Manchester United have never lost a Premier League game against Crystal Palace since the league began in 1992. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to maintain such a record as they host Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
The same fixture last season ended all square in a quite frankly tedious tie under Jose Mourinho, a game that went to plan tactically for Hodgson and his boys. They sat deep and exploited the likes of Marouane Fellaini in our midfield as they looked to pick us of on the counter. Their lack of fire power up front meant we got away with a point.
Again, Manchester United are under new mangagement and the two opening games of the season have given us a little insight into how Ole wants to to take this team going forward. The back five of De Gea, Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire and Shaw pretty much pick themselves. As a unit they’re yet to put a foot wrong and you’d like them to grow as a consistent cohort.
The attack has started well with their youthful expression and positional freedom, I’m looking forward to seeing Martial and Rashford continue their red hot form against Palace. I’d also like to see Daniel James get another start in the comfort banket of Old Trafford where he can hpefully have a good game against Van Aanholt who does like to get forward so James’ work rate can come in handy.
The midfield has been over run in the two opening fixtures at times but I would expect the likes of Pogba, McTominay and Lingard to be able to compete against any Palace midfield.
OppositionEmbed from Getty Images
Crystal Palace are notorious slow starters and that has not changed this season. Losing Aaron Wan Bissaka has not done them any favours as they have picked up one point out of a possible 6. Last week the were completely dominated by a newly promoted Sheffield United who managed to score and keep a clean sheet against the eagles. So Palace are yet to score this season, so according to the last 6 yeaars they will probaly score against us unfortunately. Their danger man is of course Wilfried Zaha who is always encouraged to peform against his previous employers in the shape of United but I question where his head is at after being denied a move this summer so his form may take a dive this season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Press ConferenceEmbed from Getty Images
As per usual at Manchester United there was very little on the actual game this saturday but Ole when asked about the team spirit last season compared to this he said “we’ve got loads of energy and passion, you can see the way we went about the game at Wolves our pressing was excellent”. Which is true coming off the back of pre season you can tell the boys are fitter to truly implement Ole’s philosophy.
You can tell Manchester United are the biggest and most enveyed team in the world when on a weekend where VAR robbed Man City of three points against Spurs and Pep has an argument with his star player, the biggest talking point is Manchester United having two penalty takers….Embed from Getty Images
On the penalty situation Ole stuck to his guns, showing a stubborness that all the best managers have; “I’m sure youre gonna see Paul pogba score a penalty for Manchester United again, definitely” he said “We’re still practising penalties and Marcus and Paul are still on them.”Embed from Getty Images
Another big talking point this week was Romelu Lukaku’s comments on a podcast while he was still a United employee talking about how he was not wanted at Old Trafford by Solskjaer. The Norweigian handled that question well in my opinion sying he would not “dive into” what Lukaku had to say. Which in essence means he’s old news.
The first part of the presser ended with a question on Alexis Sanchez’ future in Manchester. “There are still talks with some clubs but he played in that game(behind close doors friendly vs Sheffield United) and played well”. I personally read that as ‘we are working on a deal to get him out’, I don’t see him at the club post September the 2nd.
Overall, Crystal Palace are one of my favourites to go down this season, especially with how well some of the promoted sides have started so this should be a chance to get some goals in, my prediction is 3-0 Manchester United with Lingard getting a goal to silence haters and a Martial brace. Manchester United Crystal palace should be a walk in selhurst park even though the game is at Old Trafford….