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Ratings: Henderson and Shaw can hold their heads high with Matic performing well in Palace draw; Fernandes well out of form is a big worry

Manchester United drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League. It was yet another stagnant performance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side who seemed benevolent rather than full of fight to win their matches. Palace beat them at Old Trafford at the start of the season and this side should have ben angry about that, seeking to overturn that result getting three points this evening, but Palace ended up getting four points from matches against United, which is really poor for a team that thinks they could win trophies, let alone league titles. Luke Shaw and Dean Henderson can hold their heads up high with Nemanja Matic also putting in a good performance against Palace. However, more needs to be done to get the results that United need.

United started on the high press, as they have done this season but Palace matched them with an energetic style of play, which did not set up the match that many would be hoping for, In the third minute, a ‘hospital pass’ as Gary Neville called it, from Marcus Rashford into Luke Shaw saw the left-back fouled and looking like he had done something to his ankle. He recovered minutes later though, which was good news. Palace had a chance from a free-kick in the seventh minute but nothing came of it. Then Christian Benteke shot over the crossbar and into the stands, which was pathetic play for the striker. Palace then got on the front foot and were attacking United, making them uneasy with many passes between United players in their own half.

In the 13th minute of the match, Nemanja Matic had a great shot on goal which forced a save from Vicente Guaita after Bruno Fernandes’ lay-off from 25-yards gave the Serbian defensive midfielder the time to take a chance to find a goal, which tend to be special from the player being that he does not score all that often. United then aimed to get forward as much as they could to get something from the game after that Matic chance, however, they would need to play a lot better in order to threaten the home side, who were not in great form but have risen to United’s challenge so far in this match. In the 19th minute, Marcus Rashford had a great chance to open the scoring but his shot was wide of the target, which is the story of his like at this moment in time.

Palace then started to force United wide, but they were not defending crosses all that well, which was good news for United but the players never really tried to get the better of their opposition knowing this. Edinson Cavani, back from injury missing the last four matches, had some good positioning in the half but there was nothing that was going to test the home side and put United ahead of them – at this stage anyway. Matic played the ball into Cavani in the 23rd minute, which was played to Mason Greenwood, whose shot from 20-yards was deflected wide of the target. United needed to up their game and get things firing in the right direction, pressuring this Palace side, who could capitulate under pressure.

United had another chance in the 27th minute through Rashford, who delivered a cross into the box for Cavani, but he failed to take the pace off the ball, seeing it go over the crossbar from just inside the area. United still need a lot of improvement to get the better of their opposition this evening. It was starting to become worrying that United were playing this poorly with Manchester City on the horizon. If they played like this on Sunday, it could be curtains for them. Palace then got some time on the ball and pushed United back into their half, getting a few chances but nothing to change the course of the match – thus far anyway. Solskjaer will need to have a plan in order to find a way to win this match.

United needed to take more risks in this match, not getting enough on any chances to take the lead. In the 43rd minute of the match United started to up the tempo of the game, recycling the ball after Shaw’s cross was cleared to Fred and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, whose low ball was ready to be tucked home by Cavani in the middle but Joel Ward made a vital sliding block to stop United from taking the lead. There was no added time at the end of the half – the half had been that bad with no real time wasting. Both sides will be up for the challenge in the second half though and that is something that United should be wary of, knowing what happened to them at the start of the season in this fixture at Old Trafford.

There were no changes from wither half at the start of the second half of the match. Both teams continues where they left off at the end of the first half, playing a pretty stagnant match with both sides having a lot to do in order to get something from the match. Palace started to shown signs of being the better team with United doing more of the same from the first half, which was not all that entertaining. In the 51st minute of the match, United had a shock after Harry Maguire was backpedaling and did not get much one a header to clear away the danger which Jordan Ayew just got on to passing it to Benteke with a one-two with the shot walloped into Dean Henderson who was not really tested at the start of the half. This was starting to become dire to watch.

Palace had another chance on the hour mark of the match after Luka Milivojevic’s free-kick from 25-yards, which bounced off the top of the United wall and dropped for Andros Townsend on the volley, before bouncing a foot wide of the far post. It was not really a chance but it was another sign to show just how terribly United have been playing at this point of the season. Solskjaer needs to start thinking about making a change so that there is time to try and influence the game. Inn the 67th minute, Daniel James was warming up but things just seem to be left too late and then when the changes are made, the players do not tend to have much time to get into the game, let alone try to change something.

Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 74th minute of the match with Scott McTominay replacing Fred, who had some impact in the midfield, but was poor in an attacking sense and pointless at shooting from range for goals as they always went wayward rather than created a goalscoring opportunity. McTominay had an instant impact, getting into the Palace box and threatening, however, the home side recovered and then threatened United in their own area of the pitch. Solskjaer then made his second change in the 76th minute with Daniel James replacing Cavani, whose impact in the game was not the best, although it was good to see him back from the injury that kept him out for the last four matches.

Mason Greenwood had a good chance in the final ten minute of the match after United got forward and looked positive in the match. He shot towards goal only to see his effort off target but perhaps one of the best chances for his side of the evening. It is a shame that United play like this when they need to stand up more than ever. It just shows that the requirement in the team to win the Premier League title is not yet present, which is a worry. United will once again remain a work in progress under Solskjaer, which is the most positive period of any manager post-Sir Alex Ferguson but these performances will not whet the thirst for many supporters as the dominant displays of high pressing football seem to have dropped of as soon as they arrived, so to speak.

United started to run out of time to get something from this match and it started to seem like yet another lacklustre 0-0 draw in a game that United should be winning. A month ago, United were being lauded as title contenders but poor results saw Manchester City come from below them to now open up a 14-point lead at the top of the Premier League table. If United play like this at the Etihad on Sunday, it was likely to be a tough afternoon for Solskjaer’s side. Dean Henderson made a great save to deny Palace with a few minutes of normal time remaining, which was good to see. He is another player who can hold his head high as he wants United to win at every chance they have. He should be playing more for this club. Perhaps that will happen.

