Crystal Palace travel to Old Trafford for the second time this week, where they will face a Manchester United side that have been dominant at home since the arrival of Erik ten Hag. On Tuesday, the Red Devils breezed to a 3-0 victory over a heavily rotated Eagles side.
Manchester United have struggled at times this season for a number of reasons, but the biggest cause of their underperformance can simply be narrowed down to their never-ending list of injury problems. Ten Hag’s side have lost every game where they have faced a top side this season, but they have won against teams that in theory, United should beat. The Reds haven’t necessarily suffered in attack, but they have been vulnerable at the back and in transitions to be precise. Luckily for the United faithful, their stars that will help out of possession are slowly returning to full fitness with the likes of, Mason Mount, Sofyan Amrabat and Raphael Varane, all set to feature at the weekend.
Last time out in the Premier League, United faced Burnley at Turf Moor, where they walked away with three points after a 1-0 win, which put them in ninth after six games. Ten Hag’s side didn’t dominate the game and they had to endure long spells without the ball, but a wonderful first time volley from Bruno Fernandes was the decider. The introduction of Hannibal Mejbri and Scott McTominay helped solidify the midfield and the team look like a much more secure unit.
Crystal Palace are having a rather solid season under Roy Hodgson and they sit in 10th place after six games, boasting a record of two wins, draws and defeats. Although they have the creative artist in the form of Eberechi Eze, who has supplied chances all season long, Palace have found it difficult to convert those opportunities into goals. The Eagles have only scored one goal per game on average which will be a concern for the Palace boss, however they have also been extremely solid at the back in most games this season which essentially gives them solid foundations to build upon.
Despite this, Roy Hodgson will be disappointed that his side couldn’t break down Fulham at the weekend, with the fixture seen as a great opportunity to pick up three points. The game ended 0-0 and Palace struggled to create anything for the first time this season, they ended the game with a disappointing XG of 0.3. The Fulham midfield stopped the palace creativity at the source by focusing on keeping Eze out of the game, which Is the gameplan I think United will follow this weekend.
Manchester United have far too much quality to not win this game and in the week against Palace, we saw just how dominant they can be when Mount and Amrabat slot into the midfield. Rasmus Hojlund will be desperate to score his first Premier League goal but he may struggle against Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen. Palace can cause United issues in transition if they can remain solid at the back.
The final prediction is Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace.