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Confirmed Starting XI: Fosu-Mensah and McTominay the only changes against Palace

Manchester United are back on the road this evening in the Premier League as they take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will need to take all three points home this evening in order to keep chase on Chelsea and Leicester City in the quest to finish in the top four of the Premier League, therefore qualifying for the UEFA Champions League next season, which is what they set out to do.

United have looked on top form recently, continuing their unbeaten run and extending it to 18 matches now, despite that late equaliser against Southampton which cost Solskjaer’s side two points and a place in the top four of the league right now. Chelsea beat Norwich City 1-0 on Tuesday evening and Leicester were pitted against Sheffield United this evening, which will leave United knowing what they need to do to keep up chase.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Fosu-Mensah;

Pogba, McTominay;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Bailly, Dalot; Mata, Lingard, Fred, James, Matic; Ighalo

Crystal Palace:

Guaita;

Wards, Dann, Sakho, Van Aanholt;

Milivojevic;

Townsend, McArthur, McCarthy, Haha;

Ayew

Substitutes:

Hennessey, Meyer, Kouyate, Schlupp, Kelly, Woods, Mitchell, Pierrick Riedewald

United and Palace have played 21 times in the Premier League with United winning 16, drawing four and losing once. United have scored 41 goals conceding 10. United have kept 14 clean sheets with Palace keeping three. United have won four penalties, scoring three, with Palace winning none. In total, United have 29 yellow cards Palace have 35 with United having one red card to Palace’s two.

Earlier this season at Old Trafford, United fell to a 2-1 defeat after Jordan Ayew opened the scoring in the 32nd minute of the match with Daniel James scoring the equaliser in the 89th minute. In stoppage time, Patrick van Aanholt scored the winner for Palace. A gutting defeat for United who were not at the best of their game. Last season in this fixture, United won 3-1 with a brace from Romelu Lukaku and a goal from Ashley Young.

Written by John Walker

How Manchester United could look against Crystal Palace; Solskjaer forced into making changes? Martial, Rashford, Fernandes, Greenwood and Pogba still likely to start

Manchester United are back on the road on Thursday evening as they face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to bounce back from that devastating draw against Southampton at Old Trafford on Monday evening. Roy Hodgson’s side will be looking to recover from losing their last five matches in the league, which will be hard for them.

United could have leapfrogged both Leicester City and Chelsea to rise into third in the Premier League table on Monday evening, but will now be waiting to see what Chelsea can do against already relegated Norwich City on Tuesday evening. Leicester will face Sheffield United before United kick a ball on Thursday, so the Blades could do them another favour in their own chase for European football next season.

How United have faired against Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

United and Palace have played 21 times in the Premier League with United winning 16, drawing four and losing once. United have scored 41 goals conceding 10. United have kept 14 clean sheets with Palace keeping three. United have won four penalties, scoring three, with Palace winning none. In total, United have 29 yellow cards Palace have 35 with United having one red card to Palace’s two.

Earlier this season at Old Trafford, United fell to a 2-1 defeat after Jordan Ayew opened the scoring in the 32nd minute of the match with Daniel James scoring the equaliser in the 89th minute. In stoppage time, Patrick van Aanholt scored the winner for Palace. A gutting defeat for United who were not at the best of their game. Last season in this fixture, United won 3-1 with a brace from Romelu Lukaku and a goal from Ashley Young.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Crystal Palace in the Premier League at Selhurst Park on Thursday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish number one conceded twice against Southampton, which is not what United needed and it will be something that he remembers from his landmark 400th match as United’s goalkeeper. He’s kept 11 clean sheets so far this season and is three behind Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope, before they face Wolverhampton Wanderers and Ederson, before Manchester City take on Bournemouth, with both goalkeepers playing at home on Wednesday evening. It shows that despite the turbulent season De Gea and United have endured, he is not all that far off the pack. Premier League champion Allison has kept 13 clean sheets this season.

Defenders: Ethan Laird, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

It looks as though Solskjaer will need to make some changes to his defence, not just to keep them fresh but to counter any injuries that may have happened. Aaron Wan-Bissaka looked tired against Southampton and if United are going to put up a fight against Chelsea on Sunday in the FA Cup semi-final, keeping the right-back fit is a way of doing so. Ethan Laird could be drafted in at right-back in this instance, ahead of Diogo Dalot. Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams were injured against the Saints but I think Shaw could be fit for this match, with Williams possibly having to sit it out because of a head injury but Solskjaer will confirm his injury problems when he talks to the press. Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire will probably keep their places as I don’t think Solskjaer trusts Eric Bailly but Teden Mengi could also be an option, possibly off the bench.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba

Nemanja Matic has been a solid player at this stage of the season and continues to receive praise from his teammates. However, If United intend on bringing the challenge to Chelsea in order to reach the FA Cup final this season, they will need to keep Matic fresh, giving him a rest, albeit from the bench, for this match. Scott McTominay could start ahead of him alongside Paul Pogba, who will need to up his game after a relatively poor performance against Southampton on Monday evening. The Frenchman could have hit a wall in terms of fitness after returning to action a month ago and playing 456 minutes of football in that time.

