Can Crystal Palace Overpower A Weakened United Team?

Last updated: May 18, 2017 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Sunday, 15:00 pm
Venue: Old Trafford
Coverage: TalkSport Radio World
Home Form: DDLLD
Away Form: WLLLW
Last Meeting: Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Man U
Competition: English Premier League

It’s the last game of the season, but Chelsea have already won the league and three teams have already been relegated. All eyes are on the Europa League for Manchester United. Once the dominating force of the Premier League, ready to challenge every game and play the best that they can, under Mourinho’s stewardship they have become more tactical, more cautious, and daresay it, more boring. He just wants to get this game over with so he can focus on winning silverware in Europe against Ajax next Wednesday.

While in the past this could’ve meant a struggle for the top prize, for Manchester United this season, who are locked firmly into sixth, it remains a chance to try out some youngsters and see if they are ready for more important games next season. For Palace – in the middle of a congested bottom half – making sure they finish as high as they can will lead to better prize money to spend on the summer transfer market. Therefore, what we can expect is a United team full of impressionable youngsters trying to prove themselves against a strong Palace side ready to take them on and snatch what may be their easiest ever victory against the Red Devils.

Mourinho himself has pledged to make seven to nine changes to his usual line up, giving the game an air of strange unpredictability. As proved by Chelsea’s 4-3 home win vs Watford, the end of the season has the potential to get very silly indeed. Pogba, still coming back after compassionate leave following the death of his father, will play alongside mostly unknown players such as Axel Taunzebe, Scott McTominay, Josh Harrop and Demeti Mitchell. As for Wayne Rooney, he may want to get out of the casino in order to prove himself in what may be his very last game for the Club.

Team News

Manchester United lead the injury league, joint 1st with West Ham United with eight overall.

Felliani still doubtful for this game and the Europa League Final after limping off against Southampton.

Alhtough Sakho’s knee injury is not as major as previously thought, he will miss the chance to play United.

Despite interest from major clubs, including Liverpool, Zaha is keen to stay with the Eagles.

Expected Line-Ups:

Manchester United(3-5-2): Pereira; Darmian, Tuanzebe, Bailly; McTominay, Pogba, Harrop, Willock, Dearnley; Rooney, Rashford
Subs: Romero, Smalling, Jones, Carrick, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial
Injured: Rojo, Shaw, Ibrahimovic, Fosu-Mensah, Young, Wilson
Doubtful: Fellaini
Not available:
Crystal Palace (4-5-1): Hennessey; Ward, Kelly, Delaney, Schlupp; Puncheon, Milivojevic, Zaha, McArthur, van Aanholt; Benteke
Subs: Speroni, Flamini, Campbell, Sako, Remy, Ledley, Campbell
Injured: Townsend, Cabaye, Sakho, Wickham, Souare
Doubtful: Dann, Tomkins
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Manchester United This Season Crystal Palace This Season
6th League Position 13th
17 (10) Wins (away) 12 (6)
4-1 vs. Leicester Biggest Win 4-0 vs. Hull
15 (5) Draws (away) 5 (3)
0-4 vs. Chelsea Biggest Defeat 0-5 vs. Man City
Ibrahimovic (17) Top Goal Scorer Benteke (15)
Y76, R2 Discipline Y77, R0
8 Failures to Score 11
16 Clean Sheets 7
51% Both Teams to Score Games 49%
35% Over 2.5 Goals 57%
65% Under 2.5 Goals 43%
  • Mourinho looks towards the Europa League Final, remarkably asking Crystal Palace to “go easy on Manchester United” this Sunday.
  • United will play a very weak time this Sunday, which means youngsters such as Matthew Willock could play. The British midfielder is 14/1 to score anytime.
  • Zaha has been the difference between staying up and relegation for The Eagles; his odds are 25/1 to score anytime.
  • Benteke has scored a mighty 15 goals this season. His odds are 5/1 to score first.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
14/12/2016 English Premier League Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Manchester United Pogba 45′
21/05/2016 FA Cup Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Manchester United Puncheon 78′
20/04/2016 English Premier League Manchester United 2 – 0 Crystal Palace Delany OG 4′
31/10/2015 English Premier League Crystal Palace 0 – 0 Manchester United
09/05/2015 English Premier League Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Manchester United Mata 19′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Despite my reservations that Manchester United may basically throw this game away – as seen by recent results against Tottenham and Southampton – they still remain the favourites, with odds of 5/4 to win outright at Bet365. Experienced punters looking for better value might want to bet against Manchester United here, the same bookmaker offering great odds of 9/1 for Crystal Palace to win 1-0. Despite this, the perennially underrated Wayne Rooney – who can, and will score goals – might be worth backing too, with Betway giving him odds of 5/2 to score the last goal of the game.

With such a random United line up versus a resurgent Crystal Palace side, the result could easily descend into a farce, with plenty of goals. If you bet with William Hill, they give outstanding odds of 10/1 for Crystal Palace to win with more than 3.5 goals scored all game. Nevertheless, if you are thinking safe and boring – like Manchester United so usually are at home – then the same bookmaker are offering decent odds of 11/8 that both teams won’t score and the match will end in under 2.5 goals. It may be a hard one to call, but there sure is a lot of potential value to be had.