United face a daunting trop to the Etihad on Sunday to face Manchester City, who could win the league at some point in the next month, which was something United dreamed of not all that long ago. Solskjaer needs to get some answers from his team at this time as the same tactics that he has been using are no longer working and there needs to be a change, either in personnel ons the pitch or a different tactical approach. United need three points against City and that is going to be a big ask for Solskjaer and United. Some players clearly need a break but this is not the time for that. After Sunday, United will face AC Milan at Old Trafford in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League round of 16 stage, which does not give these players any time to hide.

Manchester United

26 Dean Henderson

Kept a clean sheet and made a good save in the last few minutes of the match to deny the hose side. He was vocal in his area, which was good to hear. He needs to be given more opportunities this season - he is the future of the club.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Played against his former club and got forward a lot of the time. United had few chances, which is a worry but defensively, Wan-Bissaka did what he needed to do.

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3 Eric Bailly

Good to see him back on the pitch although he was rarely tested against Palace. I think he's better than Lindelof but there always seems to be an injury at some point. Will be happy with another clean sheet but United need to start winning again.

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5 Harry Maguire

Led United to another 0-0 draw, which seems to be the chosen scoreline at this stage of the season. Had a chance on goal but failed to get anything, which is the story of United's season, at this time anyway.

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23 Luke Shaw

MOTM for me. He was the only player that dug deep to provide. Looked to have been injured in the initial stages of the match but recovered and pushed to get United forward and defend to keep Palace at bay. Can hold his head high on the way back to Manchester.

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17 Fred

Kept United going forward in midfield throughout his appearances. Had a wayward shot on goal. Never gave much, not that many of the United players did anyway. Was replaced by McTominay in the 74th minute of the match.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Should have opened the scoring in the first half of the match after a stunning effort on goal which was saved by the Palace keeper. Did what he needed to do in midfield, although that was really it.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Had a good chance to score in the final ten minutes of the match but saw his effort wide of the target, which is the story for United on this dreadful evening of football.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Seems to be well of the pace at this stage of the season. He clearly needs a rest, which comes at the wrong time. United cannot continue relying on him and other players need to stand up and be counted.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Should have scored early in the match but missed from close-range. Not being funny but why can't he seem to score these goals. United rarely got good chances from there, which is a worrying sign.

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21 Edinson Cavani

The last four matches on the sidelines through injury have been costly and it does not seem like he is fully fit and ready to change things for United. He never had the impact he's had in recent matches, which will come in time. He was replaced by James in the 76th minute of the match.

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Substitutes

39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Fred 74'. Had an immediate impact, putting United forward and trying to get something from the game. Had more of an impact in the match than Fred did.

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Ratings: Henderson and Shaw can hold their heads high with Matic performing well in Palace draw; Fernandes well out of form is a big worry

Replaced Cavani 76'. Used his pace to get United forward and play the width, but nothing was coming close for United in this match.

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Goals: N/A

Assists: N/A

Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; Fred (McTominay 74′), Matic; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani (James 76′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant; Lindelof, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Diallo, Shoretire

Bookings: Jairo Riedewald 90+3′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Henderson, Bailly and Cavani start as United look to go back to winning ways by beating Crystal Palace

Manchester United will be up against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League this evening with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side looking to get back to winning ways after draws against Chelsea (0-0) and West Bromwich Albion in two of their last three matches in the competition. The last time United won in the league was the 3-1 victory over Newcastle United. United recently qualified for the round of 16 in the UEFA Europa League, setting up a tie with AC Milan to aim for a place in the quarter-finals of the competition this season. Roy Hodgson’s side are not in great form, drawing 0-0 with Fulham this weekend and beating Brighton and Hove Albion in their last two matches in the league, which came after defeats to Burnley and Leeds United.

United have faced a lot of criticism after their draw to Chelsea on Sunday, which saw neither side really take charge in the match and the big talking point was regarding a penalty, which was not awarded to United. Edinson Cavani has missed the last four matches and could miss a fifth should he not recover in time to face Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening. United need to find a way to break down teams as the goals are seemingly drying up with is another problem in this team. Anthony Martial is in dire form, which is a massive worry as to why he keeps getting selected for matches, despite injury problems. He offers very little going forward which is something that has not just happened under Solskjaer’s management. Its important United win this match.

Manchester United:

Henderson;

Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw;

Fred, Matic;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford;

Cavani

Substitutes:

Grant; Lindelof, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Diallo, James, McTominay, Shoretire

Crystal Palace:

Guaita;

Ward, Koutaye, Cahill, Van Aanholt;

Milivojevic, McCarthy;

Townsend, Eze, Ayew;

Benteke

Substitutes:

Butland; Dann, Kelly, Hannam; Schlupp, Riedewald; Mateta, Wickham, Batshuayi

United and Palace have met a total of 23 times in the history of the Premier League with this being the 24th meeting between the two sides with only United being in the Premier League since it started. United have won 17 times with Palace winning twice, the two clubs drawing four times. United have scored 44 goals with Palace scoring 13. United have won four penalties, scoring three of them with Palace winning one and scoring it. United have kept 15 clean sheets with Palace keeping three. United’s players have received 33 yellow cards and one red card with Palace’s players receiving 37 yellow cards and two red cards. After the defeat at the start of the Premier League season, United will be seeking to get the upper hand over Hodgson’s side this week.

At the start of the season, United met Palace at Old Trafford a week after the Premier League season started, which was actually United’s first match in the competition this season after their participation in the UEFA Europa League gave them, and Manchester for their participation in the Champions League, an extra week’s break before the new season. Palace beat United 3-1 at the Theatre of Dreams with Donny van de Beek scoring his only goal for the club so far, which was a late consolation. Palace’s goal came from Andros Townsend and Wilfred Zaha, who scored a brace. Last season in this match, United won 2-0 with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scoring the goals. The win helped United finish third in the league last season.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Greenwood, Rashford, Fernandes and James to lead the attack against Palace; Diallo from the bench to make his mark?

Manchester United will be up against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Wednesday evening with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side looking to get back to winning ways after draws against Chelsea (0-0) and West Bromwich Albion in two of their last three matches in the competition. The last time United won in the league was the 3-1 victory over Newcastle United. United recently qualified for the round of 16 in the UEFA Europa League, setting up a tie with AC Milan to aim for a place in the quarter-finals of the competition this season. Roy Hodgson’s side are not in great form, drawing 0-0 with Fulham this weekend and beating Brighton and Hove Albion in their last two matches in the league, which came after defeats to Burnley and Leeds United.

