By Dave Marshall
Manchester United entertain struggling Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday and will be hoping to heap more misery on the Eagles, who are yet to score a single goal and record a single point in the Premier League so far this season. The Red Devils will be hoping to continue from they left off against Russian side CSKA Moscow at the VEB Arena in midweek having secured a comfortable 4-1 victory.
United are currently tied on points with rivals Manchester City but are second on the log due to the Citizens superior goal difference, and will be looking at maintaining their unbeaten start to the season and getting maximum point against the Eagles who have endured a horrible start to the campaign. However, with United growing injury list, it is difficult to look past a win for the Red Devils who are yet to concede at home in the Premier League so far this season, and will be hoping to head into the international break with a win that could see them top the table if City fails to win against defending Champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
We take a look at United’s predicted line-up against struggling Roy Hodsgon’s side.
Spanish international David De Gea has been impressive so far this season and will likely keep his place in goal barring any injury. He pulled off some stunning saves at the VEB Arena against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League in midweek and would be hoping to maintain his 100% clean sheet record at Old Trafford this season.
United’s defence has been solid so far this season and would be hoping to keep the Eagles attackers at bay. Antonio Valencia will likely return to the starting line-up at right-back having missed out on United’s trip to Moscow while in the heart of defence, Chris Smalling will likely partner Eric Bailly in place of Phil Jones who is a doubt for tomorrow’s game against the Eagles due to a minor injury.
At left back, Ashley Young will likely retain his spot after putting in a brilliant performance against CSKA Moscow in midweek. Although, he was used at right-wing back against Russian side CSKA Moscow in a 3-4-3 formation in other to match the hosts formation but the Special One will likely return to his favored 4-2-3-1 formation ahead of the Eagles visit on Saturday.
United growing injury list in the midfield continues with Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini joining Paul Pogba on the sidelines. Fans Favorite Ander Hererra will likely partner Nemanja Matic in a midfield pivot, the Spanish international will be starting his second game in the Premier League this season since the 2-2 draw at Stoke. He has found games hard to come by since the arrival of Nemanja Matic with the Special One opting for a Pogba and Matic partnership but will be hoping to consolidate on his performance in midweek.
In attacking midfield, Marcus Rashford is expected to start on the left ahead of the impressive Anthony Martial suffered a knock in midweek against CSKA Moscow while in the hole behind the striker but Armenian playmaker, Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be hoping to continue from where he left off in midweek having scored United’s fourth goal against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.
Juan Mata will likely return to the starting line-up on the right side after being dropped to the bench in midweek against CSKA Moscow.
Red-hot Romelu Lukaku is expected to lead the line against struggling Roy Hodgson’s side and would be hoping to add to his tally for the season. The Belgian forward has scored ten goals in his last nine games for United in all competitions and will definitely be a handful for the Eagles defence.
Probable lineup: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Young, Matic, Hererra, Rashford, Mkhitaryan, Mata, Lukaku.