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

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Manchester United, including team news and predicted lineups.

Manchester United will endeavour to get their pursuit of a top-four finish back on track when they travel to the capital to take on Crystal Palace in Thursday's Premier League clash.

Meanwhile, Palace have endured a dismal set of results recently, but the Eagles have little to play for in the final three games of the season.


Match preview

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson pictured in June 2020© Reuters

While Palace were unfortunate to walk away from their London derby with Chelsea with nothing to show for their valiant performance, the weekend clash with Aston Villa was a completely different story for the South London outfit.

Villa's survival hopes received a huge boost as a brace from Trezeguet put Roy Hodgson's men to the sword in the West Midlands, and Palace are now one of only two Premier League sides to have lost their last five games - the other being already-relegated Norwich City.

The Eagles are mathematically safe but are ending the season on a sour note, and Palace have now dropped to 14th in the table following their barren run over the past few weeks.

Furthermore, the odds are stacked heavily against Hodgson's men in their remaining three fixtures - with the Eagles still to face Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur before the 2019-20 campaign concludes.

For a club that were in outside contention for the European places only a month ago, Palace's alarming dip in form must be quickly addressed by Hodgson before next season, and Eagles fans will certainly not see their final three fixtures against European-chasing sides as winnable games.

Michael Obafemi wheels away in celebration after scoring Southampton's equaliser against Manchester United on July 13, 2020© Reuters

United also suffered a disappointment of considerable magnitude last time out, as their top four hopes were dealt a huge blow by Southampton at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils were rocked by Stuart Armstrong's opener before Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial turned the game on its head, but substitute Michael Obafemi scrambled in a late equaliser for the Saints to put an end to United's winning run.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side missed the chance to capitalise on Leicester City and Chelsea dropping points against Bournemouth and Sheffield United respectively, and the Red Devils remain in fifth courtesy of Leicester's superior goal difference.

Following the news that Manchester City's two-year ban from European football has been lifted, fifth is no longer good enough for a Champions League spot, and the race for the top four is set to go right down to the wire in what promises to be an electrifying end to the season.

Especially with a final-day fixture against Leicester to contend with, fans can expect plenty of twists and turns even at this very late stage of the campaign, and Solskjaer also has an FA Cup semi-final clash with Chelsea to take into account when it comes to team selection.

An enthralling clash at Old Trafford earlier in the campaign saw Palace ultimately come away with all three points in a 2-1 victory, with Patrick van Aanholt netting an injury-time winner for the Eagles back in August.

Crystal Palace Premier League form: WLLLLL

Manchester United Premier League form: DWWWWD
Manchester United (all competitions): WWWWWD


Team News

Luke Shaw pictured for Manchester United in February 2020© Reuters

Palace will have to make do without Christian Benteke following the striker's red card in the defeat to Villa, meaning Jordan Ayew is likely to be moved to a central role.

Ayew spearheading the attack would open up a spot for Andros Townsend to start on the right flank for the Eagles, but Gary Cahill, Jeffrey Schlupp and James Tomkins all remain on the treatment table.

Martin Kelly returned from injury to make the bench at Villa Park, but Hodgson will likely stick with the same backline despite the woeful defeat last time out.

Solskjaer could be in a quandary when it comes to left-back options as Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams both suffered injuries in the stalemate with Southampton.

Shaw's injury was ankle-related whereas Williams suffered a nasty-looking cut above his eye, so the latter would probably be more likely to feature from the opening whistle in midweek, although Solskjaer could call upon Diogo Dalot should both left-backs fail to recover in time.

Solskjaer opted for the same XI once more on Monday but fatigue was evident amongst the players, so the Red Devils manager could ring the changes here.

Daniel James is an option on the right should Mason Greenwood be given time to recover from Oriol Romeu's challenge on Monday, and there could be some changes in midfield with Fred and Scott McTominay vying for spots in the first XI.

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Ward, Sakho, Dann, Van Aanholt; Milivojevic; Townsend, McCarthy, Kouyate, Zaha; Ayew

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams; Fred, McTominay; James, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Crystal Palace 1-3 Manchester United

The hectic fixture schedule appears to have taken its toll on United's regular fixtures given the manner of their draw with Southampton, but the Red Devils have the attacking players that are capable of causing all sorts of problems to this leaky Palace defence, so we are backing United to further their charge for a top-four finish with a routine victory at Selhurst Park.


ID:406490:

Who will win Thursday's Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Manchester United?

Crystal Palace
Draw
Manchester United
Crystal Palace
6.6%
Draw
8.4%
Manchester United
85.0%
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Michael Obafemi wheels away in celebration after scoring Southampton's equaliser against Manchester United on July 13, 2020
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits Man United did not deserve to beat Southampton
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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd381812866363066
4Chelsea392061369571266
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd391512124239357
9Arsenal381414105648856
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Southampton38157165160-952
12Everton381310154456-1249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

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