Manchester United will host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League. It will be the first traditional 3 pm kickoff for United this season. The sixth match last season was played at this time. These matches are not shown live on television in the United Kingdom. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to continue his good start.
Roy Hodgson has not been successful so far this season and will be looking for a reaction from his squad. It will be tough for them to get a result at Old Trafford, knowing that they have travelled to the stadium six times without a result since last winning a match there in November 2011 in the League Cup. That will only make it tougher for them.
United has played Palace 55 times with United winning 37 matches, drawing 11 and losing seven times. Palace last defeated United in the League Cup back in 2011 – a match which directed Sir Alex Ferguson to sign Wilfried Zaha. 13 matches played since, Palace are winless with United winning 11 times, drawing twice.
Key Players: Palace has a lot of talent in their squad but when comparing it to the talent of United, Palace come up short. Their best player does not want to be there.
Manchester United: David De Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial
Crystal Palace: Joel Ward, Patrick Van Aanholt, Luka Milivojevic, Max Meyer, Andros Townsend, Wilfried Zaha, Jeffrey Schlupp, Christian Benteke, James McArthur, Gary Cahill
Key Battles: Harry Maguire, Angel Gomes, and Anthony Martial could be handed battles against Wilfried Zaha, Luka Milivojevic, and Scott Dann – battles the Red Devils can win.
Harry Maguire v Wilfried Zaha
The 26-year-old has been in resurgent form since his transfer from Leicester City earlier this month. A clean sheet against Chelsea followed by a strong performance away to Wolverhampton Wanderers will raise his confidence ahead of his second match at the Theatre of Dreams this summer. Harry Maguire has helped to strengthen the centre of defence and has partnered Victor Lindelof very well.
Maguire could well be tested by former United winger Wilfried Zaha, who will make yet another return to Old Trafford in a bid to be the star once again. Back in November 2011, a fantastic looking Zaha put in a good performance in Palace’s last victory over United and if he manages to get himself into that same form, he could be a deciding figure, rather than a decisive one for his club.
Angel Gomes v Luka Milivojevic
Angel Gomes has yet to play for United this season, or included on the bench for a Premier League fixture. With Jesse Lingard not providing the creativity that United need, otherwise relying on Paul Pogba, the inclusion of Gomes could be the masterstroke by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he looks to blood more youth into his team this season. Already having made his debut against Palace in 2017, Gomes will be raring to go.
One player that could give him a battle will be the Palace captain, Luka Milivojevic. The Serbian plays in central midfield and specialised in ball interception, which is something Gomes will need to get the better of. Milivojevic tackles players often and commits fouls, which is where Gomes, if he takes set-pieces, could get the better of his man. Gomes is the future of the club and has the talent and ability to persevere and rise to stardom. Against Palace, he could get just that.
Anthony Martial v Scott Dann
The Frenchman will be confident in his own ability heading into the second Premier League fixture at Old Trafford this season. Two goals scored in two matches will go a long way at doing that, along with the positivity from the squad during the summer. The United number nine will be looking to continue his form, helping his side get past Palace.
Anthony Martial could be tested by Scott Dann, who may not be the best defender in the Premier League but has the ability to stop a striker on his day. Those days may not come up all that often though. However, after a 0-0 draw against Everton and a 1-0 away defeat to Premier League new boys Sheffield United, Palace will need to do something and soon or it will be a long hard season for them.