Preview: Manchester United and Crystal Palace as United start Premier League season.
Manchester United will start their 2020-21 campaign against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. After more than a month English giants will be on the pitch for their first competitive match of the season. They are one of the few teams that will start their league fixture a week late.
Unlike Manchester United, Crystal Palace have started their English Premier League season a week ago. They won against Southampton at Selhurst Park Stadium by 1-0. In the midweek Carabao Cup fixture, they lost on penalties against Championship side Bournemouth. So the Eagles are up and running already for the Old Trafford tour on Saturday.
Manchester United will be ready to hit the ground running with three points. Last season they finished in the third position but they were still a mile away from rivals Liverpool and Manchester City. In the Second-half of last season, they showed good football to finish ahead of Leicester City and Chelsea.
After the league resumed in March, the United player’s individual form also improved. Burno Fernandez, Anthony Martial, and Mason Greenwood were particularly impressed at the end of last season. Most of the squad will remain the same for this season also.
For Crystal Palace, who have lost one and won one competitive game this season, it will be a tough fixture for them. Last season they surprisingly won the away fixture at United, which was their only win against Red Devils in Premier League history.
In this transfer window, they signed Eberechi Eze from Queen Park Rangers for a fee of (£16m. It is a big signing for The Eagles who were struggling for creativity in the midfield last season. Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi has also joined on another loan spell at Selhurst Park.
Teams news, injury update, and the12tman starting eleven:
New United Signing Donny Van De Beek will be making his debut in this fixture. But there are doubts over the fitness of Paul Pogba, who just returned to training after testing negative on Covid-19. Mason Greenwood and Harry Maguire both were in limelight during pre-season due to off-the-pitch activities.
Greenwood, who finished on high last season will be facing a question mark over the starting role on Saturday fixture. Defender Axel Tuanzebe is out injured alongside Phil Jones, goalkeeper Sergio Romero is also unavailable on Saturday. It will be interesting to see who will be starting in the goalkeeping position. Both David De Gea and Dean Henderson will be competing for the number one role this season.
Possible Eleven: David De Gea, Aaron Wan Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Scott Mctominay, Paul Pogba, Donny Van De Beek, Bruno Fernandez, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial.
Manager Roy Hodgson will be pleased with his squad after their opening day victory over Southampton. He will be placing the same squad for the Old Trafford trip but fans are eager to see Eze and Batshuayi in the starting eleven.
Crystal Palace is struggling with plenty of injuries in defense for this big fixture. Big names like Patrick Van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho, and James Tomkins will be unavailable due to injuries. Nathan Ferguson, Jairo Reidewald, and Gary Cahill are also doubted for this fixture.
Possible Eleven: Vicente Guaita, Joel Ward, Scott Dan, Cheikhou Kouyate, Tyrick Mitchell, James McArthur, James McCarthy, Andros Townsend, Jeffery Schlupp, Wilfried Zaha, Jordan Ayew.
Head-to-Head and Match Prediction
Last season Crystal Palace won this fixture, was their only win against Manchester United. In this fixture history, both teams have played 16 matches in between them, United have won 14 of them, 2 draws, and 2 wins for Palace.
I believe that it will take some time for United players to get their full fitness so it will be a difficult fixture for Red Devils. The Eagles will be high on morale due to league win in the last match and last season victory at Old Trafford.