Manchester United welcome Crystal Palace to the Theatre of Dreams once again on Saturday in the Premier League. Erik ten Hag’s side beat Roy Hodgson’s team 3-0 in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening and will be seeking a win again.
Alejandro Garnacho, Casemiro and Anthony Martial scored the goals against Palace to reach the fourth round of the competition they won last season setting up at home tie with Newcastle United, the team they beat 2-0 to lift the trophy at Wembley last season.
United have two wins in their last two matches now and have started to come back from their three match losing streak. Ten Hag made seven changes against Palace on Tuesday evening but should have some players back for Saturday’s match, which bodes well for United.
Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1
Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Reguilon;
Pellistri, Fernandes, Garnacho;
Andre Onana has not started the season as he would have wanted to but in the last two matches he has kept two clean sheets and United have won, so his confidence will start to restore after errors in previous matches cost United dearly, especially against Bayern Munich.
The Cameroonian is a decent goalkeeper and can play to the ability that Ten Hag wants with his playing from the back football, which does seem to work well, but his shot stopping needs to improve a little for him to kick on as the number one United goalkeeper.
Altay Bayindir is still waiting to make his debut as a United player, which I though would have came against Palace on Tuesday evening, but it is possible that he could face Galatasaray in the UEFA Champions League next week, prior to the second international break after next weekend.
Defenders: Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Reguilon
United’s defence could well start to show its strength this weekend should Lisandro Martinez and Sergio Reguilon be back in action, which could well be the case. United have missed both players, although Sofyan Amrabat filled in for the Spaniard on Tuesday evening.
Diogo Dalot and Reguilon could feature in the fullback positions for United, which could be a start to the dominance on the wing for United against Palace. Both players can get forward a lot and feed the ball further up the pitch to the wingers, or even feed the striker.
In the centre of defence, Raphael Varane and Martinez could partner each other again after their formidable partnership commenced last season. The Argentinian has not been in top form, but has seemingly carried an injury, so once better, he could continue where injury left him last season.
Midfield: Casemiro, Amrabat
Casemiro is the player of the season so far for United with four goals and one assist in eight appearances for the club. He played a great game against Palace on Tuesday evening and will be determined to find the same performance this weekend.
The Brazilian could be partnered by Sofyan Amrabat, who played at left-back on Tuesday and despite early criticism from his starting position, the Moroccan showed his ability and confirmed that he would play very well for United alongside the Brazilian or any other player.
He looked like a player who had been waiting his whole life to play for United. The likes of Mason Mount, Christian Eriksen, Scott McTominay and Hannibal could all find places in the team later on in the match, should United need them, so there are other options.
Attacking Midfield: Pellistri, Fernandes, Garnacho
United are two attacking midfielders down this season due to personal problems and it is giving the likes of Facundo Pellistri and Alejandro Garnacho the time to show themselves for a place in Ten Hag’s team this season. Garnacho opened the scoring against Palace on Tuesday.
Both South American internationals should start on the wings against Palace on Saturday with Bruno Fernandes returning to the starting XI after a break in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week. The captain will be seeking to put in a positive performance once again for United.
There are few players to step in this positions should United need them with both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial able to play on the wings, with Mason Mount also a possibility should United need them. Hannibal could also play in an advanced role too.
Rasmus Hojlund was benched for the 3-0 victory over Palace on Tuesday evening and will be seeking to win his place in the squad back again ahead of the Premier League encounter with the London club. The Dane has one goal to his name so far this season.
Anthony Martial led the line against Palace on Tuesday and got on the scoresheet this season and seemed to enjoy himself. It could be that at some point in the not too distant future, both Hojlund and Martial could partner as forwards with United seeking to find an attacking partnership.
Hojlund is a class forward but is cutting his teeth in the Premier League and may require time to find his feet properly. For Denmark, he has been a very tricky player to lead the line and United supporters will hope that he can achieve the same ability playing for United at the top level.
Substitutes: Bayindir; Lindelof, Maguire; Mount, Eriksen, McTominay, Hannibal; Martial, Rashford
United can name nine players on the bench in the Premier League. Five of those can be used throughout the match. Altay Bayindir will most likely be the only goalkeeper on the bench with United’s injury problems likely to ease slightly.
In the defence, United could have Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire available, should they be needed. Jonny Evans could also be included instead of one of the former players, or a midfielder or attacking player, which United have few of at this time.
In the midfield, Mason Mount, Christian Eriksen, Scott McTominay and Hannibal could all be ready should they be required to rejuvenate the midfield and attacking midfield areas. In attack, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford could both find themselves on the bench this weekend.
Written by John Walker