MX23RW : Monday, August 8 22:39:50| >> :60:86:86:
[monks data]
Aug 24, 2019 at 3pm UK at Old Trafford
Attendance: 73,454


James (89')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Ayew (32'), van Aanholt (93')

Preview: Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Manchester United and Crystal Palace, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.

Manchester United welcome Crystal Palace to Old Trafford for their third match of the 2019-20 campaign on Saturday afternoon.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men will be looking to make it two wins out of two at home this season, having emphatically beaten Chelsea 4-0 on the opening day. Roy Hodgson's Palace, on the other hand, will be looking to register their first goal of 2019-20, having drawn blanks against Everton and Sheffield United.

Manchester United

Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on August 19, 2019© Reuters

Manchester United have made an encouraging start to the new season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now having had a summer to implement his ideas at Old Trafford.

The 4-0 opening day victory over Chelsea confounded expectations, and the Red Devils will feel they were unfortunate not to take all three points from their trip to Molineux on Monday night.

Paul Pogba's late penalty could have seen United come through two difficult early tests unscathed, but Rui Patricio was on hand to save and ensure that his Wolverhampton Wanderers side came out with a creditable 1-1 draw.

Solskjaer has looked to bring the feel-good factor back at United, favouring quick counter-attacking football over the sometimes dour possession-based football often seen at Old Trafford in the post-Ferguson years.

Wolves themselves favour a counter-attacking approach and forced Solskjaer's side to try to break them down. All was going well for United with Anthony Martial's goal having given them a deserved half time lead, but they were pegged back by Ruben Neves' brilliant strike from 25 yards, before Pogba's late penalty miss.

Despite United's encouraging start to the new season, it has not been forgotten just how disappointing their end to the 2018-19 campaign was. After replacing Jose Mourinho in December, Solskjaer won 10 and drew two of his opening 12 games in charge.

A run of just eight points from their last nine games, however, cost the Red Devils a place in the Champions League, heaping scrutiny on the Norwegian.

The former-Molde boss was able to bring in three new signings in the summer, with all having impressed in the opening fortnight of the season.

World-record defender Harry Maguire has brought poise and grit to the United rearguard, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka could feasibly be the club's right-back for the next decade. Fellow new recruit Daniel James scored a dream debut goal from the bench against Chelsea, earning a first ever Premier League start against Wolves.

James has epitomised the refreshing sense of youth that the United manager has brought back at Old Trafford, with Scott McTominay another to have flourished under the 46-year-old.

This fixture last season, a turgid 0-0 draw, epitomised the malaise at the club in the latter stages of the Mourinho era. United will be hoping to lay down a further marker that this season will be different.

Recent Premier League form: WD

Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha in action for Crystal Palace on August 10, 2019© Reuters

Crystal Palace's preparations for the new season were dogged by speculation surrounding the future of their talismanic attacker Wilfried Zaha.

Despite a late transfer request, Palace were able to cling on to their prized asset, with the Ivorian featuring in both of their opening two league games.

Zaha's presence, however, has been unable to spark the Eagles into life going forward, with Roy Hodgson's side yet to score this season.

Most worryingly for Palace, they haven't even looked like scoring. Memories of their record-breaking seven matches without a goal to begin the 2017-18 campaign will have been evoked by their lame start to the season.

Hodgson has been setting his side up in a 4-4-2 system not uncommon in his two years at Selhurst Park, with Zaha partnered up front by Christian Benteke at Bramall Lane last weekend. The Belgian lumbered around the Sheffield United half to no avail, and hasn't looked the player he once was since a series of knee injuries.

The 72-year-old former England manager has built a functional team in South London, but one that lacks invention. A failure to replace Yohan Cabaye in 2018, and now Wan-Bissaka a year later has hurt Palace severely. Coming up against their 21-year-old former starlet at right-back on Saturday will only serve as a painful reminder to Palace fans of what they have lost.

Palace fans could get a first glimpse of new signings Gary Cahill and Victor Camarasa at Old Trafford, with fellow new boy James McCarthy having made his debut from the bench at Bramall Lane last weekend.

Perhaps for Palace, the best that can be hoped for is a repeat of the gritty 0-0 draw that they carved out at Old Trafford last season.

Recent form: DL

Team News

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pictured after the draw with 'plucky' Wolves on August 19, 2019© Reuters

Neither side go into this match with any fresh injury concerns to worry about.

United are once again without long-term absentee Eric Bailly, who picked up a serious knee injury in pre-season against Tottenham Hotspur in July.

The Red Devils are also without Alexis Sanchez, who is not yet fit enough to feature. The Chilean has been heavily linked with a loan move to Inter Milan. Timothy Fosu-Mensah misses out with a knee injury of his own.

Palace are again without first choice centre-backs James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho. Tomkins has a long term groin injury, while Sakho is struggling with a knee problem.

The Eagles are again likely to deploy Martin Kelly and Scott Dann as their defensive partnership, although veteran Gary Cahill could be in line for a debut.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba, Pereira; Lingard, Rashford, Martial

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Ward, Kelly, Dann, Van Aanholt; Townsend, Milivojevic, McArthur, Meyer; Zaha, Benteke

Head To Head

Crystal Palace ground out a dogged 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, in what was to be one of Jose Mourinho's final matches in the home dugout at the Theatre of Dreams.

When the two sides faced each other again in late February, it was Solskjaer in charge of the Red Devils. A scintillating brace from Romelu Lukaku helped United on their way to a comfortable 3-1 victory in the end.

Crystal Palace have still never beaten Manchester United in a Premier League match.

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We say: Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace

Manchester United will prove too much for a Crystal Palace side that, whilst workmanlike, is lacking in invention and creativity. The Eagles will set up with two banks of four. United may have to be patient for a while, but will eventually find a way through Palace's dogged defence.

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Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring for Manchester United against Chelsea on August 11, 2019
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