Manchester United welcome Crystal Palace to Old Trafford in the Premier League this afternoon in another traditional 3pm kick off this season. Erik ten Hag’s side will be seeking to get back to business in the Premier League after three domestic cup matches which have seen them reach the Carabao Cup final where they will face Newcastle United at the end of the month and reach the last 16 of the Emirates FA Cup, where they will face West Ham United.
United have a great record at Old Trafford this season – undefeated in their last 14 matches at the Theatre of Dreams, winning the last 12 home matches in a row in all competitions. It almost seems like Old Trafford is becoming a fortress once again, as it had been on the past. Under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, United set an away record and under Ten Hag, is seems that turning the Theatre of Dreams back into a fortress is somewhat of a priority for Ten Hag – and rightly so.
United need to start registering more points in the Premier League as in their last two matches just one point was earned. It has seen them slip from third into fourth and allowed Tottenham Hotspur with a chance to break back into the top four. United need to cushion their lead over Spurs and ensure they are safely in the top four with more difficult matches to come in the coming months. The next three Premier League matches should see United pushing for nine points.
Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Shaw;
Fernandes, Casemiro, Fred;
Antony, Weghorst, Rashford
Heaton; Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia, Dalot; Sabitzer, Mainoo; Sancho, Garnacho
Clyne, Richards, Guehi, Mitchell;
Ayew, Olise, Schlupp;
Johnstone, Whitworth, Tomkins, Lokonga, Riedewald, Ahamada, Milivojevic, Eze, Mateta
United and Palace have met 27 times in the Premier League with United winning 18 matches, drawing six matches and Palace winning three. United have scored 46 goals, winning four penalties, scoring three. Palace have scored 15 goals, winning one penalty, scoring it. Palace had been a problem for United of late, especially with the 1-1 draw in the last match. United need to be winning these matches and that is what will be needed at Old Trafford in this one.
United have kept 17 clean sheets with Palace keeping five. Discipline has been an issue in this fixture with United players shown 41 yellow cards and one red card and Palace players shown 43 yellow cards and two red cards. The last fixture between these two teams was a 1-1 draw which felt like a defeat for United after Palace equalised late in the match. United then faced Arsenal and were drawing 2-2 with Arsenal also scoring late in the match to win.
Wilfried Zaha, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fraizer Campbell and Timothy Fosu-Mensah have all played for United and Palace. Schlupp was once on trial at United. Campbell and Fosu-Mensah came through United’s academy. Zaha was Sir Alex Ferguson’s final signing as manager of the club and he ended up making just four appearances, failing to score a single goal, returning to Palace 18 months later. Wan-Bissaka was purchased from Palace in the summer of 2019.
Written by John Walker