Crystal Palace’s season has gone from bad to worse. While a place in the lower half of the table might have been seen as an underperformance by the unit, the side is currently in a position where they could mathematically be relegated. They face Manchester United, who are still in the race for finishing within the top 4 of the league on Wednesday in a bid to secure their position in the top flight of English football for the coming season.
Louis Van Gaal will look to rotate his line-up for the squad with the likes of Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Michael Carrick expected to make the starting 11 for the game. While Wayne Rooney started the last game, it is very unlikely that he will make successive starts after being out for 2 months with an injury.
The Dutch coach remains without the services of Luke Shaw, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Will Keane who remain sidelined with their respective long term injuries.
De Gea, Fosu-Mensah, Smalling, Blind, Darmian, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Mata, Lingard, Martial, Rashford
Palace have a number of injuries going into the fixture. Alan Pardew may be without Yannick Bolasie, Brede Hangeland, Scott Dann, and Joel Ward, all of them important players under his reign. He could have Martin Kelly playing as centre-back while Adrian Mariappa could feature as the right-back.
However, with the likes of Martial operating from the left, his troops will need to be at the top of their game to not be cut open by their pace and preciseness.
Hennessey, Kelly, Mariappa, Delaney, Souare, Cabaye, Jedinak, Zaha, Puncheon, Sako, Adebayor
If the struggling Palace are to pull off a positive result from Old Trafford, the 30 year old central midfielder will need to be at the top of his game. With the Euros fast approaching, helping Palace finish with a good set of results will be a priority for Cabaye in order to land a place in the French squad.
The playmaking midfielder has not been at his creative best with just 1 assist to show for in the season so far, but he has done his fair share of the dirty work in the middle of the park through the season. However, he will need to bring more of his creativity to the fore in order to trouble the Manchester United midfield.
While the young Marcus Rashford might be grabbing all the lime light for his goal scoring abilities, the expensive recruit from AS Monaco has proved to be his money’s worth for Manchester United, keeping them in the hunt for a Champions League spot. He has scored 11 goals and assisted on 4 occasions, making him a menace that must be dealt with by the opponents.
With Palace suffering with numerous injuries, he will be up against Kelly and Mariappa who are not the quickest of the lot. Should be get into key positions behind the Palace defence, it could very well turn out to be a dreadful scene to behold for the Palace faithful.
- Manchester United have been at their dominating best in this fixture in the past. The Old Trafford club have not lost a single game to Palace in the league winning on 3 occasions while drawing on 3 in their previous 13 meetings.
- The Palace faithful will be worried going into the game with the side’s horrific record in front of the goal. They have not managed to score a goal in 10 of their previous 13 meetings with the mighty Manchester club.
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Crystal Palace have not been in great form over the last 6 match days winning on just a single occasions. Given their trouble with nervous injuries, it is unlikely that Pardew’s men will spring a surprise and derail United’s push for a European spot.