Attacking Midfield: Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood

I don’t think Solskjaer will make any changes in this area unless he has to due to injury or fatigue. Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood are the best players to be utilised here. If United rotate any of those, creativity will go down and United need to take every chance they are given now and keep winning Premier League matches is what they need to be doing. I would like to see players given a rest ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea but other teams will be in the same boat as United, despite playing two days earlier, which is what Chelsea are doing. Some will say it is not fair to be given the advantage but it is pointless worrying as what will be will be. Que sera sera and all that.

Striker: Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial was in great form against Southampton but could not drive United to get a third goal, which cost the team in that match, watching a win turn into a draw and a chance to break into the top four missed. However, United still have opportunities but they become much harder than they were before. United will need to keep winning, and winning well. Martial has scored 21 goals so far this season and has more in him. Can he help inspire this United team to keep going? This is his best ever season for United, surely he wants to keep on going with three more Premier League matches remaining after this one, plus the FA Cup and that’s before the UEFA Europa League commences.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Eric Bailly, Teden Mengi; Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic; Odion Ighalo

Solskjaer has five substitutes to use and has three windows during a match to use them, not including the half time break. Some moan about United being down to ten men against Southampton but the windows to substitute players were all used before Brandon Williams received his head injury, so United had no other option. Things like this happen and If three substitutions were used, before coronavirus, the same thing would have happened. Sergio Romero will remain on the bench, possibly starting against Chelsea (I could be wrong). In defence, Eric Bailly and Teden Mengi could be options with Williams seemingly out of action. In midfield, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Daniel James and Nemanja Matic could be called upon with Odion Ighalo the only attacking player on the bench.

Preview: Solskjaer to make changes to keep the team fresh with FA Cup semi-final on the horizon; Palace to face a heavy defeat?

Crystal Palace -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Selhurst Park, London

Thursday 16 July 2020, KO 20:15 BST

Referee: Graham Scott Assistants: Harry Lennard, Derek Eaton 

Fourth Official: Keith Stroud Replacement Official: Garry Maskell

VAR: Simon Hooper Assistant VAR: Andy Garratt

Manchester United are back on the road on Thursday evening as they face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to bounce back from that devastating draw against Southampton at Old Trafford on Monday evening. Roy Hodgson’s side will be looking to recover from losing their last five matches in the league, which will be hard for them.

United could have leapfrogged both Leicester City and Chelsea to rise into third in the Premier League table on Monday evening, but will now be waiting to see what Chelsea can do against already relegated Norwich City on Tuesday evening. Leicester will face Sheffield United before United kick a ball on Thursday, so the Blades could do them another favour in their own chase for European football next season.

Form: United are unbeaten in 18 matches now, which is great for this stage of the season but that late draw against Southampton was disappointing. Palace have lost five out of their last six matches and could be set for another defeat this season.

Manchester United: DWWWWW

Southampton 2-2 D, Aston Villa 3-0 W, Bournemouth 5-2 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 W, Norwich City 2-1 W, Sheffield United 3-0 W

Crystal Palace: LLLLLW

Aston Villa 2-0 L, Chelsea 3-2 L, Leicester City 3-0 L, Burnley 1-0 L, Liverpool 4-0 L, Bournemouth 2-0 W

Top Scorers: Crystal Palace have scored 28 goals this season, which is not great, especially with United scoring 102 goals in all competitions, which will leave Palace wondering if another defeat is coming their way.

Manchester United Goals: 21 – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, 16 – Mason Greenwood, 8 – Bruno Fernandes, 5 – Odion Ighalo, Scott McTominay, 4 – Daniel James, 3 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United are unbeaten in 18 matches, scoring 48 goals, conceding eight times, keeping 12 clean sheets and stuttering in their bid to break into the top four of the Premier League after both Chelsea and Leicester City lost this weekend. United will have another chance to break into the top four this weekend but both Chelsea and Leicester will have the chance to break away from United too.