United have faced a lot of criticism after their draw to Chelsea on Sunday, which saw neither side really take charge in the match and the big talking point was regarding a penalty, which was not awarded to United. Edinson Cavani has missed the last four matches and could miss a fifth should he not recover in time to face Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening. United need to find a way to break down teams as the goals are seemingly drying up with is another problem in this team. Anthony Martial is in dire form, which is a massive worry as to why he keeps getting selected for matches, despite injury problems. He offers very little going forward which is something that has not just happened under Solskjaer’s management. Its important United win this match.

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

United and Palace have met a total of 23 times in the history of the Premier League with this being the 24th meeting between the two sides with only United being in the Premier League since it started. United have won 17 times with Palace winning twice, the two clubs drawing four times. United have scored 44 goals with Palace scoring 13. United have won four penalties, scoring three of them with Palace winning one and scoring it. United have kept 15 clean sheets with Palace keeping three. United’s players have received 33 yellow cards and one red card with Palace’s players receiving 37 yellow cards and two red cards. After the defeat at the start of the Premier League season, United will be seeking to get the upper hand over Hodgson’s side this week.

At the start of the season, United met Palace at Old Trafford a week after the Premier League season started, which was actually United’s first match in the competition this season after their participation in the UEFA Europa League gave them, and Manchester for their participation in the Champions League, an extra week’s break before the new season. Palace beat United 3-1 at the Theatre of Dreams with Donny van de Beek scoring his only goal for the club so far, which was a late consolation. Palace’s goal came from Andros Townsend and Wilfred Zaha, who scored a brace. Last season in this match, United won 2-0 with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scoring the goals. The win helped United finish third in the league last season.

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

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson

Dean Henderson has made 13 appearances for United this season, keeping eight clean sheets and conceding nine goals. He recently played in both UEFA Europa League matches against Real Sociedad with United winning 4-0 on aggregate, failing to score a single goal in the second leg and keeping two clean sheets on the bounce. Henderson commanded his area well, which is something that David De Gea does not do and it showed some good leadership, which is needed in the team. I like the way he celebrates when United score and what he does to ensure that he does his best all of the time. He is the future of United and should be given a good chance to take the number one shirt at the club. De Gea’s form never really seems to improve to another level.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles

United have kept four clean sheets in their lasts ix matches, which is a great sign of what they can do but things need to change. In the summer, United will need to sort out a player that will add something to the defence as the current crop of players in the positions are still not giving the fans the confidence that a title run will become a thing. Against Palace, Aaron Wan-Bissaka should face his former club with Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire partnering in the central defensive area with Alex Telles filling in at left-back, giving Luke Shaw some rest ahead of Sunday’s big match against Manchester City. United need to start holding their own in defence and ensure that trophies are something this team is capable of as that is the main aim of the club.

Midfield: Fred, Donny van de Beek

United’s midfield still has some problems with Paul Pogba on the sidelines through injury and Scott McTominay showing signs of rustiness after his injury lay off. Donny van de Beek returned from injury at the weekend, sitting on the bench against Chelsea in the 0-0 draw. I think the Dutchman should start alongside Fred against Palace which could give him the opportunity to find his feet at the club and show the manager and his teammates just why he was so highly rated at Ajax. It has not worked fir him at United thus far, but I believe it will, in time. It is a big transition from the Eredivisie to the Premier League and the Dutchman has all the ingredients to succeed at the club. Fred has played well this season and is showing his worth at the club.

Attacking Midfield: Daniel James, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford

Daniel James is a player in form at this stage of the season. In 15 appearances for the club this season, he has five goals and one assist, which is not the greatest of goal contributions but for a player that has risen from the Championship to the Premier League, he is showing some good signs at the club. His pace can be problematic for the oppositions, I just wish some of the moaners that support this club would give him a chance instead of expecting him to be peak Cristiano Ronaldo all of the time. The expectations placed on some players is way too high. Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford should also feature against Palace; their 40 goals and 24 assists between them have been a big contribution towards what United have achieved so far this season.

Forwards: Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood should lead the line for United against Palace, is Edinson Cavani is not fit enough to start. McTominay seemed to be rushed back into things this weekend and that should not happen with the Uruguayan. Greenwood is a good talent to have in the team and he has the ability to achieve some great things at the club. Since his debut, he has made a total of 86 appearances, scoring 21 goals and ten assists. So far this season, Greenwood has just four goals and five assists which will soo start to increase as the season continues. He played some good football against Chelsea, it was just a shame that United could not find at least one goal, but Chelsea could not either so it was not entirely negative. A point is better than a defeat.

Substitutes: David De Gea; Victor Lindelof, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe; Amad Diallo, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay; Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial

Nine substitutes can be named on the bench in the Premier League with three of them being used. Against Chelsea, Solskjaer brought Anthony Martial off the bench, what good it did, not utilising another player. I find his substitutions to be too late much of the time, but he does what he things best, not what we want to see as supporters. David De Gea should be on the bench for this match, getting some rest ahead for Sunday’s Manchester derby. In defence, Victor Lindelof, Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe could all feature should they be needed. Amad Diallo, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay could be brought on in midfield with Edinson Cavani, if fit, and Martial able to be utilised should the attack need more to get a positive result.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Beating Palace is necessary for United to get back on the right track. Greenwood to lead the line once again? Diallo to have some involvement?

Crystal Palace -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Selhurst Park, London

Wednesday 3 March 2021, KO 20:15 GMT

Referee: Andre Marriner Assistants: Scott Ledger, Marc Perry

Fourth Official: Kevin Friend

VAR: Mike Dean Assistant VAR: Stephen Child

Manchester United will be up against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Wednesday evening with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side looking to get back to winning ways after draws against Chelsea (0-0) and West Bromwich Albion in two of their last three matches in the competition. The last time United won in the league was the 3-1 victory over Newcastle United. United recently qualified for the round of 16 in the UEFA Europa League, setting up a tie with AC Milan to aim for a place in the quarter-finals of the competition this season. Roy Hodgson’s side are not in great form, drawing 0-0 with Fulham this weekend and beating Brighton and Hove Albion in their last two matches in the league, which came after defeats to Burnley and Leeds United.

