Thursday, December 13, 2018

Prediction: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United

Verdict: Manchester United and under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 9/4

Bookmaker: Bet365

After coming from behind to snatch three vital points of fellow Champions League hopefuls Chelsea last weekend, Jose Mourinho’s Manchester City side will travel to Selhurst Park to face a Crystal Palace side who have now failed to win any of their last five matches.

Crystal Palace

Although admirably turning their season around under former England boss Roy Hodgson, the Eagles have begun to slip back to their old ways and Palace now once again find themselves at the heart of a relegation battle. With talisman Wilfred Zaha still sidelined, Hodgson’s side have now failed to win any of their last five matches and carry on a remarkable run that has seen them fail to win a game without Zaha since April 2016. Drawing two and losing three of their last five, the Eagles now find themselves sat in 17th position as the teams around them have picked up points. Despite putting on a resilient performance last Sunday, a last-gasp Harry Kane winner saw Spurs leave Selhurst Park with a 1-0 win.

Team News

Crystal Palace are in the middle of an injury crisis at the moment with 10 players ruled out of the contest on Monday. Yohan Cabaye, Joel Ward, Mamadou Sakho, Wilfried Zaha, Julian Speroni, Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Connor Wickham are all out.

However, James Tomkins, Martin Kelly and Jeff Schlupp should all shake off their injury problems in time.

Manchester United

For the visitors on Monday night, Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side will have refound their confidence after picking up a crucial three points against Chelsea last weekend. Pushing the Red Devils back up to second spot, although Mourinho’s men might be sat 13 points adrift of their noisy neighbours at the head of the table, United were able to widen their gap in the hunt for an essential top-four finish come the end of the season, United now hold a six-point advantage over fifth place Chelsea. United’s Portuguese tactician will be desperate for another professional performance against a struggling Palace side. Despite boasting the joint best defensive issue in the Premier League, United have famously slipped up against the likes of Huddersfield, Southampton, Burnley and most recently Newcastle. Looking to continue his own individual improved run of form will be Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian striker now has seven in his last 10 in all competitions.

Team News

United are also struggling with injury woes, especially in defence where Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Daley Blind are all short of fitness. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ander Herrera and Maouane Fellaini are all sidelined as well.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Without forward Wilfred Zaha in their team, Crystal Palace have not registered a win since April 2016.
  • Manchester United have not lost in their last 10 matches against Place (W9, D1).
  • In fact, the last time Palace beat Manchester United in the league was in 1991.
  • The Eagles have failed to win any of their last five games (L3, D2).
  • Belgium international Christian Benteke has two goals in his last 22 appearances and is yet to score at Selhurst Park this year.


Although Roy Hodgson’s side may have come away empty-handed against Tottenham last weekend, the former England boss will know his side must put on a similar gritty performance if they stand any chance of stopping a United side filled with confidence. While we do expect Mourinho’s men will do enough to clinch the three points, United have now only seen one of their last six matches finish with over 2.5 goals.

Verdict: Manchester United and under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 9/4

Bookmaker: Bet365


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan



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