Crystal Palace -v- Manchester United
Selhurst Park, London
Sunday 22 May 2022, KO 16:00 GMT
Referee: Martin Atkinson – Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Richard West
Fourth Official: Josh Smith
VAR: Peter Bankes – Assistant VAR: Natalie Aspinall
Manchester United will face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the final Premier League match of the season on Sunday afternoon. Because West Ham United drew 2-2 with Manchester City in their penultimate match of the season, if United win UEFA Europa League participation is theirs.
However, if United fall to another away defeat of the season, coming after that 4-0 hammering by Brighton and Hove Albion almost a fortnight ago, it will be in the hands of the Hammers to leapfrog United and take the Europa League themselves, leaving United to another fall from grace.
United could still make the playoff round of the UEFA Europa Conference League next season, which would be a remarkable fall from grace comparing recent seasons where UEFA Champions League football was obtained.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, United have qualified for the Champions League five times, the Europa League twice, reaching Europa League or Europa Conference League this season; they also had a season out of European football. Next season marks a decade post-Ferguson.
Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: LWDLLW
Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0 L, Brentford 3-0 W, Chelsea 1-1 D, Arsenal 3-1 L, Liverpool 4-0 L, Norwich City 3-2 W
Goals: 23 – Cristiano Ronaldo, 9 – Bruno Fernandes, 6 – Mason Greenwood, 5 – Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, 4 – Fred, 3 – Anthony Elanga, 2 – Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, 1 – Own Goal, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek
Assists: 14 – Bruno Fernandes, 9 – Paul Pogba, 5 – Fred, Luke Shaw, 4 – Nemanja Matić, 3 – Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Alex Telles, 2 – Mason Greenwood, Victor Lindelöf, Marcus Rashford, 1 – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Elanga, Jesse Lingard, Scott McTominay, Raphaël Varane
Crystal Palace – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: LDWWDL
Everton 3-2 L, Aston Villa 1-1 D, Watford 1-0 W, Southampton 2-1 W, Leeds United 0-0 D, Newcastle United 1-0 L
Goals: 14 – Wilfried Zaha, 8 – Conor Gallagher, 7 – Jean-Philippe Mateta, 6 – Odsonne Édouard, 4 – Christian Benteke, Marc Guéhi, Michael Olise, Jeffrey Schlupp, 3 – Jordan Ayew, 1 – Eberechi Eze, Will Hughes, Cheikhou Kouyaté, Jairo Riedewald, James Tomkins
Assists: 8 – Michael Olise, 5 – Conor Gallagher, 3 – Joachim Andersen, Jordan Ayew, Odsonne Édouard, James McArthur, 2 – Tyrick Mitchell, Wilfried Zaha, 1 – Christian Benteke, Nathaniel Clyne, Eberechi Eze, Marc Guéhi, Will Hughes, Cheikhou Kouyaté, Jean-Philippe Mateta, Jeffrey Schlupp
Previous meetings with Crystal Palace and their connections with United.
United and Palace have met 25 times in the Premier League. United have won 18 times, drawn five times with Palace winning two times. United have scored 45 goals, winning four penalties, scoring three. Palace have scored 13 goals, winning one penalty, scoring it.
United have kept 17 clean sheets with Palace keeping four. Discipline has been an issue with United players receiving 35 yellow cards and one red card and Palace players being shown 40 yellow cards and two red cards. The final match of the season needs to be a good one for United.
Wilfried Zaha, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fraizer Campbell and Timothy Fosu-Mensah have all played for United and Palace. Jeffrey Schlupp was once on trial at United but was not signed and never represented the senior team. Campbell and Fosu-Mensah came through United’s academy.
Wilfried Zaha was Sir Alex Ferguson’s final signing as manager of the club in January 2013 and he ended up making just four appearances for United failing to score a single goal for the club, signing Palace 18 months later. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was purchased from Palace in the summer of 2019.
Team News: United boosted with four players coming back from injury; Palace have two ruled out and two doubts ahead of the final Premier League match of the season.
Manchester United: Mason Greenwood (Suspended by the club) and Paul Pogba (Calf) will miss the final match of the season. Luke Shaw (Leg), Jadon Sancho (Illness), Eric Bailly (Lower Back) and Marcus Rashford (Illness) could all be back in the squad to take on Palace on Sunday afternoon.
Crystal Palace: Nathan Ferguson (Thigh) and Michael Olise (Ankle/Foot) have been ruled out of the final Premier League match of the season. James McArthur (Calf Strain) and James Tomkins (Muscular) both have a 25% chance of being involved against United.
Predicted Starting XI: Ronaldo to add to his 18 Premier League goals against Palace? Players to bid farewell and maybe some youth given a chance? Rangnick will then hand over to Ten Hag.
Rangnick has some work to finish the season with United achieving the highest possible finish this season, sixth in the Premier League and confirming their place in the UEFA Europa League for next season. If United lose and West Ham United win, it will be the UEFA Europa Conference League.
I would expect some changes considering there are some players that will be considered fit for this match that were not ready for the last two or three matches. I would like to see some youth players given a chance too, if United were able to take an early lead, getting a second goal or more.
David De Gea will play his 38th Premier League match of the season, just his third season in playing all league matches. I don’t think Dean Henderson will get anything under Rangnick as he’s not really trusted him. Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles could play in the fullback positions.
In the centre of the defence, Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire could combine to try and get a good result. Scott McTominay and Fred could form the midfield with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho supporting Cristiano Ronaldo in attack.
Match Prediction: United have a great Premier League record against Palace, winning 18 of the 25 matches played, losing twice and drawing five times. United need to win this match.
United have not been great against Palace in recent seasons. Earlier this season, United beat Palace 1-0 with Fred scoring the only goal of the game. It was a good three points to win considering United earned one point in these fixtures last season.
United failed to beat Palace last season, losing 3-1 in the first match, which was played at Old Trafford, United’s first match of the season, drawing 0-0 at Selhurst Park. It is not great form for United to be in but after this season, it makes me wonder what the outcome could be here.
Prior to the 2019/20 season, United had a great record against Palace in the Premier League. They were undefeated in 20 matches, stretching from the 2 September 1992 right the way through to the 27 February 2019.
United won 16 matches and drew four, scoring 40 goals, conceding eight and keeping 14 clean sheets. However, in the last five matches, United have won twice, lost twice and drawn once, scoring five goals, conceding five and keeping three clean sheets.
Crystal Palace 1-3 Manchester United
Written by John Walker