United have faced a lot of criticism after their draw to Chelsea on Sunday, which saw neither side really take charge in the match and the big talking point was regarding a penalty, which was not awarded to United. Edinson Cavani has missed the last four matches and could miss a fifth should he not recover in time to face Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening. United need to find a way to break down teams as the goals are seemingly drying up with is another problem in this team. Anthony Martial is in dire form, which is a massive worry as to why he keeps getting selected for matches, despite injury problems. He offers very little going forward which is something that has not just happened under Solskjaer’s management. Its important United win this match.

Manchester United: DDWWDW

Chelsea 0-0 D, Real Sociedad 0-0 D, Newcastle United 3-1 W, Real Sociedad 4-0 W, West Bromwich Albion 1-1 D, West Ham United 1-0 W

Crystal Palace: DWLLWW

Fulham 0-0 D, Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 W, Burnley 3-0 L, Leeds United 2-0 L, Newcastle United 2-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W

Top Scorers: Palace have struggled to score goals since running riot over United at the start of the season. Bruno Fernandes has scored five goals fewer than Palace this season.

Manchester United Goals: 22 – Bruno Fernandes, 18 – Marcus Rashford, 7 – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, 5 – Daniel James, 4 – Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba, 2 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Own Goal, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Donny van de Beek

United are still unbeaten in their last six matches, winning three and drawing three. Solskjaer’s side have scored nine goals in the past six matches, conceding just two – keeping four clean sheets, which is a positive. However, in the last two matches, United have failed to register a single goal which is not a great thing to see at this stage of the season with the club slipping to a 12 point deficit between them and league leaders Manchester City. Questions will need to be asked of this team and their inability to break down their opposition. Some players may be tired, others suffering from fatigue but these are things that should be managed during the course of the season. I think United will get over this though and they need to do it soon.

Crystal Palace Goals: 9 – Wilfried Zaha, 4 – Christian Benteke, 3 – Eberechi Eze, 2 – Jairo Riedewald, Jeffrey Schlupp, 1 – Jordan Ayew, Michy Batshuayi, Gary Cahill, Scott Dann, Cheikhou Kouyaté, Jean-Philippe Mateta, Andros Townsend

Palace started well this season, getting a great result against United but since then, the tide seems to have turned with United showing good form and rising towards the top of the table, despite the points deficit between them and Manchester City. Right now, Palace sit 13th in the Premier League table with 33 points, ten point clear of the relegation zone, however, the are not safe in the league yet. Palace have won three, drawn once and lost two of their last six matches, scoring five goals, conceding seven and keeping two clean sheets. With around nine injuries at this stage of the season, fatigue could soon come calling, resulting in the club further slipping down the table. They will be up for the challenge against United though, as always.

Team News: United have up to four players missing for the Palace clash whereas the home side could be missing up to nine players, which will be a blow for Hodgson and a boost for Solskjaer.

Phil Jones (knee), Juan Mata (other), Paul Pogba (thigh) and Edinson Cavani (muscular) are all on the sidelines for United at this current time. Jones, Mata and Pogba have all bene ruled out for the foreseeable future and Cavani has a 25% chance of being fit to face Palace on Wednesday, which seems unlikely. However, a tweet from the player seemed to give hope that he could be back in action soon. United may well draft in Shola Shoretire, who was missing from the squad against Chelsea after featuring in the squads for both matches against Real Sociedad and the clash with Newcastle United. New signing Amad Diallo will probably remain on the bench, despite the fact he has been largely positive since he signed for the club.

James Tomkins (head/face), Nathan Ferguson (thigh), Wayne Hennessey (other), Mamadou Sakho (thigh), Jeffrey Schlupp (thigh), Connor Wickham (other) and James McArthur (other) have all been ruled out of the clash with United at Selhurst Park in Wednesday evening. Hodgson’s side could also be without both Nathaniel Clyne (other) and Wilfried Zaha (thigh) who both have 25% chances of featuring for their club in Wednesday’s clash, but it would seem that they might not both recover until the weekend, or later, missing this match. This will be a blow for Hodgson, whose side beat United on their opening day of the season. Palace are ten points clear of the relegation zone at this stage of the season but they are not safe yet.

Predicted Starting XI: Mason Greenwood to lead the line against Crystal Palace? Donny van de Beek to start in midfield? Eric Bailly to partner Harry Maguire on central defence?

Solskjaer will need to change things up a little but against Palace as they will face Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday, which will be an important match to get a good result in. As Edinson Cavani has not played in the last four matches, despite his post on social media suggesting that he could be fit soon, I have kept him out of this match but he could be a substitute. I would like to see Dean Henderson in goal with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Alex Telles in defence. A duo of Fred and Donny van de Beek in midfield and Daniel James, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford playing in the three attacking players behind Mason Greenwood, who should be given the chance to led the line for his club once again.

Match Prediction: 23 matches played between United and Palace with United winning 17 times, drawing four times and losing twice. Beating Palace this week won’t take away the fact United were beaten at home but it will set the club back to winning ways in the Premier League.

United and Palace have met a total of 23 times in the history of the Premier League with this being the 24th meeting between the two sides with only United being in the Premier League since it started. United have won 17 times with Palace winning twice, the two clubs drawing four times. United have scored 44 goals with Palace scoring 13. United have won four penalties, scoring three of them with Palace winning one and scoring it. United have kept 15 clean sheets with Palace keeping three. United’s players have received 33 yellow cards and one red card with Palace’s players receiving 37 yellow cards and two red cards. After the defeat at the start of the Premier League season, United will be seeking to get the upper hand over Hodgson’s side this week.

At the start of the season, United met Palace at Old Trafford a week after the Premier League season started, which was actually United’s first match in the competition this season after their participation in the UEFA Europa League gave them, and Manchester for their participation in the Champions League, an extra week’s break before the new season. Palace beat United 3-1 at the Theatre of Dreams with Donny van de Beek scoring his only goal for the club so far, which was a late consolation. Palace’s goal came from Andros Townsend and Wilfred Zaha, who scored a brace. Last season in this match, United won 2-0 with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scoring the goals. The win helped United finish third in the league last season.