Crystal Palace Goals: 9 – Jordan Ayew, 4 – Wilfried Zaha, 3 – Luka Milivojevic, Patrick van Aanholt, 2 – Christian Benteke, Jeffrey Schlupp, 1 – Cheikhou Kouyaté, James Tomkins, Cenk Tosun, Andros Townsend, Connor Wickham

It would be fair to say that Crystal Palace have a few problems this season. They sit 14th in the Premier League table and will be safe this season, sitting 11 points clear of the relegation places but could get dragged further down the table after losing their last five matches in the league. They might have beaten United at Old Trafford this season but after the Southampton draw, United will need to hit back and hard.

Team News: United could be missing four players with two having a 50% chance of facing Palace; whereas Palace have four players out; three injured and one suspended for the remainder of the season.

Solskjaer will remain without both Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones and could be sweating on the fitness of both Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams who suffered an ankle and a head injury respectively against Southampton on Monday evening. Both players are being assessed are are 50/50 chances to be involved. As Williams suffered a head injury, he could be made to sit out of Thursday’s match.

Hodgson will be without four players for the visit of United with Jeffrey Schlupp, James Tomkins and Gary Cahill all ruled out through injury. Christian Benteke will also miss the match after being sent off in the 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday which will see him miss the remaining three fixtures of the season, sending him on an early end of season break, not that it will be a big loss considering he’s scored just twice this season.

Predicted Starting XI: Solskjaer forced to make changes offer rest to some but opportunities to others?

Solskjaer will need to make changes to keep United driving forwards at this stage of the season. I think Luke Shaw will recover in time to face Crystal Palace on Thursday but with Brandon Williams’ head injury, he might not have medical clearance to be part of the squad which travels to London. However, Solskjaer will explain what is happening in his pre-match press conference ahead of this match.

Match Prediction: United have the best form between the two sides with 16 wins, four draws and one defeat in 21 Premier League matches. However, that defeat earlier this season will leave United wondering if it will happen again.

United and Palace have played 21 times in the Premier League with United winning 16, drawing four and losing once. United have scored 41 goals conceding 10. United have kept 14 clean sheets with Palace keeping three. United have won four penalties, scoring three, with Palace winning none. In total, United have 29 yellow cards Palace have 35 with United having one red card to Palace’s two.

Earlier this season at Old Trafford, United fell to a 2-1 defeat after Jordan Ayew opened the scoring in the 32nd minute of the match with Daniel James scoring the equaliser in the 89th minute. In stoppage time, Patrick van Aanholt scored the winner for Palace. A gutting defeat for United who were not at the best of their game. Last season in this fixture, United won 3-1 with a brace from Romelu Lukaku and a goal from Ashley Young.

Crystal Palace 0-3 Manchester United

August Review: Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James star in mixed month for Manchester United

Manchester United played four matches in the Premier League during August, winning once, drawing once and losing once. United scored six goals, conceded three goals, kept one clean sheet, won four Premier League points, and found out their fate in the Carabao Cup and the group stages of the UEFA Europa League. August gave United time between matches but September, with the international break, will be busy.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw the season start in style with a 4-0 victory over Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at Old Trafford seeing Marcus Rashford score a brace (one from the spot), Anthony Martial and Daniel James score a debut goal in front of the Stretford End. This was followed by a 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux with Anthony Martial on the scoresheet once again.

Crystal Palace defeated United 2-1 at Old Trafford. Daniel James scored a consolation goal for United, in front of the Stretford End once again. It was a poor result for United. Against Southampton, a team United needed to hit back against, it was another 1-1 draw after Daniel James opened the scoring with United having many chances, unable to cause the home side many problems.

United also found out their fate in the Carabao Cup, where they will face Rochdale at Old Trafford in the third round of the tournament, and in the UEFA Europa League, where they will face FC Astana of Kazakhstan, Partizan Belgrade of Serbia and AZ Alkmaar of the Netherlands in the group stages of the competition.

Marcus Rashford – four appearances, 355 minutes played, two goals scored and one assist.

Marcus Rashford started the new Premier League season well with two goals, one from the spot, against Chelsea in a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford. Rashford also got an assist against Wolves in the second match of the season, which ended his contribution, at least for goals and assists for the month. Rashford has a lot to learn and time to grow. Can he become a player that is capable of leading the line for United? We shall see.

Anthony Martial – three appearances, 270 minutes played, two goals scored and one assist.

The Frenchman was reunited with his number nine shirt after Romelu Lukaku was sold to Inter Milan this summer. It seemed to be a good thing as Martial scored the second goal against Chelsea at Old Trafford. He then continued that with a goal against Wolves. Against Crystal Palace, Martial was not a goalscorer but he got the assist before suffering an injury at the end of the match, missing the 1-1 draw with Southampton.

