Red Devils hoping to extend fourth spot lead with Palace triumph
Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United will travel to Selhurst Park to contest Crystal Palace, with both sides aiming to put an end to their stuttering three-match Premier League losing streaks.
The Red Devils stumbled to a shocking defeat to West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford in their last outing, following up a double of defeats by Everton and Chelsea, while the Eagles having suffered a treble of league losses to the Baggies, Hull City and most recently Jose Mourinho’s champions.
United are aiming to edge further ahead of Liverpool in fourth spot, after giving Brendan Rodgers’ Reds a glimmer of hope in securing a Champions League position with their recent domestic downfall, and they are 16/5 to win and both teams score.
Within this Selhurst Park war, a personnel battle will be fought, as Palace wideman Wilfried Zaha prepares to face his former club, at which he was unable to make a lasting impact on arriving for an initial £10m in January 2013, before being loaned back to the Eagles.
The energetic Eagles winger believes he didn’t get a genuine chance to prove his credentials at Old Trafford, having been Sir Alex Ferguson’s final ever signing as manager before retiring.
“I did not really get a chance to prove myself [at United] and I have got to show what I could have done over there at Palace,” stated Zaha.
“There is no point thinking about the past because there is nothing that really happened there. There is nothing to look back on because I never really played.
“I was just there – not playing and not doing anything. It would be nice to get a result.”
Clearly hurt by his lack of action on the red half of Manchester, the 22-year-old will be bursting to make an impact against his former employers and prove his worth at the top level. The rapid English talent is 7/2 to strike anytime and gain Red Devils redemption at Selhurst Park.
Palace could welcome back Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh following injury, with previously rested skipper Mile Jedinak also set to return.
Without the influential midfield anchor Michael Carrick in their ranks, United have failed to secure a victory since their Manchester derby heroics against Manuel Pellegrini’s Sky Blues. The deep-lying playmaker is set to miss the remainder of this season, with Luke Shaw also doubtful, but Phil Jones could return to replace Paddy McNair in defence.
The visitors will be confident, though, as they hold a dominant head-to-head record, winning the previous three meetings to nil. Spanish playmaker Juan Mata netted the decisive strike in the reverse clash and is a 9/1 chance to open proceedings again in this Eagles encounter.
Palace are all but safe from relegation this term and will fancy their chances of causing an upset over an under-pressure United (10/3).