Crystal Palace vs Manchester United
Manchester United are back in London for the second time in four days when they head to Selhurst Park for a Premier League clash with Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace.
Both teams arrive on the back of goalless draws; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched his side take a point away from Chelsea while the Eagles frustrated Fulham with a brave defensive display. Palace are beset by injuries and Hodgson was not amused to see this game scheduled for Wednesday, and it could be a good chance for the Red Devils to get back to winning ways.
The hosts are within touching distance of safety, in 13th place on 33 points. They have a ten-point cushion to protect them from relegation and probably only need two or three more points from the last 12 games. Hodgson won’t want to leave anything to chance though and his team is sure to defend with passion against a Manchester United side that likes to play on the break and will be keen to cement a Champions League place, with Chelsea and Liverpool ominously improving in fifth and sixth positions.
Decimated Eagles playing for contracts
Crystal Palace fans are understandably worried about the current state and health of their first-team squad. Injuries to key players, including their talisman Wilfried Zaha, have hampered the Eagles’ progress, while over half the first team squad is out of contract this summer.
Players including centre back pair Gary Cahill and Scott Dann, wing-back Patrick van Aanholt and winger Andros Townsend are all free agents in the close season and head coach Roy Hodgson seems happy to keep it that way as he tries to squeeze better performances out of his players as they creep closer to the safety line. The boss is hoping that his players perform for the club and their own careers to rise as high as they can as the season comes to a close.
Hodgson could really do with the services of Zaha though. With Jeff Schlupp and Nathanial Clyne also sidelined the Eagles are short of creativity, and that was woefully evident against the Cottagers. Zaha has now missed the last four games and Palace have scored in just one of those, a win over Brighton in the M23 derby, and his boss expects him to be out for the next two, saying: “I think we have to wait. The Manchester United game that has been thrust upon us is obviously something we are pretty unhappy about.”
With contracts expiring and injuries to key players, captain Luka Milivojevic has a big role to lead his team on Wednesday, though he won’t be afraid to take the battle to United having picked up his seventh yellow card of the season against Fulham.
Are the Red Devils flat-track bullies?
If Manchester United are to become title contenders once again they need to find a way of beating their rivals. The Red Devils showed their resilient side to withstand an onslaught from Chelsea’s star-studded attack in the 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
But Solskjaer’s team has struggled to get big Premier League 2021 results against the top teams. The blank against the Blues was the sixth game in succession in which the Red Devils failed to score against one of the ‘big six’, since a 6-1 defeat to Spurs back in October. They have played out five goalless draws and suffered a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal and seem content to take a passive role against some of their rivals while collecting their wins against the lesser teams.
Bruno Fernandes was quiet against Chelsea and he has struggled to find his best form against the top sides, so maybe we can expect a strong performance against Palace from the Portuguese star.
The Premier League 2021 betting odds tell us the title is heading back to the Etihad so United’s aim is to stay in the top four and, while they continue to work out how to beat the big guns, this is the type of game they need to win.
The Red Devils have won 17 of the 24 meetings with Crystal Palace in the Premier League era, drawing four and losing just three.
Palace provided the first big shock of the season when they won 3-1 at Old Trafford in the second game of the season with Zaha scoring twice, but they will be the first team to beat Manchester United at home if they complete the double, the visitors have won eight and drawn five on the road.
|Crystal Palace vs Manchester United||Under 2.50 @ 2.11|
|March 04, 04:15 (GMT+8)|
Manchester United are at SBOTOP odds of 1.45 with Palace at 7.20 and the draw at 4.20.
I really can’t see the beleaguered Eagles springing another surprise, but they will be hard to break down and will let United have plenty of possession.
With both teams arriving on the back of 0-0 draws don’t expect a goal-fest here and OGS will settle for a 1-0 win.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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