Daniel James – four appearances, 285 minutes played, three goals scored.

It was a great start to the Welshman’s United career. Scoring the fourth goal against Chelsea less than ten minutes after he made his debut, scoring in front of the Stretford End, Daniel James made his first start in the second match of the season, the draw with Wolves. He was not on the scoresheet in that game. Against Palace, he scored again, in front of the Stretford End, scoring the third goal of his career against Southampton. What a start for the 21-year-old who can now build on that confidence in international duty with Wales.

Notable Mentions: Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Andreas Pereira.

During the first month of the season, there have been a few players whose performances need to be mentioned. Andreas Pereira got an assist against Chelsea, Paul Pogba has two assists to his name, both against Chelsea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka has played four times for United, putting in great performances each time and Harry Maguire, who has largely been a rock at the back for the Old Trafford club. September will be a tougher month for this squad in their bid on the road to improvement.

Who is your Player of the Month for August 2019?

A look at what lies ahead in September…

In September, United will play five matches. After the first international break of the season, United start at home to Leicester City (14/9). The first Europa League match, at home to FC Astana follows (19/9), followed by West Ham United away (22/9). Then Rochdale at home in the Carabao Cup (25/9), ending the month with Arsenal at home (30/9).

What We’ve Learned: left-back problems, no plan B, lacking creativity, Lingard not performing, no point to Mata

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Crystal Palace in the Premier League at Old Trafford. A lack of creativity was the ultimate problem for United, who had tested their luck at times? A missed penalty by Marcus Rashford and an equaliser for Daniel James seemed positive for United, however, a late winner for Palace left United reeling, again.

It was a match that United, despite having the better of their opposition in terms of possession, creativity was something that was lacking and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to find a solution, which is not Jesse Lingard or Juan Mata. With players like Angel Gomes in the squad, utilising them would make a lot of sense rather than players who don’t do much.

United lacking creativity is a big worry though, especially in the fact that they have not yet faced the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal. It is the first defeat of the season, it could be a blessing in disguise to get things right in this team or it could be the first of many this season. The reaction against Southampton will be key.

The left-back position is a problem.

Luke Shaw was taken off at 34 minutes against Crystal Palace due to a suspected hamstring injury. Ashley Young replaced the left-back, which might see him start regularly whilst Shaw is out of action. Obviously, the club has not confirmed how long Shaw might be out for, stating that the player will have a scan on Sunday.

He might be fit to face Southampton next weekend, however, he might now. Young is a backup this season, not a player that many want to see play a predominate role at left-back. Diogo Dalot is on the sidelines through injury also, so depth in this area is lacking. Demetri Mitchell could well recover from injury, Brandon Williams could be an option.

United need a plan B what their main plan is not working.

United do not have another plan in their game this season. There once was a time whereby United would bring on Marouane Fellaini to give an extra dimension to the team, playing long balls to win the game. A goal is a goal no matter where it comes from. United has used 15 players in three matches this season and still there is no other plan.

When things don’t go the right way, patience seems to be the only thing the players adopt, presuming that continuing the same way will heed the results they want. If it has not worked for 85 minutes, why will it work in five minutes? Solskjaer needs to find another plan as United find it difficult facing teams who defend in numbers.

Creativity is lacking in this team.

It seems quite clear that the Chelsea match was a false dawn. Scoring four goals in one match seemed so easy, yet it is clear that Chelsea side were not quite good enough at the time. It was good to see though. If you don’t take advantage of your opposition when you can, there is something wrong with the game. Creating goals will be a problem.

There was part of me that thought this season would be a good one. My heart at least. My head knew that it was only a period of time whereby United would be found out. The lack of creativity in the team was problematic last season and it has not really been addressed. Against Chelsea, it looked good but two goals in two games suggests otherwise.

Jesse Lingard’s number ten role is surely over with the likes of Angel Gomes waiting in the wings.

Jesse Lingard is not performing. There are no nice words to say about it. When playing in the central area of the attacking midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation, just behind the striker, creativity is key to performances. If the player is not performing, the team is left to pull the weight of this player. Lingard has been off the boil for a long time.

Lingard has scored 17 goals, assisting 10 more in 114 Premier League appearances. That is poor for a player to play in such a position. Angel Gomes is a lively player, at least whilst playing academy football. Chances are that he could transfer that to playing first-team football. Lingard covered some ground, doing nothing of note against Crystal Palace.

