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How Manchester United could look against Crystal Palace; 4-2-3-1 with Martial leading the line supported by Rashford, Gomes and Greenwood

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.

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish number one managed to keep a clean sheet in the opening Premier League match against Chelsea but on Monday evening at the Molineux, a sublime strike by Ruben Neves was unable to be kept out of the back of the net – his first conceded goal of the season. United’s defence is much stronger with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire which will in turn help De Gea keep more clean sheets, which is what United needs this season. Conceding 54 goals in the Premier League last season was a problem which needs to be solved this season.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

Two matches of the season played; one clean sheet and one goal conceded in the other. United will be seeking to keep another clean sheet at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday. I don’t expect any changes in defence with both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw in the fullback roles and Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire once again partnered in the centre of defence. For the next two matches, at least until the international break, I think things will remain the same.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba played well against Wolverhampton Wanderers, despite missing the crucial penalty which could have turned the draw into a victory. He bossed the midfield at times and was one of the influential players in the squad. If he continues playing in this manner, he will help guide this team during the course of the season, which really is something he should have been doing for some time now. Scott McTominay has covered the most ground so far the season and despite some criticism, Solskjaer should stick by him against Palace.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, Marcus Rashford

United might need a change in this area in order to stop things becoming stagnant. Jesse Lingard played well in the first half against Wolves on Monday, however, he burned out in the second half. In order to keep him fresh and add some competition, the inclusion of Angel Gomes could be crucial. United need some creativity in the central areas to stop them being so reliant on Paul Pogba. Gomes could be the player to do just that. His small frame might make him a tricky player to content with. Mason Greenwood should get a start against Palace as Daniel James was not all that effective against Wolves and could be used as more of an impact player from the bench late in the game. Greenwood has that hunger and killer instinct to score and the pace to beat his man.

Striker: Anthony Martial

The Frenchman has played well so far this season, scoring two goals in two matches. Marcus Rashford might also content Anthony Martial in this position but him playing on the left-wing role has garnered two goals and an assist, so they are both perfectly fine where they are playing, if the formation remains the same. Martial seems much happier this season now that eh has been reunited with his number nine short, which has enabled some goos results with United so far unbeaten this season. A victory over Palace will be a great start with much bigger challenges to come.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Ashley Young, Axel Tuanzebe; Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Daniel James; Tahith Chong

In the first two matches of the season, Solskjaer has left it quote late to make the majority of substitutions with Juan Mata and Greenwood introduced in the 86th minute against Chelsea and Greenwood and Andreas Pereira introduced in the 89th minute against Wolves. Daniel James came on against Chelsea in the 76th minute with Mata coming on in the 81st minute against Wolves.

Earlier changes might work better for United. Greenwood has played five minutes of football this season, hence the need for him to start, like he did against Cardiff City on the final day of last season. To have the likes of Jesse Lingard, Pereira, Axel Tuanzebe, Ashley Young and James on the bench will be good for United, not to mention Tahith Chong, if selected.

Preview: Manchester United seeking to make it 14 matches unbeaten with victory over Crystal Palace

Manchester United -v- Crystal Palace

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 24 August 2019, KO 15:00 BST

Referee: Paul Tierney Assistants: Eddie Smart; Adrian Holmes Fourth Official: Mike Dean 

VAR: Craig Pawson Assistant VAR: Dan Robathan

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.

Form: United unbeaten this season with Palace seeking their first win of the Premier League season after poor pre-season campaign.

Manchester United: DWWWWW

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 D, Chelsea 4-0 W, AC Milan 2-2 (5-4 on penalties) W, Kristiansund 1-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 W, Inter Milan 1-0 W

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

Top Scorers: United has scored five competitive goals so far this season with Palace yet to score in the season proper after a poor start.

Manchester United: Despite winning all six pre-season matches, the competitive season for United started last weekend with a 4-0 victory over Chelsea. The goals scored in pre-season are no longer counted with the season now in full effect.

Goals: 2 – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, 1 – Daniel James

Assists: 2 – Paul Pogba, 1 – Andreas Pereira, Marcus Rashford

United started the 2019/20 season magnificently last weekend by beating Frank Lampard’s Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford. In their second match of the season, United visited the Molineux once again, the third visit of 2019. After two 2-1 defeats, it was down to United to change that. It was a result at 1-1 although Paul Pogba had a penalty saved in the match.

Crystal Palace: Hodgson’s side has not yet scored a goal in a competitive match this season so the goal stated below have come in the four pre-season matches played before their Premier League opener against Everton, a 0-0 draw and the 1-0 defeat away to Sheffield United.

Goals: 2 – Brandon Pierrick, 1 – Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke, Connor Wickham, Jeffrey Schlupp, Max Meyer

Assists: 1 – Connor Wickham, David Boateng, James McArthur, Luka Milivojevic, Max Meyer

Palace has started the season poorly with a 0-0 draw at home to Everton on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, a match which saw Everton down to ten men for the final 14 minutes as Morgan Schneiderlin was booked for the second time. Last weekend, a 1-0 defeat away to Sheffield United continued a poor start for Hodgson’s side.

Team News: United nearly at full strength to face Palace on Saturday; Zaha could feature against his former club at the Theatre of Dreams.

Solskjaer will be without both Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah for the visit of Palace and so far has no new injury concerns to deal with. With a match each week before the first international break of the season, there is ample time for players to rest between matches. The Norwegian may rotate players but I would not expect wholesale changes. Daniel James might lose his place with Mason Greenwood getting an opportunity.

Wilfried Zaha is likely to start against his former club on Saturday with Palace seeking a first win of the Premier League season. Mamadou Sakho might be back in contention to face United after sitting out the end of last season whilst James Tomkins has not played in any pre-season matches yet and is not fully fit to play for his club. James McCarthy, Gary Cahill and Victor Camarasa could all feature against United.

Predicted Starting XI: A strong United squad with a mixture of youth and experience, added to the confidence built this summer could prove too much for Palace.

I don’t expect many changes to the squad which has beaten Chelsea and drawn against Wolves this season. David De Gea and the back four; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw will remain the same. The midfield; Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba should stay the same too. Anthony Martial will again lead the line, supporter by Marcus Rashford, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood. In my opinion anyway.

Match Prediction: Palace not in great form against United since last beating them in 2011; losing 11 and drawing twice in 13 matches.

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.

Manchester United 3-0 Crystal Palace

copyright: JW