Manchester United vs Crystal Palace – Old Trafford – 30 September, 2017 – 15:00 hrs – EPL Preview
After 630 minutes of play, coach Roy Hodgson's Crystal palace are yet to find a goal. The misery of a 5-0 mauling by Manchester City at the Etihad stadium last weekend could only get compounded when the Eagles visit Old Trafford to play Manchester United on September 30th.
Connor Wickham who has been out with a torn knee ligament since November 2016 may be an outside option going into the Old Trafford clash. Hodgson has surrendered himself to the prospect of further heavy defeats in the Premier league, despite a relief 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town in a Carabao Cup clash last Tuesday.
As for Manchester United, the narrow 0-1 win against Southampton was an eye opener in the sense that the Saints' attacks opened up a lot of weaknesses in the defensive space. The bringing in of Chris Smalling and Daley Blind in the second half of the Southampton clash, taking the tally of defenders featuring in the match to six men, was a pointer to the uncertainties at the back.
But even with a not-so-effective Lukaku, United had the likes of Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata doing good work upfront. Marouane Fellaini's outstanding show against Southampton at the back means he may have function as a pure back rather than his customary mid-field role going into future matches. United have a lot of options in the benches, though, so there will be no shortage of talent going into the clash with Palace.
Jose Mourinho's boys have a tough outing in the UEFA Champions League mid-week, when they visit Russia to take on CSKA Moscow in their 2nd group encounter. It would be a slightly weary Red Devils side that will be taking on the Eagles for the Premier League clash, but that will probably not stop them from heaping goals on a hapless Palace side.
United will look to score as many goals as they can against Roy Hodgson's bottom-placed side just to narrow the four-goal gap they have with Manchester City. City have a tough outing against Chelsea and even a draw at Stamford Bridge would enable United to potentially catapult to the top of the EPL table from their present 2nd spot, post the outcome of the September 30th clash. United and City are on identical 16 points, but the latter's better goal average has seen them to the top of the Premier League table. That could change next week.
Jose Mourinho will be looking at a score line of at least 4-0 or 5-0 at the Old Trafford on September 30th. The UK bookmakers have priced up the eventuality accordingly and are reflected in our betting advice below.