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Manchester United vs Crystal Palace match preview

TEAM NEWS

Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Marouane Fellaini have also been passed fit, but Luke Shaw serves a ban for accumulating five bookings.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has recovered from the muscle problem that ruled him out of the derby defeat.

Crystal Palace have Wilfried Zaha, James Tomkins and Aaron Wan-Bissaka available following recent knocks.

Defender Mamadou Sakho has overcome a back injury sustained playing for France during the week.

Cabaye Pogba

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@SimonBrotherton: Defeat in the Manchester derby before the international break leaves Jose Mourinho’s team a whopping 12 points behind leaders Manchester City after only a dozen games.

Perhaps more to the point, they’re also seven adrift of the Champions League places so clearly have ground to make up.

This is a fixture they’ve fared well in for a long time, with Crystal Palace last getting the better of them in a league match some 27 years ago.

Palace could really do with a first league victory in 21 attempts over United, with only goal difference currently keeping them out of the relegation zone after a tricky run of fixtures.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on being seven points adrift of fourth place: “I know it’s a big gap but I also know, until the end of December, if I’m not wrong, we have eight Premier League matches to play.

“Twenty-four points for us to fight (for), 24 points for the other ones that are in the top four to fight (for) too, but I believe we are going to be there.

“Of course we need points, of course we need results, of course we need performances. (It) is up to us. We were playing well and getting good results until the last match.”

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: “I don’t think I could have asked more from the team in the last home games. I would be delighted if we could replicate those performances. The only thing missing is the goals.

“We are playing against a very good team with top quality players. They are strengthened by some of the players who have been injured coming back.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

This is simply a game that Manchester United have to win – can you imagine the furore from their fans if they don’t?

Prediction: 2-0

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Manchester United are on a six-match winning streak against Palace.
  • The Red Devils are unbeaten in 20 league meetings since a 3-0 away loss in May 1991 (W17, D3).
  • United have never lost in 18 Premier League matches versus Palace, which is a competition record for a team against a single opponent.
  • Palace have lost 11 successive league matches at Old Trafford, with their last win coming in December 1989.
  • However, the Eagles did win a League Cup tie away to United in November 2011.

Manchester United

  • Defeat by Manchester City in their last match ended United’s three-game winning run in all competitions.
  • The Red Devils could equal a Premier League club record of conceding for a ninth straight game.
  • They have kept only one league clean sheet this season, in their 2-0 win at Burnley in September.
  • United have conceded 21 Premier League goals, the most by the club after 12 fixtures of a top-flight campaign since 1966-67.
  • They have trailed for 395 minutes in the league this term – only the current bottom three clubs have been behind for longer.
  • Anthony Martial could become just the fourth player to score in six successive Premier League matches for United, emulating Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • Romelu Lukaku has scored in six of his past eight Premier League appearances against Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace

  • Palace are winless in seven matches in all competitions, drawing one and losing six.
  • Both of the Eagles’ two league wins this campaign have been in away fixtures, latterly by 1-0 at Huddersfield in September.
  • They have failed to score in a joint league-high six matches.
  • The Eagles have conceded the opening goal eight times – only Cardiff and Fulham have done so more often.
  • Palace have conceded just three first-half goals but have let in 14 after the interval.
  • Wilfried Zaha has failed to score or provide an assist in any of his five Premier League appearances against his former club Manchester United.
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