake in the summer transfer market, continuing their rebuild. However, the club is currently failing to bring in more than one new signing so far this summer; Donny van de Beek from Ajax. Solskjaer’s side have been linked with Jadon Sancho all summer, but that prospective deal is something that has not really developed since the 10 August deadline expired. United recently missed out on Sergio Reguilon, who will be signing for Tottenham Hotspur.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Fosu-Mensah, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Pogba, McTominay;

Rashford, Fernandes, James;

Martial

Substitutes:

Henderson; Bailly, Wan-Bissaka; Fred, Van de Beek; Greenwood, Ighalo

Crystal Palace:

Guaita;

Ward, Kouyate, Sakho, Mitchell;

Townsend, McArthur, McCarthy, Schlupp;

Zaha, Ayew

Substitutes:

Hennessey; Inniss, Kelly; Milivojevic, Meyer, Eze; Batshuayi

United and Palace have met 22 times in the Premier League; United have won 17 times, drawn four times and were beaten just once. In terms of goals scored, United have 43 compared to Palace’s 10 with United winning four penalties and scoring three – Palace have not won a penalty against United in the Premier League. United have kept 15 clean sheets with Palace keeping three. Discipline has been an issue with United receiving 31 yellow card and one red card with Palace receiving 36 yellow cards and two red.

Last season, in this fixture at Old Trafford, United lost their first match against Palace in the Premier League. Jordan Ayew opened the scoring in the 32nd minute of the match with Daniel James equalising in the 89th minute. Patrick van Aanholt scored the winner three minutes into added time. At Selhurst Park, United were the victors with Marcus Rashford opening the scoring in added time at the end of the first half with Anthony Martial doubling United’s lead in the 78th minute of the match.

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW