High-flying Premier League giants Manchester United travel to Selhurst Park to meet perennial mid-table tenants Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
Crystal Palace found themselves on the receiving end of a 1-0 win over Chelsea last weekend, thanks to Kai Havertz’s second-half winner.
Havertz not only condemned Palace to an 11th consecutive top-flight defeat against the Blues, but handed the Eagles a fourth “nil” loss in their last five Premier League (W1) matches.
Patrick Vieira’s men are now closer to the relegation zone than the European spots, and their hopes of turning the corner look bleak, given their upcoming opposition.
It took Manchester United just four minutes to turn a 1-0 second-half deficit into a 2-1 derby win over Manchester City on Saturday, maintaining their 100 percent post-World Cup win ratio.
In addition to winning all six competitive matches since the resumption of interclub soccer in December, Erik ten Hag’s boys have climbed the Premier League ladder, moving only one point behind Man City.
While it’s still too early to talk about the Red Devils’ unlikely title push, they’ve already built a solid record in the top four, five points ahead of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur.
Palace won a narrow 1-0 in this corresponding match last season. However, this is hardly a reason for consolation, let alone celebration, with their recent fortunes in the league at home against this visitor reading overwhelmingly.
Wilfried Zaha’s first half strike gave the Eagles a first home win over Man Utd in the Premier League since 1991, ending a disappointing run of 13 H2H without a win in London (D4, L9).
If that’s not worrisome enough, Vieira’s men have lost their last two Premier League home games by a combined score of 7-0 and could string together three consecutive home losses without scoring for the first time since 2017.
Unlike their hosts, Man Utd have hit a purple patch after ten Hag’s difficult start to management, recording nine successive wins in all competitions for the first time since 2017.
Moreover, after losing seven consecutive Premier League away games, the Red Devils have won five of their last eight league trips (D1, L2), all of which have yielded a narrow one-goal margin.
However, their recent trips to the capital have been rather unpleasant, as evidenced by a terrible run of three defeats in their last five Premier League games in London (W1, D1).
Potential compositions between Crystal Palace and Manchester United
Crystal Palace (4-3-3): Vicente Guaita; Nathaniel Clyne, James Tomkins, Marc Guehi, Tyrick Mitchell; Jeffrey Schlupp, Cheick Doucouré, Eberechi Eze; Michael Olise, Jean-Philippe Mateta, Wilfried Zaha.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw; Fred, Casemiro; Antony, Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes; Marcus Rashford.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)