To play for United, if you are not going to be creative and disappear in matches, what is the point in that player being picked in the team. Lingard needs to earn his place back in the team Solskjaer needs to find a solution, seeing as he didn’t bring in creativity in the summer. Starting Gomes ahead of Lingard would be a starting point to finding a solution.

Bringing Juan Mata on late in the game does nothing.

Juan Mata has been brought on as a late substitute three times by Solskjaer this season. Mata came on with four minutes to go against Chelsea, with United in a winning position. He then came on with nine minutes left against Wolverhampton Wanderers at 1-1, then today, against Crystal Palace for five minutes with United 1-0 down.

I find it hard to see what this gives United. Mata has played 18 minutes of football this season and for a player in the twilight of his career, no matter his ability to read the game, seems a little strange, especially when Andreas Pereira is not used and Angel Gomes does not even get a place on the bench.

United will need to respond to the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at St Mary’s on Saturday when they face Southampton. The Saints have had a mixed season, losing their first two matches this season; Burnley (3-0) and Liverpool (2-1) but winning their third; Brighton and Hove Albion (2-0) somewhat convincingly. The response next weekend will be telling.

Ratings: A lack of creativity and frustration saw Palace beat United; James scored, Greenwood needs time

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Crystal Palace in the Premier League at Old Trafford. A lack of creativity was the ultimate problem for United, who had tested their luck at times? A missed penalty by Marcus Rashford and an equaliser for Daniel James seemed positive for United, however, a late winner for Palace left United reeling, again.

It was a match that United, despite having the better of their opposition in terms of possession, creativity was something that was lacking and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to find a solution, which is not Jesse Lingard or Juan Mata. With players like Angel Gomes in the squad, utilising them would make a lot of sense rather than players who don’t do much.

United lacking creativity is a big worry though, especially in the fact that they have not yet faced the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal. It is the first defeat of the season, it could be a blessing in disguise to get things right in this team or it could be the first of many this season. The reaction against Southampton will be key.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one was beaten by Jordan Ayew and perhaps could not have done anything about it. However, for Palace’s winner, he should have done a lot more.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

For me, Wan-Bissaka was the best player for United today. He may not have been a player that will be remembered but he played his part and got stuck into the game.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swede had a bad game for United. His defending ahead of Ayew’s goal was poor. He had a few bad moments and United paid for it.

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5 Harry Maguire

His positioning for the first goal was questionable at the time but with Luke Shaw injured and still in the pitch, he seemed to be covering for him too. One player can only do so much.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back started well but soon struggled after seemingly pulling his hamstring. He was able to continue for a few minutes but after Palace opened the scoring, he was replaced by Ashley Young.

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39 Scott McTominay

The midfielder was barely involved in the game against Palace. The involvement that he had was the same as other players in the team, frustrating. It was just a bad day at the office. The response to this defeat will be what makes this team tick.

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6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman was aiming to pull the strings in midfield against Palace, as he did against Wolves for the most part of the game. However, frustration got the better of him. It was a frustrating day for United.

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Ratings: A lack of creativity and frustration saw Palace beat United; James scored, Greenwood needs time

The Welshman was booked for a dive, however, contact was made so he now has a reputation that he does not deserve because of poor refereeing. Had the chance to take the lead at 0-0 but failed to score. Got a late equaliser, which was good for him, however, Palace scored at the other end to win the match.

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14 Jesse Lingard

The England international was lucky not to have been booked or worse after he clattered into Patrick van Aanholt. His creativity is something to be desired with him not creating much. He was replaced by Mason Greenwood in the 56th minute of the match.

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10 Marcus Rashford

The young forward had the chance to end the penalty debate but missed his penalty, hitting the inside of the post. He was involved in the game but the overall creativity was poor, which didn’t help United. The most possession but needs to do more when he’s on the ball.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman had scored in both matches United had played but seemed to be anonymous against Palace. The early season form gave me high hopes, however, the Anthony Martial we saw that season seems too have returned. The response against Southampton will need to be a good one.

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Substitutes

Ratings: A lack of creativity and frustration saw Palace beat United; James scored, Greenwood needs time

Replaced Shaw 36’. Had some involvement in the match. However, he was not what United needed. I would like to see Brandon Williams given a chance now. Young’s crossing was as poor as it was last season. He’s a backup player, not first-choice.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Lingard 56’. The 17-year-old had about half an hour but did not have much time to make an impact. He was hardly involved in the game. His influence in the game was low, which is to be expected. A bad day for him and his talent. Not his fault though. There was too much frustration in the game.

