History and status cannot help Man Utd in Eagles battle
Tony Pulis, as manager of Crystal Palace, has 19 Premier League points to his name since taking over his new club on November 30th – just two less than Manchester United in that same period but with a game in hand.
In the Premier League era (since 1992) the two clubs have played each other nine times, with the Red Devils coming out on top in seven and drawing twice. That, however, was the Sir Alex Ferguson era. This, is the Man Utd of 2013/14.
David Moyes’ side currently lie in seventh – 11 points behind fourth-placed Liverpool – and have odds of just 7/1 to finish in the Champions League positions at the end of the season.
United come into this fixture on a run of no wins in their last three Premier League games and none in four on the road in all competitions. Moyes’ men are still odds-on at 4/7 for an away victory, but a draw at 11/4 seems possible.
Palace, on the other hand, are currently four matches undefeated at home in the league (including three wins) and with January additions Tom Ince and Joe Ledley both scoring on their debuts, they are a side with high confidence and momentum. Back them both at 7/2 and 11/2 respectively to net anytime.
Marouane Chamakh is the top scorer for the Londoners this term with six in all competitions, and the Moroccan has odds of 11/4 to get a goal at any time.
With Wayne Rooney signing a new contract, that news may just be exactly what United need to help spur them on and finish the season strongly. The 28-year-old, however, is currently on a run of five league games without scoring but Coral’s odds of 6/5 suggest this may well be the match to end his drought at anytime.
The reverse fixture in September saw the Red Devils emerge 2-0 victors, with goals from Rooney and Robin van Persie, and the latter can be backed at 4/5 to net again anytime.
Man Utd’s clean-sheets record against the Eagles is staggering, with seven in the last nine league games, and you can back them at 6/4 to shut them out again.
There is some positive news for the Reds in the injury department that Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jones are set to return to the squad. United have not had much luck this season with the likes of Van Persie, Rooney and Michael Carrick all being out for spells on the sidelines.
A 0-0 draw at 10/1 or narrow 1-0 away win at 5/1 seem the most likely.