|The rescheduled game between Palace and United will be about fringe players for the visitors and three crucial points for the hosts, how will this pan out? (Photo credit: GOAL)|
Crystal Palace vs Manchester UnitedSelhurst Park9:00pm
It’s a good time to be a Manchester United fan and a win away at a competitive ground like Selhurst is key to the project of Dutchman Erik Ten Hag.
Manchester United beat their city rivals and premier league title favorites Manchester City albeit in controversial circumstances with most pundits believing Bruno Fernandes’ goal that leveled matters at Old Trafford last weekend should have been ruled offside.
Crystal Palace labored in vain at Stamford Bridge; the Eagles gave a good fight but a second-half header by Kai Havertz ensured they lost again. Patrick Vieira’s side has lost four of their last games, Palace needs results and soon too.
Where did it go wrong at Stamford Bridge for the Eagles? You really can’t fault the effort but for a team that has Jordan Ayew leading the line, there’s little you can expect. They just don’t score enough and Wilfred Zaha hasn’t been in his element.
Manchester United can afford to rotate ahead of their weekend clash at the Emirates against the premier league leaders Arsenal; The Brazilian duo of Casemiro and Fred are one booking away from suspension, Ten Hag may want to rest them to avoid stories that touch.
How will Palace line up? They cannot afford to sit back and hope for counter-attacks. United will leave space behind while seeking goals and that means Zaha, Eberechi Eze, and Michael Olise can all feast but who will play upfront? Ayew?
United can unleash their new signing Wort Werghorst and hope he hits the ground running in the absence of Anthony Martial. Marcus Rashford will hope to continue his good run and Antony may be handed a starting role on Wednesday.
A win will effectively take Manchester United up to second on the log, they’d be two points clear of the champions and just six behind Arsenal, although the Gunners and City both have a game in hand against each other sometime in February.
Palace can halt the rot and win at home to reinvigorate their season and get the fans behind them again. A loss at home to United will heap pressure on the manager and the players by extension but on paper, they would need more than luck to beat United.