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8 Juan Mata

Replaced McTominay 85'. Had no impact on the game at all. Not sure why Solskjaer uses him so late in the game. Seems pointless.

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Goals: Daniel James 89′; Jordan Ayew 31′, Patrick Van Aanholt 90+3′

Assists: Anthony Martial 89′; Jeffrey Schlupp 31′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Young 34′); McTominay (Mata 85′), Pogba; James, Lingard (Greenwood 56′), Rashford; Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Tuanzebe; Pereira, Matic

Bookings: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 46′, Daniel James 71′; Luka Milivojevic 38′, Gary Cahill 41′, Wilfried Zaha 79′, Vicente Guaita 86′

Report: Resurgent Palace beat United 2-1 at Old Trafford; Rashford missed penalty James scored again

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Crystal Palace in the Premier League at Old Trafford. A lack of creativity was the ultimate problem for United, who had tested their luck at times? A missed penalty by Marcus Rashford and an equaliser for Daniel James seemed positive for United, however, a late winner for Palace left United reeling, again.

United started well against Palace, who lined up in a 4-5-1 formation with Jordan Ayew playing at the lone striker. On the attack, both Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was playing his former club for the first time, linked up well but the Welshman’s cross was cleared away by Gary Cahill, who signed for Palace as a free agent this summer.

United had a half chance in the fifth minute of the game after Scott McTominay rises highest from an early corner but he was unable to direct his header and the ball flew over the Palace crossbar, which will have been an early relief for the visitors, whose record against United at Old Trafford in the Premier League is far from good.

In the seventh minute of the match, Martin Kelly brought down Anthony Martial just outside of the box. It was too wide for a direct shot on goal for United. Paul Pogba’s cross was half cleared and Luke Shaw had the chance but his shot was well over the crossbar, disappearing into the crowd. United have had some chances but need to do a lot better.

There was some controversy in the ninth minute of the match after Jesse Lingard clattered into the back of Patrick Van Aanholt, the advantage was played but Palace then lost possession and United almost broke through with the Dutch left-back still on the ground needing treatment. It was a shame that Martial could not capitalise on the chance he was given.

In the 13th minute, Joel Ward was the latest Palace player needing treatment but it came as United had won a free-kick deep in Palace’s area. Ward had taken a knock from a stray ball hitting him on the nose. Palace were a man down as they looked to defend the set-piece. Marcus Rashford stepped up but his effort was wide from 30-yards.

United, by this time, were controlling the game, having Palace on the back foot. After another good attack in the 17th minute of the match, United had yet another opportunity to take the lead with Daniel James on the advance. Vicente Guaita and Van Aanholt combined to thwart James’ effort from putting the home side 1-0 up.

Palace were, so far, defending well. However, they were seemingly struggling to find a way out of the whole they had dug themselves into, failing to win the ball back for periods of time or advancing into United’s area with much intent. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was playing well, both offensively and defensively against his former club.

By the 23rd minute of the match, United had more than 75% of possession, most of that being in Palace’s half. United won another free-kick in the 25th minute of the match on the edge of the box. Rashford and Pogba were both stood over the ball. Rashford took the set-piece, which seemed to be sailing into the back of the net, however, it sailed over.

In the 26th minute of the match, James was on the ground requiring treatment. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira out to warm up but James was able to continue. Luke Shaw then had treatment on the pitch, seemingly unable to continue with Ashley Young warming up quickly. Shaw seemed able to continue though.

Palace opened the scoring in the 31st minute of the match with Ayew beating David De Gea. It was a long kick from the Palace goalkeeper. Victor Lindelof was easily beaten in the air with Harry Maguire covering for Shaw on the left, who was still not right. Ayew found himself on goal, beating the Spanish number one with a calm finish.

United then made their first substitution of the match with Young replacing Shaw in the 34th minute of the match. After the change, Palace seemed to be in control of the game, pressuring United in their own half. There were chances for the visitors with De Gea making a save. Luka Milivojevic became the first player to be booked in the match.

Martial was seemingly through on goal in the 41st minute of the match with Gary Cahill taking him out just outside the box. He was immediately booked with VAR then getting involved, confirming the booking. Pogba took the free-kick for United, missing the target, sending the ball over the crossbar. The Frenchman seemed frustrated.

United’s creativity seemed to be lacking. Perhaps allowing Angel Gomes to play a part in this game could have added something but I guess Solskjaer knows more than I do. Lingard was not much influence in the game, other than to retain possession. His creativity needs to improve for him to retain his place in the central attacking position in this formation.

There were five minutes of added time to be played at the end of the first half with United still chasing the game, despite being the better side from the start of the game, until Palace scored and Shaw was replaced by Young. Solskjaer’s side needed to keep their wits about them in order to prevail or face the first defeat to Palace at home in the Premier League.

United’s play had been half paced since Palace’s goal. They had an attack down the right but Palace averted that. After their bright start, United seemed short of ideas. Pogba had a moment, taking too long on the ball and was bundled out of possession. United would need to be much better in the second half, still trailing 1-0 to Palace.

There were no changes at the start of the second half for either side. Wan-Bissaka was booked at the start of the second half for a foul. United started to get back into the game in the 48th minute after Young played a good cross over Palace’s defence, which was volleyed at goal by James only for Van Aanholt to make the crucial block.

United were showing more attacking impetus in the second half. Palace, fortunate when Ward made a hash of a block with Lingard nearly capitalised from. United were aiming to pick apart this Palace side, and so they should. Five minutes into the half, Palace were being pinned back into their own area. Pogba played a one-two with Lingard.

Young had a chance a the back post after a long cross fell onto the defender but his volley went straight into the ground. United then had a penalty claim dismissed by the referee and VAR after Martial turned Kelly and slipped in the box with some pulling from the Palace defender. United seemed furious.

Mason Greenwood Replaced Lingard in the 56th minute of the match with Solskjaer seeking to get the better of Palace with the 17-year-old’s pace, killer instinct and ability on the ball. Before the hour mark of the match, United had 15 shots on goal, just one being on target. United would need to do much better during the course of the season.

Young whipped a free-kick into the Palace box but it came to nothing. The Old Trafford faithful seemed to be losing the spirit of the game with United pressuring this Palace side, however, not getting anything from it. Rashford had the ball in the final third, passing to James, however, the ball did not reach the Welshman going out of play.

Just after the hour, United needed to be more imaginative than they were. A free-kick was lumped into the Palace box, it being hoofed clear easily. The side is top of possession, yet doing very little with it. VAR came into play again, looking for a potential red card for a foul on Milivojevic, however, nothing was given.

By the 63rd minute, United had 70% of possession and 80% of the shots on goal. Palace still led by one goal. Solskjaer will not be happy with the lack of creativity by his squad, something for them to work on in training. Otherwise, this is going to be a long, hard season or more disappointment. Palace though were staying back in their half.

United won a penalty in the 69th minute of the match as McTominay was bundled over as he burst into the box. Rashford had the ball, Pogba nowhere near it. Rashford hit the post with the ball rebounding out of play on the other side of the pitch. James was then booked for diving, despite being fouled by the Palace player.

Palace made their first change with Christian Benteke replacing Ayew in the 75th minute of the match. United then won a free-kick after a foul on Rashford, but it did not materialise into anything for United, who are still chasing the game. Maguire then had a header blocked at the back post with Pogba then heading over the crossbar.

McTominay then missed the target from outside of the box on another attack. United were banging on the door but they needed to do so much more to get a result here. Palace readied Andros Townsend as their second substitution late in the half. Wilfried Zaha was then booked for a challenge on James, seemingly more than one challenge, maybe?

Townsend replaced Schlupp, who did not leave the pitch at the nearest part, walking slowly across the pitch, not even being booked by the poor referee. United then had a call for another penalty after Rashford was seemingly pulled down by Ward but VAR and the referee gave nothing. Palace then made a third change with James McCarthy replacing Kouyate.

Solskjaer made his third substitution in the 85th minute with Juan Mata replacing McTominay. The Palace goalkeeper was booked in the 85th minute for timewasting. United were going forward in numbers but seemed weak on the counter as Benteke nearly created something by nearly getting onto Zaha’s cross.

United equalised in the 89th minute through James who scored his second goal at the Theatre of Dreams, curling his final shot into the far corner. Pogba had credit in the goal after his tackle on Zaha set United on the way to the equaliser. James will be happy though, his second goal in front of the Stretford End.

Five minutes of added time were to be played at the end of the half. United were now level. Time to seek a winner? You would have thought. However, it was Palace that tried their luck. Patrick Van Aanholt beat De Gea from close-range in what may be seen as another goalkeeping error with Palace leading 2-1 now. United running out of time.

United will need to bounce back from that poor defeat which saw Palace leave Old Trafford victorious for the first time since 1989. Solskjaer will not be happy with what he saw from these players, who showed the same signs they showed last season when they played a poor brand of football from the victory over Paris Saint-Germain. Not good enough. Changes needed.

