Manchester United will kick off their Premier League season versus Crystal Palace on Saturday. The Red Devils had their opening weekend game against Burnley postponed due to playing in the Europa League semifinals. The Red Devils will host Crystal Palace with the aim of three points.
Last season, the Eagles went away to Old Trafford early in the season and claimed a late winner. Can they do it again? Roy Hodgson’s team got up and running on matchday 1 with a hard-fought victory over Southampton at home. Wilfried Zaha’s 13th-minute goal and the team’s defensive solidity allowed the Eagles to claim the win.
Hodgson’s side followed up that win with a loss on penalties in the Carabao Cup to EFL Championship team Bournemouth on Tuesday. The Cherries won the shootout 11-10. The game finished nil-nil after 90 minutes. Crystal Palace managed just one shot on target. Hodgson did play a somewhat strong squad with Mich Batshuayi, Jeffrey Schlupp, and Max Meyers all on the pitch.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hungry for a win. Some teams to play in Europe in August have shown hangovers with the starts of the domestic campaigns. Will the Red Devils exhibit the same hangover?
The away team have claimed a result in each of the last five games between Manchester United and Crystal Palace. Manchester United won three of their last five games against the Eagles, but all three of those victories came at Selhurst Park. Crystal Palace took points on their last two trips to Old Trafford. During the 2018-19 season, the Eagles grabbed a nil-nil draw away to Manchester United. Then, last term, the Eagles snatched a 2-1 win thanks to a 90th-minute goal from Patrick van Aanholt.
The big question is, which Crystal Palace team will we see on Saturday at Old Trafford? Will it be the one from last weekend’s win against Southampton or the team that lost on penalties to Bournemouth at the weekend?
Manchester United may not have played in the league on matchday 1, but they did play a friendly versus Aston Villa. Solskjaer’s team fell to a 1-0 defeat after Ollie Watkins scored a first-half goal. The manager’s team was a mix of first-team players and fringe squad members. That friendly loss should have little impact on the Red Devils’ performance on Saturday.
Manchester United are unbeaten in nine of their last 10 game versus Crystal Palace in all competitions. Will Saturday’s game be the 10 unbeaten in 11 meetings for Solskjaer’s team?
Solskjaer is hoping for midfielder Paul Pogba to be fit for the game. Pogba tested positive for COVID-19 during the international break. He is back in training and could make the team. Defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones are both ruled out of the game due to their respective injuries.
Although those three players are listed on Manchester United’s injury list, reports claim that Solskjaer could be without as many as 11 players. Fitness issues could prevent several players from appearing. Juan Mata, Fred, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Eric Bailly are all just back in training. Bruno Fernandes only returned to training last week. There are questions around his fitness too.
Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood is training on his own. He returned from isolation from COVID-19 and has been kept apart from the rest of the team. Solskjaer confirmed Harry Maguire will remain as the team’s captain following his legal issues in Greece.
Injuries were a problem for Hodgson throughout the 2019-20 season. Things haven’t got better at Selhurst Park and several players are on the Crystal Palace injury list. Patrick van Aanholt, James Tomkins, Connor Wickham, Gary Cahill, Christian Benteke, and Nathan Ferguson are all ruled out of the match.
Both teams to score: No - BET NOW
Two of the last four Premier League games between the team finished with both teams not scoring goals. Both of those games saw the Red Devils keep clean sheets and win the games. Crystal Palace’s attack is still weak and could struggle away at Old Trafford. Crystal Palace scored just 31 times in 2019-20. It was the second lowest total of goals in the Premier League. Manchester United conceded 36 times.
Under 2.5 goals scored - BET NOW
Crystal Palace have played twice this season. Their game versus Southampton finished with under 2.5 goals and so did their Carabao Cup game versus Bournemouth. Six of the last 11 games in all competitions between Manchester United and Crystal Palace finished with under 2.5 goals scored. Their second match of 2019-20, ended with under 2.5 goals as the Red Devils won 2-0 at Selhurst Park.
Bruno Fernandes to score anytime - BET NOW
A lot was made of Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes’ goalscoring after arriving from Sporting CP. Everyone praising Fernandes should pump the breaks, because his goals from open play were lacking. Fernandes scored eight times for the Red Devils in the Premier League but four of those goals came from the penalty spot. If Manchester United get a penalty against Crystal Palace, it will be Fernandes to step up and take it, as long as he is on the pitch.
Fernandes played all 90 minutes against Crystal Palace last season in Manchester United’s 2-0 win. However, he didn’t score or create a goal. Can he get on the scoresheet this time around?
Crystal Palace signed Michy Batshuayi last week and his presence could really improve Crystal Palace in the final third. However, Manchester United’s defence should prevent the Eagles from getting on the scoresheet at Old Trafford.
Although Crystal Palace have taken four points from six on their last two trips to Old Trafford, the Red Devils should start the campaign well with a win. Expect a Manchester United win against Crystal Palace.
Old Trafford is the host venue for Man Utd vs Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Manchester United vs Crystal Palace kicks-off at 17:30 on Saturday 19 September