Crystal Palace 0-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

Player Ratings: Van de Beek’s debut goal – that was the positive. United poor in Palace defeat

Manchester United were beaten 3-1 by Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in the opening Premier League match of the season. Andros Townsend showed United’s defensive frailties inside seven minutes to open the scoring. A penalty (that never was) was awarded, saved by David De Gea, retaken with Wilfried Zaha scoring it, despite Jordan Ayew taking the first one. Donny van de Beek scored a debut consolation before Zaha struck again to hit United hard. Luton Town in the Carabao Cup next…

Palace started the match on the front foot which saw Andros Townsend looking confident against Luke Shaw on the left flank. United were looking fragile defensively from the start and it took just seven minutes for Palace to carve out an opening goal through Townsend after Jeffrey Schlupp got the better of Victor Lindelof with the ball being played to Townsend at the near post, beating Shaw to open the scoring. United should be doing so much better there. This is why a left-back is needed this summer.

United started to show improvement at the first half continued and managed to get shots on goal, and on target, although nothing came close to get them level. United won a free-kick with about five minutes of the half remaining with Bruno Fernandes taking the set-piece, getting no advantage for United. Jordan Ayew had a shot on goal in added time, forcing a save from David De Gea, giving Palace a corner. The set-piece was cleared by Lindelof before Wilfried Zaha had a shot on goal, which was wide.

Solskjaer made his first substitution during the half time break with Daniel James being replaced by Mason Greenwood. United were pushing to get back into the game but Palace were also pushing to double their lead in the early stages of the second half. United’s best chance came through Greenwood just before the hour mark but he was unable to find the equaliser for United. It was clear that United needed some more desire on the pitch as nothing seemed to be coming for United.

United made their second substitution of the match in the 67th minute with Donny van de Beek making his debut for the club with Paul Pogba, who was not quite up to speed, coming off. Palace won a penalty after a supposed half ball by Lindelof, which was harsh. Ayew took the penalty with De Gea making the save. Then with the ball being cleared up the pitch, Martin Atkinson ordered the penalty to be retaken. Zaha took the penalty, doubling Palace’s lead. VAR has become an even bigger farce this season than last.

United got themselves back into the match in the 80th minute with a debut goal from Donny van de Beek, thirteen minutes after the Dutchman was brought on to replace Pogba. United looked like they were going to aim to get themselves back into the game but Zaha stopped that with a second goal in the 85th minute, putting United two goals behind again. It is not a great start to the season. Solskjaer will be under lots of scrutiny from the media and the Mourinho supporters making the last two weeks of the transfer window even tougher.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Conceded inside seven minutes. After the opening goal, De Gea found his feet and got back into the game, forcing a save from Ayew in added time in the first half. Saved a penalty from Ayew, but moved from his line so it was retaken with Zaha scoring.

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Player Ratings: Van de Beek’s debut goal – that was the positive. United poor in Palace defeat

Started ahead of Wan-Bissaka against Palace. United's defence was poor, especially in the early stages of the match which saw Palace score. Was booked in the second half of the match. The Dutchman was replaced by Ighalo in the 81st minute of the match, just after United scored through Van de Beek.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Lost out defensively to Schlupp, who provided the assist for Townsend's opener. Should have done much better. Grew into the game and made a crucial clearance at the end of the first half. Gave away a penalty, that never should have been a penalty.

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5 Harry Maguire

Defensively, not good enough against Palace. As the captain of this team, not good enough. United need a better leader. It is the early stages of the season, so improvement might be found but defensively, United are going to struggle and need reinforcement. Not that the owners of the executive vice-chairman care about that. There is money to trouser, after all.

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23 Luke Shaw

Was given many early problems by Townsend in the early stages of the match which resulted in a goal for the Palace player. You can see why Solskjaer wants to sign a left-back this summer. His lack of form and injury record are a problem for United.

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6 Paul Pogba

I though the Frenchman was poor against Palace. His distribution was sloppy at times and he did not seem to have much desire. For a world class player, he should be striving for more. However, he has just recovered from coronavirus and might just be lacking fitness. Replaced by Van de Beek in the 67th minute.

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39 Scott McTominay

Good to see him start against Palace. Seemed lively at times but in terms of an end product, he is lacking at this time. Needs to look at his goal against City last season and find that impact and he will offer value.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Seemed to be lacking something in the first half of the match, similarly to how he came back after the restart last season. Not really active in the second half either. Not good enough to be fair.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Had lots of involvement in the match against Palace but in terms of creativity, nothing really came off for the club. I thought United would have started much better than this as that Villa defeat last week saw many players missing, who were playing today.

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Player Ratings: Van de Beek’s debut goal – that was the positive. United poor in Palace defeat

Lots of pace but no real end product at this moment in time. Started well last season but has come unstuck. Should be using his pace to break in behind the defenders and playing the ball inside but passes back or sideways before. Needs to find improvement and quickly. Replaced by Greenwood at half time.

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9 Anthony Martial

Last seasons momentum from the Frenchman was not present today. United did little to provide any creativity worthy of breaking this Palace side down. United deserve what was dished up for them. Improvement needed across the entire squad.

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Substitutes

11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced James 46'. Had a good chance early in the stages of the half but could not put United level.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Replaced Pogba 67'. Made his debut for the club and score a debut goal, which was more of a consolation. Good to see him get a scoring start to his career.

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Player Ratings: Van de Beek’s debut goal – that was the positive. United poor in Palace defeat

Replaced Fosu-Mensah-Mensah 81'. Came on late in the game but in terms of finding a solution to the problems that United faced, he did not offer much in all fairness.

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Goals: Donny van de Beek 80′; Andros Townsend 7′, Wilfried Zaha 74′ penalty, 85′

Assists: Jeffrey Schlupp 7′

Manchester United: De Gea; Fosu-Mensah (Ighalo 81′), Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba (Van de Beek 67′), McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, James (Greenwood 46′); Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Wan-Bissaka; Fred

Bookings: Tim Fosu-Mensah 58′, Harry Maguire 64′; Joel Ward 55′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Martial, Rashford, Fernandes and Pogba start against Palace; Van de Beek on the bench

Manchester United start the 2020/21 Premier League season against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford this evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side should have started at Turf Moor against Burnley last weekend but both United and Manchester City has their opening matches postponed due to their participation in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League respectively. United have played just one pre-season match this summer, losing to Aston Villa at Villa Park last Saturday.

That said, United’s players should still be fresh from their European endeavours and playing for their countries during the international break, which came before the season actually started. Roy Hodgson’s side have played two competitive matches already this season, added to four pre-season matches whilst United were still playing in Europe. This will be an important match for United as they lost this fixture last season and will be seeking to start the 2020/21 season well.

This summer, there was so much promise that United could partake in the summer transfer market, continuing their rebuild. However, the club is currently failing to bring in more than one new signing so far this summer; Donny van de Beek from Ajax. Solskjaer’s side have been linked with Jadon Sancho all summer, but that prospective deal is something that has not really developed since the 10 August deadline expired. United recently missed out on Sergio Reguilon, who will be signing for Tottenham Hotspur.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Fosu-Mensah, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Pogba, McTominay;

Rashford, Fernandes, James;

Martial

Substitutes:

Henderson; Bailly, Wan-Bissaka; Fred, Van de Beek; Greenwood, Ighalo

Crystal Palace:

Guaita;

Ward, Kouyate, Sakho, Mitchell;

Townsend, McArthur, McCarthy, Schlupp;

Zaha, Ayew

Substitutes:

Hennessey; Inniss, Kelly; Milivojevic, Meyer, Eze; Batshuayi

United and Palace have met 22 times in the Premier League; United have won 17 times, drawn four times and were beaten just once. In terms of goals scored, United have 43 compared to Palace’s 10 with United winning four penalties and scoring three – Palace have not won a penalty against United in the Premier League. United have kept 15 clean sheets with Palace keeping three. Discipline has been an issue with United receiving 31 yellow card and one red card with Palace receiving 36 yellow cards and two red.

Last season, in this fixture at Old Trafford, United lost their first match against Palace in the Premier League. Jordan Ayew opened the scoring in the 32nd minute of the match with Daniel James equalising in the 89th minute. Patrick van Aanholt scored the winner three minutes into added time. At Selhurst Park, United were the victors with Marcus Rashford opening the scoring in added time at the end of the first half with Anthony Martial doubling United’s lead in the 78th minute of the match.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-3-3] Van de Beek, Fernandes and Matic in midfield against Palace?

Manchester United will start the 2020/21 Premier League season against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side should have started at Turf Moor against Burnley last weekend but both United and Manchester City has their opening matches postponed due to their participation in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League respectively. United have played just one pre-season match this summer, losing to Aston Villa at Villa Park last Saturday.

That said, United’s players should still be fresh from their European endeavours and playing for their countries during the international break, which came before the season actually started. Roy Hodgson’s side have played two competitive matches already this season, added to four pre-season matches whilst United were still playing in Europe. This will be an important match for United as they lost this fixture last season and will be seeking to start the 2020/21 season well.

This summer, there was so much promise that United could partake in the summer transfer market, continuing their rebuild. However, the club is currently failing to bring in more than one new signing so far this summer; Donny van de Beek from Ajax. Solskjaer’s side have been linked with Jadon Sancho all summer, but that prospective deal is something that has not really developed since the 10 August deadline expired. United recently missed out on Sergio Reguilon, who will be signing for Tottenham Hotspur.

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

United and Palace have met 22 times in the Premier League; United have won 17 times, drawn four times and were beaten just once. In terms of goals scored, United have 43 compared to Palace’s 10 with United winning four penalties and scoring three – Palace have not won a penalty against United in the Premier League. United have kept 15 clean sheets with Palace keeping three. Discipline has been an issue with United receiving 31 yellow card and one red card with Palace receiving 36 yellow cards and two red.

Last season, in this fixture at Old Trafford, United lost their first match against Palace in the Premier League. Jordan Ayew opened the scoring in the 32nd minute of the match with Daniel James equalising in the 89th minute. Patrick van Aanholt scored the winner three minutes into added time. At Selhurst Park, United were the victors with Marcus Rashford opening the scoring in added time at the end of the first half with Anthony Martial doubling United’s lead in the 78th minute of the match.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Crystal Palace in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

It is safe to say that David De Gea did not have the best season for United last season. He made many mistakes and took a hit in terms of confidence. His ability might still be there and he will need to ensure that it comes back through. In the past seven seasons, De Gea has won the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award four times so we have seen the best of what he can do. I believe the player has the drive, determination and desire to keep moving forward and after each mistake, he look distraught, which suggests he knew that he could do better.

The challenge of Dean Henderson to rival De Gea for the number one shirt at the club could be the best thing for both goalkeepers, taking the reliance off one goalkeeper and giving both a fair share of matches until Henderson has the confidence in himself and the confidence of his manager, coaches and teammates to perform like a United goalkeeper should be performing. De Gea should start against Palace. Henderson could well play against Luton Town in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening, which would be a good match for him to start building his confidence at the club.

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

United’s defence needs some strengthening but that might not happen this summer. At left-back, with Luke Shaw’s injury record, the clubs tends to go long periods relying on a player who does not have much experience. This has happened at the club for a number of years. Brandon Williams has done well but needs more development before he can be considered as a starting player in a fullback position. The defence improved last season after the arrival of both Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire for around £125 million, which helped defensively, although there is still more to do.

United conceded 54 goals in the 2018/19 Premier League season, reducing that to 36 last season, which can only be considered an achievement, also seeing United as the third best defence in the league behind Liverpool (first) and Manchester City (second). Against Palace, I expect Wan-Bissaka and Shaw in the fullback positions and Victor Lindelof and Maguire as the central defensive partnership. The future of Teden Mengi is going to be an exciting one though, and Solskjaer will need to find a solution for Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo – who should all be leaving the club.