Goals: Daniel James 89′; Jordan Ayew 31′, Patrick Van Aanholt 90+3′

Assists: Anthony Martial 89′; Jeffrey Schlupp 31′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Young 34′); McTominay (Mata 85′), Pogba; James, Lingard (Greenwood 56′), Rashford; Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Tuanzebe; Pereira, Matic

Bookings: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 46′, Daniel James 71′; Luka Milivojevic 38′, Gary Cahill 41′, Wilfried Zaha 79′, Vicente Guaita 86′

Confirmed Starting XI: Martial leads the line against Crystal Palace; Zaha starts on return to Old Trafford

Manchester United host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford this afternoon in the Premier League; the first traditional Saturday afternoon kickoff for United this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to continue his good start to the season, beating Chelsea 4-0 and drawing 1-1 with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Pogba;

James, Lingard, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Young, Tuanzebe; Mata, Pereira, Matic; Greenwood

Crystal Palace:

Guaita;

Ward, Cahill, Kelly, Van Aanholt;

McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyate;

Zaha, Ayew, Schlupp

Substitutes:

Hennessey; Dann; Meyer, Townsend, Wickham, McCarthy; Benteke

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.

Palace has not won a single match against United in the Premier League of the 20 played, losing 16 times and drawing four. United have scored 40 goals against Palace in the league, conceding just eight goals. Solskjaer will want to keep this record over the London club at Old Trafford, as will the supporters as it keeps United’s dominance over Palace.

Key Players and Battles: Maguire, Gomes and Martial to battle against Zaha, Milivojevic, and Dann as Crystal Palace come visit Old Trafford

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.

Opposition Scouting: Crystal Palace looking for first win of the season with poor Old Trafford record

Crystal Palace will travel to Old Trafford where they will face Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. After a poor start to the new season where they drew 0-0 with ten-man Everton, then a 1-0 away defeat to Sheffield United, Roy Hodgson’s side will be seeking their first victory of the season. Palace last beat United back in November 2011.

Since then, the London club has met United 13 times, losing 11 matches and drawing twice. One of those was the Emirates FA Cup final at the end of the 2015/16 season in which United won by a 2-1 scoreline. Palace are well overdue a victory over United but at this moment in time, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side looks to be in the driving seat for a victory, however, Palace may not just roll over. They will need to be fired up.

Manager: Roy Hodgson

The 72-year-old had been a manager at both club and country level since 1976, utilising his knowledge of the game at the top level in England. In his time as a manager, Hodgson has managed Inter Milan, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion, England and now Palace. Hodgson has won many honours in the game, the last at the turn of the current century. I don’t think he will be adding to those. Hodgson had some success as a youth player for Palace in the 1960s bit never actually made the grade at the club as a first-team player.

After leaving Palace, he played non-league football for a period of time, qualifying as a coach at the age of 23. He then joined Maidstone United, where he was a player and the assistant to Bob Houghton, starting his management career in the game. After a spell at Ashford Town, where he also worked as a PE teacher, he left for South Africa before returning to England to join Carshalton Athletic, where he retired as a player

Tactics: Palace have played their last two matches with a traditional 4-4-2 formation with Wilfried Zaha returning to the starting XI in their 1-0 defeat away to Sheffield United.

Hodgson utilises a traditional 4-4-2 formation, which is good to see in this day and age. However, it is not the best formation for him to be using based on the players he has in his ranks. Is Wilfried Zaha a striker or is he a winger? The 26-year-old scored ten goals and registered five assists last season in the Premier League and was seeking a departure from the London club this summer, who so far has not happened and will not unless he moves abroad.

Sheffield United got the better of this Palace side at the weekend with John Lundstram scoring two minutes into the second half, registering their first victory of their newly-promoted season. Palace, who have not been all that great during pre-season; losing 4-0 to Hertha Berlin and 1-0 to Bromley, also drawing 2-2 with AFC Wimbledon. It is time for Palace to stand up and be counted but there is nothing more difficult that having to do that at Old Trafford, a stadium where the side last won in November 2011 in the League Cup.

Form: Palace has not started the season very well with a draw and a defeat but pre-season was not all that good for them either. It could be a long, hard season for Hodgson’s side this season.

Crystal Palace: LDLDWL

Sheffield United 1-0 L, Everton 0-0 D, Hertha Berlin 4-0 L, AFC Wimbledon 2-2 D, Bristol City 5-0 W, Bromley 1-0 L

Predicted Starting XI: Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke to lead the attack against Manchester United at Old Trafford?

Match Prediction: Palace has not beaten United in their last 13 matches. It will be tough for them to overcome this quick-attacking side at Old Trafford.

Manchester United 3-1 Crystal Palace

copyright: JW