Sunday, April 18, 2021

Prediction: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to make a return to winning ways in midweek, Manchester United will make the trip to an empty Selhurst Park on Wednesday night.

Crystal Palace

Starting with the hosts, putting in another sluggish display against relegation scrappers Fulham last weekend, Roy Hodgson has seen his position at Selhurst Park come under real scrutiny. While Crystal Palace might have managed to pick up that incredibly flattering 2-1 victory away at rivals Brighton a fortnight ago, the one-time England boss has seen his side gain a real reputation for their inconsistencies. Lucky to have left with a point to show for their troubles against the Cottagers on Sunday lunchtime, Palace have really struggled to fill the void left by a missing Wilfried Zaha. Almost finding themselves sat in Premier League limbo after dragging themselves away from a potential relegation scrap, Hodgson will be desperate for his side to find a clinical edge in the final third. In fact, while the Eagles might have picked up four points from their last two top-flight matchups, they have only managed to produce just six shots on target.

Team News

Crystal Palace will once again be without attacking talisman Wilfried Zaha at Selhurst Park.

James McArthur, Connor Wickham, Jeffrey Schlupp, Mamadou Sakho, Wayne Hennessey, Nathan Ferguson and James Tomkins all remain sidelined.

Manchester United

As for the visitors, also drawing another blank in what turned out to be a dull affair at Stamford Bridge over the weekend, Manchester United are seeking a return to winning ways in midweek. Having to settle for back-to-back 0-0 stalemates against Chelsea and Real Sociedad over the past week, the former champions have shown some recent issues in picking up maximum points. With their sights now firmly set on securing another top-four finish this year, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have managed to win just a pair of their last seven matchups across all formats within 90 minutes. Quickly becoming a real draw specialist, United have had to settle for a point in three of their last four Premier League contests, a run highlighted by that 1-1 stalemate against West Brom last month. In fact, along with each of their last three fixtures away from Old Trafford, the Red Devils have played out a draw in four of their last five top-flight away games.

Team News

Manchester United could welcome back striker Edinson Cavani on Wednesday night.

However, the former champions will be missing the trio of Paul Pogba, while Juan Mata and Phil Jones in the capital.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides faced off in the reverse fixtures back in September, Crystal Palace picked up a shock 3-1 win at Old Trafford.
  • However, Manchester United are now unbeaten in 20 away league matches (W13, D7).
  • Including their last three straight away fixtures, the Reds have seen four of their last five matchups on the road end in a draw.
  • Despite picking up four points in their last two matchups, Crystal Palace have managed just six shots on target.
  • The Eagles have managed to win just two of their last nine Premier League matchups at Selhurst Park.


Although Manchester United might open Wednesday’s meeting as a landslide pick with the bookmakers, we could have a cagey affair on our hands in South London. Playing out back-to-back 0-0 stalemates against Real Sociedad and Chelsea over the past week, the Reds have shown some inconsistencies in the final third. Likewise, having to settle for their own 0-0 draw against relegation scrappers Fulham over the weekend, Roy Hodgson has been open about his side’s issues in front of goal. Managing to muster just six shots on target in back-to-back meetings against the Cottagers and Brighton, we’re backing a low-scoring contest at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Unibet


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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