Match Preview: Palace to claim first ever Old Trafford scalp?

A massive 12 point behind neighbours City in the league with Christmas in sight, many United fans are still pondering as to how Jose Mourinho continues to keep hold of football most wanted job.

Nevertheless, the Red Devils’s outspoken boss faces up to Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace this weekend, confident of victory over their fellow league stumblers.

Sitting down in 16th position, the Eagles have only managed a poultry 2 wins in 12. Added to that, Wilfried Zaha, the player Palace have pinned most of their hopes on in the last few years, is likely to miss out. The Ivorian has been suffering with a thigh strain first inflicted during his sides 3-1 defeat to Chelsea 3 weeks prior.

Indeed, various stats paint a rather ugly picture for Palace. The side have failed to win a game in 2 years when their talisman is missing. Even with their man in full flow, the Eagles haven’t registered a Premier League win since September 15th and have never beaten United in the Premier League era – Surely a safe punt if your into you Premier League betting tips.

Last season saw United ‘do the double’ over their opponents, claiming a 3-2 Selhurst Park win, followed by an dominating 4-0 win at Old Trafford. Palace fans note, for the last time the Red Devil’s succumbed to their opponents, we have to go al the way back to 2011 where midfielder Darren Ambrose netted a famous long ranger to knock United our of the League Cup.

Although false dawn’s have littered Mourinho’s United tenure, a run of victories over Everton, Bournemouth and Juventus had at least improved a dressing room lacking in confidence. However, an emphatic 3-1 defeat to vastly superior neighbours Man City has proven an unwanted reality check for the multi Premier League champions. Perhaps an unforeseen upset is on the cards.

United injury news

Whilst the home side will have to contend with the absence of Luke Shaw, the England left-back suspended after receiving a fifth booking of the season against City, the good news doe United will be the possibly inclusion of captain Antonio Valencia.

Thriving since being converted to Mou’s first choice right back, of of very few decision that have paid off for the manager, the Ecuadorian is set to return to the side after 7 games out.

Further good news for United is the inclusion of Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba after the French duo had to miss out on their countries defeat defeat to Holland.

Palace injury news

Along with the absence of Zaha, James Tomkins is also a doubt, as the central defender went off with an injury to his knee against Spurs before the break. There is also a question mark over Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but Christian Benteke, Connor Wickham and Scott Dann are expected to be out.

Prediction

As desperate Palace are for a win, we can’t see past United for this one.

Manchester United 3-0 Crystal Palace.

 

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