Midfield Three: Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek, Bruno Fernandes

United pulled a blinder with the midfield in January by signing Bruno Fernandes, who was one of the main catalysts to the clubs drive in the Premier League which saw them finish third, overcoming a 14 point deficit with Leicester City and finishing four points ahead of them, cementing their third-place finish with a 2-0 victory on the final day of the season. Fernandes achieved 12 goals and eight assists in 22 appearances for United, managing 49 goal contributions in 50 appearances including his stats from Sporting Clube de Portugal.

This summer, Solskjaer signed Donny van de Beek, who is another player who will compliment the midfield and give United better options when trying to break teams that stay behind the ball down – something United struggled to do at times last season. Against Palace, United will be seeking to start their season with a victory and continue building, despite the negativity surrounding the club because of the lack of transfer activity this summer. Fernandes, Van de Beek and Nemanja Matic should start in a midfield three, with Paul Pogba lacking fitness because he had to self isolate after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Forward Three: Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford

The trio have not played this summer so may not be fully match fit, but saying that, they have not had three months on the sidelines after the season, having about a month – although the international break saw both Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood get some minutes on the pitch, before Greenwood was sent home, anyway. The trio of Marcus Rashford, Martial and Greenwood contributed a total of 63 goals and 28 assists – a total of 91 goal contributions for the club last season. This puts them in the position that they are United’s hope this season.

Unless the club makes any signings in the final few weeks of the summer transfer window. Greenwood has something to prove this season, after his antics in Iceland and he will probably be more determined than ever to hit the ground running and cause the negativity surrounding him to disperse into a cloud of positivity that would be achieved with goals and assists as regularly as possible this season. Martial will be under pressure to keep his current form, building upon it in every match and Rashford will be tasked with finding his form pre-back injury and restoring that, ensuring that United’s front three will be firing the club to glory.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Brandon Williams, Teden Mengi; Fred, Daniel James, Scott McTominay; Odion Ighalo

United will have just three substitutes again this season, which will make things that little but more difficult after becoming reliant on five substitutes after the Premier League restart because of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. It will need to happen as things start to return to normalcy, well hopefully they do and supporters will be back in the stadiums in full force against in the not too distant future. Dean Henderson will be the substitute goalkeeper for this game, probably getting his start against Luton in the Carabao Cup next week.

Defensively, Teden Mengi and Brandon Williams could be called upon, although Tim Fosu-Mensah and Eric Bailly could be called upon instead. In midfield, Fred and Scott McTominay could do a job with Daniel James in the wide areas, should an injection of pace be needed at some stage late in the match. The only main attacking player on the bench will be Odion Ighalo, who did well at the start of his United career, but seems to have gone off the boil during the latter stages of last season, needing to find his form himself. United could do with at least one attacking player coming in this summer.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Solskjaer seeking to beat Palace despite club not backing him this summer

Manchester United -v- Crystal Palace

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 19 September 2020, KO 17:30 BST

Referee: Martin Atkinson Assistants: Lee Betts, Peter Kirkup 

Fourth Official: Robert Jones

VAR: Jonathan Moss Assistant VAR: Marc Perry

Manchester United will start the 2020/21 Premier League season against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side should have started at Turf Moor against Burnley last weekend but both United and Manchester City has their opening matches postponed due to their participation in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League respectively. United have played just one pre-season match this summer, losing to Aston Villa at Villa Park last Saturday.

That said, United’s players should still be fresh from their European endeavours and playing for their countries during the international break, which came before the season actually started. Roy Hodgson’s side have played two competitive matches already this season, added to four pre-season matches whilst United were still playing in Europe. This will be an important match for United as they lost this fixture last season and will be seeking to start the 2020/21 season well.

This summer, there was so much promise that United could partake in the summer transfer market, continuing their rebuild. However, the club is currently failing to bring in more than one new signing so far this summer; Donny van de Beek from Ajax. Solskjaer’s side have been linked with Jadon Sancho all summer, but that prospective deal is something that has not really developed since the 10 August deadline expired. United recently missed out on Sergio Reguilon, who will be signing for Tottenham Hotspur.

Form: Palace in better form currently having played four pre-season matches after the completion of the Premier League season; United played in the UEFA Europa League and had one pre-season friendly.

Manchester United: LLWWWD

Aston Villa 1-0 L (F), Sevilla 2-1 L, FC Copenhagen 1-0 W, Linzer ASK 2-1 W, Leicester City 2-0 W, West Ham United 1-1 D

Crystal Palace: LWDWWW

Bournemouth 0-0 (11-10 pens) L, Southampton 1-0 W, Brondby 1-1 D (F), Millwall 1-0 W (F), Charlton Athletic 3-0 W (F), Oxford United 2-1 W (F)

Top Scorers: Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes looking to score the goals for United again this season? Palace likely to be more match fit than United.

Manchester United Goals: 0

United were due to open their Premier League season away to Burnley last weekend but because of their participation in the UEFA Europa League, which was played out in August alongside the UEFA Champions League, the first match of the season was postponed, along with Manchester City’s class with Aston Vila. United have played one pre-season friendly this summer, against Villa last weekend – a 1-0 defeat with many first team players missing from the squad. United will need to start the season running.

Crystal Palace Goals: 1 – Wilfried Zaha

Palace started their 2020/21 season Southampton last weekend, winning the match 1-0 with Zaha scoring the only goal of the game. Palace then came up short against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup, drawing the match 0-0 and losing 11-10 on penalties. Palace played four pre-season friendlies this summer, after a month-long break following the Premier League season being completed, beating Oxford United, Charlton Athletic and Millwall but drawing against Danish side Brondby. Palace will be fitter than United.

Team News: United might be missing some first team players this weekend but Donny van de Beek could make his debut for the club.

Solskjaer will start the new Premier League season without Phil Jones (knee) and Axel Tuanzebe (ankle/foot) – with both players ruled out for the foreseeable future. Paul Pogba is also a doubt after his positive coronavirus test, now recovering from the virus and back in training. However, he might not be fully fit to face Palace, but might be involved from the bench if he continues to train well ahead of Saturday’s clash at the Theatre of Dreams. It was always expected for some players to be missing.

