Manchester United sit at the top of the English Premier League standings with 16 points after six matches, and they will to register their sixth win of the campaign against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford this Saturday. For the second successive Saturday, the game will kick off at 15:00 BST. Mike Dean will be the referee, as it will be his first Manchester United game in the current term.
The Opponent: Crystal Palace
There is just one word to describe Crystal Palace’s season: awful. They sit at the bottom of the standings with no points after six matches. And they have not scored a single goal yet. There is a lot of football left to be played. But there is no question that Palace are the biggest candidate – and by a wide margin – to get relegated to the Championship.
The bad results led to a managerial change. Frank de Boer did not make the cut, and was quickly replaced by Roy Hodgson. The former England manager knows the league extremely well, and has a fair share of experience dealing with relegation-complicated teams. He is the right man to lead Palace out of the negative run they are going through.
Palace will have a decent share of absentees ahead of this contest. Christian Benteke has been ruled out for a six-week period with a knee injury, but he is not the only one who will be out. Connor Wickham (knee) and Wilfred Zaha (knee) have been listed out as well. James Tomkins and Ruben Loftus-Cheek won’t make the trip either, and Timothy Fosu-Mensah is ineligible since he is on loan from Manchester United. The positive aspect, however, is that Freddie Ladapo is in contention to start according to Hodgson.
The match will be played at Old Trafford. Manchester United have been simply unstoppable at home.
The Red Devils are coming off a strong 4-0 win at Everton in their last league contest at The Theatre of Dreams. They boast an impressive 5-0-0 record on their venue, while scoring 17 times and conceding just once across all competitions.
Record vs Palace. The most recent match against Palace came on the final day of the Premier League last season, where United won 2-0 while fielding the youngest starting XI in the history of the Premier League.
Jose Mourinho has a pretty big list of absentees ahead of this match. Paul Pogba remains out with a hamstring injury, and Michael Carrick once again be held out after he missed last Wednesday’s Champions League match against CSKA Moscow. Marouane Fellaini has also been ruled out with an ankle problem, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo continue their knee injury recoveries.
Phil Jones, on the other hand, is doubtful after missing the match against CSKA Moscow. And Antonio Valencia’s status is up in the air after he did not travel with the team for the match on Russian soil. The Ecuadorian, however, is expected to appear in the starting XI come kick-off time.
Predicted Starting XI
There might be several changes, but this is United’s predicted lineup ahead of Saturday’s match against Crystal Palace per reports.
David De Gea; Antonio Valencia (Matteo Darmian), Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelöf, Daley Blind; Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera; Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial; Romelu Lukaku