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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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7 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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21 Daniel James

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

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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24 Timothy Fosu-Mensah

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

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

Ratings: Romelu Lukaku one of the stars as Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 3-1; Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof in high regard

Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 3-1 in the Premier League at Selhurst Park on Wednesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be happy that his team survived the first game of the injury crisis and he will be happy that his understudies persevered and got the team kicking, which is good to see as many of these players had been written off by the supporters during the past few months. This was United’s eighth away win in a row, a new club record.

Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring in the 33rd minute of the match, after missing a sitter early in the first half. It was Luke Shaw who provided the assist, bombing forward into the box and laying the ball to the Belgian striker to slot home. Lukaku doubled United’s lead seven minutes into the second half, Victor Lindelof being the provider of the assist, this time inside the box with a header for the Belgian to find the back of the net. Palace got a goal back through Joel Ward in the 66th minute, which lifted their resurgence.

Embed from Getty Images

Man of the Match: Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian was one of three contenders for the Man of the Match in the 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace. Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw also had good games, both getting an assist, providing the goals for Romelu Lukaku. After the spell he has had, this will be a massive confidence booster for the Belgian, who had not found the back of the net for United since the 2-0 victory over Reading in the Emirates FA Cup at Old Trafford at the start of January. Hopefully, this could be the start of his rise in form.

Match Statistics:

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one was rarely tested in the first half of the game, but come the second, United were not the better team. He also clattered with the post early in the second half and seemed to be injured, but recovered.

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18 Ashley Young

Started at right-back, despite Dalot also starting. Dealt with Zaha, although he had to put in a lot of work at times. Zaha beat him to get the cross into Ward for Palace's goal. Made up for that by scoring United's third, assisted by Pogba.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The Swedish defender seems settled playing alongside Smalling. The iceman put in another decent performance and got himself an assist for Lukaku's second goal of the game.

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Chris Smalling

Smalling was flawless at times and broke forward many times to help get United forward. A weak clearance saw Palace score though, which brought the nervous Smalling into the game. However, both he and United persevered. Shame United could not have kept a clean sheet.

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23 Luke Shaw

The England international provided for Lukaku to open the scoring in the 33rd minute with an assist. One of the players of the season for United. Played with width, which is what United needed.

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39 Scott McTominay

The Academy graduate was very disciplined in his game. Singled out on Twitter as a weak player but against both Palace and Liverpool, he has risen to the occasion.

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17 Fred

The first half was something to forget for the Brazilian, who seemed unable to pass simply, even struggled with the more difficult passes, as you might expect from the first comment. Put down a peg or two by De Gea. In the second half though, he was a bit more positive. Probably rusty after not featuring in the league since Boxing Day. However, it could be that he won't make it at United.

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Diogo Dalot

The Portuguese teenager played further forward than usual and had a good game. He was quick on the attack and unfortunate in the first half, having one touch too many before playing the ball in the box. His cross to Pogba was pretty impressive too. This lad is going to be a good player in a few seasons time. Dalot was replaced in the 77th minute by Bailly, ending his evening, of which he can hold his head high.

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6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman had an injury scare in the first half, but recovered. Seemed to play differently in the right, as opposed to the left, where he normally plays. However, he still got the assist for Young's goal, seeing United win 3-1.

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Alexis Sanchez

This reminds me of Radamel Falcao's ill-fated season at United. Lost the ball too easily and seemed to need to be told where to be on the pitch by the manager. For the wages he's reported to be on, it is a massive waste of money.

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Romelu Lukaku

Missed a sitter in the opening minutes of the match. Got another chance in the 33rd minute, assisted by Shaw and found the back of the net putting United ahead.

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Substitutes

10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Sanchez 77'. Recovered from the ankle injury he received on Sunday. Did plenty of running in the 20-odd minutes he played, which is good news based on the injuries at the club right now.

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3 Eric Bailly

Replaced Dalot 77'. Helped add more defensive awareness in the latter stages of the match. Played well. Good to see him back on the pitch.

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James Garner

Replaced Fred 90'. The 17-year-old made his debut, the 230th player from the Academy to do so. It will be a big occasion for him, less fraught as United were winning.

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Goals: Joel Ward 66′; Romelu Lukaku 33′, 52′, Ashley Young 83′

Assists: Jeffrey Schlupp 66′; Luke Shaw 33′, Victor Lindelof 52′, Paul Pogba 83′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw; McTominay, Fred (Garner 90′); Dalot (Bailly 77′), Pogba, Sanchez (Rashford 77′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Rojo; Pereira; Chong

Bookings: Martin Kelly 41′, Wilfried Zaha 90+1′; Alexis Sanchez 69′, Luke Shaw 81′, Romelu Lukaku 90+5′

Confirmed Starting XI: Chong and Garner on the bench; 4-4-2 diamond with Pogba, Sanchez and Lukaku leading the line

Manchester United will travel to London on Wednesday, this time facing Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League. It will be the final fixture of February, which will have seen United play six matches, so far winning three, drawing once and losing once. In March, United will play five matches, seeing the Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League return, facing Wolverhampton Wanders and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has worked wonders since replacing Jose Mourinho in December, taking charge of 14 matches, this one being the 15th, winning 11, drawing twice and losing just once, meaning that the Norwegian caretaker manager has led United into the top four, although with Arsenal winning on Sunday afternoon, it sees them slipping back into fifth place, meaning they will need to beat Palace and hope Arsenal slip up against Bournemouth, kicking off 15 minutes before United’s match.

Solskjaer’s side has scored 30 goals, conceded nine goals, kept seven clean sheets, winning three Emirates FA Cup matches, losing one UEFA Champions League match, winning eight Premier League matches, drawing twice, earning 26 points in the league, out of a possible 30. In January, Solskjaer won the Premier League Manager of the Month award, with Marcus Rashford winning the Premier League Player of the Month award and Solskjaer could well be nominated for February’s award too.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw;

McTominay;

Dalot, Fred;

Pogba;

Sanchez, Lukaku

Substitutes:

Romero; Bailly, Rojo; Pereira, Garner; Rashford, Chong

United have lost once in their last six matches. On Sunday, they drew 0-0 with Premier League leaders Liverpool, keeping a clean sheet despite losing four players to injury in the match. United have won three, drawn twice and lost once in the last six matches, scoring eight goals, conceding four goals and keeping four clean sheets, which is an achievement considering the number of goals the club leaked under Jose Mourinho during the first half of the season.

Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last six matches. On Saturday, they beat Leicester City 4-1 with former United players, Wilfried Zaha scoring a brace in the game. Palace has won four matches, drawing twice in their last six, scoring 12 goals, conceding just three and keeping three clean sheets, two of which were in the Emirates FA Cup in the victories over Spurs and Doncaster Rovers. Roy Hodgson could see his side get a victory over United this week, with injuries likely to play a big part.

United and Palace have played 54 times in the history of both clubs. United has won 36 times, drawing 11 times and losing just seven times. The last defeat to Palace was in the League Cup on the 30th November 2011, a 2-1 defeat for United. This was the match that Wilfried Zaha first showed his talents to Sir Alex Ferguson, who bought the player in January 2013, just over 13 months later. In the last 12 meetings, United are undefeated, winning 10 and drawing twice, once at home, once away.

copyright: JW