Roy Hodgson will be missing Nathan Ferguson (knee), Patrick van Aanholt (shoulder), Gary Cahill (thigh), James Tomkins (thigh) and Connor Wickham (other) – all five players have already been ruled out for this match. The club has two more injuries to overcome with Christian Benteke (ankle/foot) having a 25% chance of returning and Jairo Riedewald (other) having a 75% chance of returning and being subject to a late injury test. I would predict that only Riedewald could be involved this weekend, based on this news.

Predicted Starting XI: Rashford, Martial and Greenwood to lead the line in a 4-3-3 formation with Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic in midfield? David De Gea or Dean Henderson in goal?

Nine players who missed the friendly against Aston Villa last Saturday returned to training this week. They have not had the longest break out of the game but might not be fully match fit for this weekend, so there will be some doubts as to whether Solskjaer will field a fully experienced XI against Palace. I think Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood will lead the line with a midfield three of Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic. David De Gea will start in goal, I think.

Match Prediction: United to hit the ground running against Palace? 17 wins, four draws and one defeat in 22 Premier League matches against the Eagles.

United and Palace have met 22 times in the Premier League; United have won 17 times, drawn four times and were beaten just once. In terms of goals scored, United have 43 compared to Palace’s 10 with United winning four penalties and scoring three – Palace have not won a penalty against United in the Premier League. United have kept 15 clean sheets with Palace keeping three. Discipline has been an issue with United receiving 31 yellow card and one red card with Palace receiving 36 yellow cards and two red.

Last season, in this fixture at Old Trafford, United lost their first match against Palace in the Premier League. Jordan Ayew opened the scoring in the 32nd minute of the match with Daniel James equalising in the 89th minute. Patrick van Aanholt scored the winner three minutes into added time. At Selhurst Park, United were the victors with Marcus Rashford opening the scoring in added time at the end of the first half with Anthony Martial doubling United’s lead in the 78th minute of the match.

Manchester United 2-1 Crystal Palace

Written by John Walker

Review & Ratings: Rashford and Martial dismantle Palace; De Gea and Fernandes positive

Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Thursday evening. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both scored their 22nd goals of the season, which is a good period for them. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be happy with the victory and clean sheet with David De Gea working hard to keep Palace out of his goal. He was beaten but VAR ruled it out for offside. Chelsea in the FA Cup follow in Sunday.

It was a slow start for United against Palace but it could have been a bad end for United as it seemed Victor Lindelof gave away a penalty, although nothing was given by the referee. Two minutes into added time, despite United trying to get a breakthrough, Marcus Rashford opened the scoring for United with Bruno Fernandes playing the ball into the box, it touching a defender before Rashford dummied the home side and curled with his right foot. 1-0 to United.

In the 55th minute of the match, Palace had an equaliser through Jordan Ayew, who scored in this game at Old Trafford earlier in the season. Wilfried Zaha did well and flashed the ball across at the back post to Ayew but he looked offside. VAR took a look possibly with millimetres in it. The goal was chalked off for offside, which was a lucky escape for United. The scored was back to 1-0 United.

Solskjaer Ade his first two changes with Nemanja Matic replacing Scott McTominay in the 62nd minute and Jesse Lingard replacing Mason Greenwood in the 63rd minute of the match. United doubled their lead in the 78th minute of the match through Anthony Martial. Fernandes made the break on the left, rolling the ball to Rashford who played the ball through Joel Ward’s legs, finding Martial who finished beautifully. 2-0.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number on kept an important clean sheet against Palace despite conceding which was ruled out by VAR. De Gea will be pleased with the shut out.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back played well against his former club. He was booked in the first half and also unlucky not to get through on goal. Zaha and Ayew got the better of him a few times, so there is something for him to work on after this match.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swedish defender could have given away a penalty but luckily it was not given. It was not the best defensive performance but fatigue could be a playing factor in that. Helped United get a clean sheet so will be happy.

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5 Harry Maguire

The captain was booked for a poor challenge in the 65th minute of the match. Defensively, United need some stability at a point of the season where they should be pretty solid. Seemed to be carrying an injury but played on.

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Review & Ratings: Rashford and Martial dismantle Palace; De Gea and Fernandes positive

The Dutchman started at left-back with Shaw and Williams out of action for this game, playing in an unfamiliar position and lasting 90 minutes and not looking too happy, despite a severe lack of playing time this season - he's only played U23 football.

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6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman played well and got involved in the game at times but was not pushing as much as some of his teammates. I would like to see more from him. He needs consistency to help United become better. He's played a lot of football despite sitting out for much of the season.

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39 Scott McTominay

The Scotland international was not in the best of form for this match and was shouted at by Solskjaer on more than one occasion. He was replaced by Nemanja Matic in the 63rd minute of the match.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The teenager did not have the best game against Palace but was seemingly carrying a knock to his ankle sustained against Southampton at the start of the week. He was replaced by Jesse Lingard in the 62nd minute of the match.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese midfielder was unlucky not to get an assist for Rashford's goal. He was not at the best of his game creativity wise but got stuck in and tried to make a difference. He's played a lot of football in the past month with so much more to play. He seemed to be the best outlet in creativity during the match and was awarded the MOTM by BT Sport.

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10 Marcus Rashford

The England attacker scored his 22nd goal of the season with a sublime finish after Bruno Fernandes played the ball into the box, although it hit a defender before Rashford finished. He also got an assist for Martial's goal which won the match for United.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman did well during the match and ended up matching Rashford's 22nd goal of the season, keeping the race to become the clubs top scorer alive this season. Could he have three more goals inhume this season to get 25 in total?

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Substitutes

31 Nemanja Matic

Replaced McTominay 63'. It was good to see the Serbian get some rest ahead of Sunday but I would have liked to see him sit this game out. He did well when he came on though.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Greenwood 62'. A rare outing for Lingard, who has been a rather pointless player in the squad this season. He covered a lot of the pitch, that was about all though.

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Goals: Marcus Rashford 45+1′, Anthony Martial 78′

Assists: Marcus Rashford 78′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Fosu-Mensah; Pogba, McTominay (Matic 63′); Greenwood (Lingard 62′), Fernandes, Rashford; Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly, Dalot; Mata, Fred, James; Ighalo

Bookings: Luka Milivojevic 90+3′; Aaron Wan-Bissaka 36′, Harry Maguire 65′

Written by John Walker

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

copyright: JW