Manchester United host Crystal Palace on Sunday in the Premier League.
One interim period is over. Welcome the new interim period. Michael Carrick took charge of his third game for Manchester United and secured an important victory for his side who are hoping they have turned a corner. However, it will be without Carrick who has stepped down from all club duties with Ralf Rangnick taking charge of his first game this weekend.
Crystal Palace are the visitors to Old Trafford this Sunday and if recent history at the Theatre of Dreams is anything to go by, Palace might be in for a good afternoon. United have not beaten Palace at home since September 2017 when Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku and Mauroane Fellaini (twice) found the net in a 4-0 romp for Jose Mourinho’s men.
However, Palace have been victorious in their previous two visits with some late magic. United will need to stay focused for the entire game if they are to grab all three points.
This year Palace are a completely new entity under former Arsenal and French midfielder Patrick Vieira. Having arrived from Nice in the summer, some questioned if he was ready for the Premier League having struggled in his final season. However, the London club have gone from strength to strength after a huge turn around in the squad.
The Eagles currently sit in 11th place six points above the bottom three but just five points off United who are currently 7th. With just three wins it is impressive they are so high up but Vieira’s men do have seven draws this season; he will be hoping they can turn those draws into victories very soon.
Currently without a win in three games following defeat to Leeds United and Aston Villa (and a 3-3 draw with Burnley), Vieira will be keen to get back to winning ways as they have not tasted victory since the start of November against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
One thing Palace do not lack and that is goals. Against Leeds midweek was the first time they have failed to score since their defeat to Liverpool in mid-September.
Palace Team News
Vieira has played either a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 this season, a similar formation to that of United’s, and will not be panicked to change drastically following the two defeats. It will be interesting to see who he starts with up front to challenge Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire; who returned to the side on Thursday and put in a strong performance. He could be tempted with the strength of Christian Benteke or the wiry nature of former Manchester United man Wilf Zaha.
Once again United find themselves against a quality midfielder in on loan Chelsea man Conor Gallagher. The England midfielder has been the most consistent player for Palace this year and he will be a real threat to Fred, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes. United should know about his gameplay having played against him twice last season against West Bromwich Albion.
Palace just have the one injury at the moment with tricky winger Eberechi Eze still out injured. However, Danish defender Joachim Andersen is set to return.