Friday, October 23, 2020

Prediction: Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

Prediction: Manchester United to win 2-0

Odds: 11/2

Bookmaker: Unibet

Having been given a watching brief last weekend, Manchester United finally kick off their 2020/21 Premier League season this week as they host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils sat out last weekend as the league got back underway due to prior European commitments and take on a Palace side who begun the new campaign in the best possible way.

Manchester United

If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils start this season in the same way the ended the last, then it is surely set to be a positive campaign for the Red Devils. The team did not lose a singe game in the league after January, leading to them finishing third in the Premier League and earning a spot back in the UEFA Champions League. However, a slight negative at the end of the 2019/20 campaign was failing to lift the UEFA Europa League having been beaten by Spanish outfit Sevilla. Since then, they have only managed to play one game in preparation for the new campaign. Coming up against fellow Premier League outfit Aston Villa, they fell to a slender 1-0 defeat. Their record at Old Trafford will give them some encouragement though. The Red Devils only lost two matches at home in the Premier League throughout the entirety of last season although they did come against Burnley and ironically against this weekend’s opponents Crystal Palace.

Team News

Donny van de Beek, signed from Ajax this summer, could be in contention for his Manchester United debut this weekend but Paul Pogba’s inclusion is doubtful due to coronavirus. Meanwhile, Axel Tuanzebe, Sergio Romero and Phil Jones are all ruled out for the match.

Crystal Palace

Despite being one of the candidates for relegation before a ball was kicked, Roy Hodgson’s men set down a marker at the start of the campaign with a 1-0 success against Southampton at Selhurst Park. Wilfried Zaha proved to be the match-winner with his first goal of the campaign. That victory was the club’s first in the Premier League since a 2-0 success against relegated Bournemouth in mid-June. Following that win, they had lost seven consecutive top flight games, their worst run since September 2017. They now have the opportunity to win their first two matches in a top flight season for the first time in the club’s history. Palace did however have a bit of a stumble in midweek in Carabao Cup action. Facing Bournemouth, the scores ended level after 90 minutes and after an extremely long penalty shootout, the usually reliably Luka Milivojevic missed his spot-kick, leading to the Eagles’ elimination.

Team News

Hodgson has quite a considerable injury list for the match, with some huge problems in defence. Centre-backs James Tomkins and Gary Cahill are both ruled out with thigh injuries, whilst Patrick van Aanholt and Jairo Riedewald are also ruled out. There are also a couple of problems in forward positions, with the likes of Nathan Ferguson, Connor Wickham and Christian Benteke all likely to be restricted to the sidelines.

Key Facts To Consider

  • Manchester United have the far better record between the two sides (W38, D11, L8)
  • In 15 matches since their promotion, Crystal Palace have only beaten Manchester United once
  • The home side has not won in any of the last five clashes between the two sides
  • In 18 matches against the Red Devils, Roy Hodson’s teams have conceded an average of 2.4 goals per game
  • Crystal Palace have never won two consecutive matches at the beginning of a top-flight season

Conclusion

Despite their excellent start to the season last time out, it’s going to be tough for the Eagles to continue their great form for a number of reasons. Historically, the Red Devils should have enough to claim maximum points, whilst the visitors’ injury list will count against them. Solskjaer will also want his troops to get the season off to a good start and that should happen.

Prediction: Manchester United to win 2-0

Odds: 11/2

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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