Crystal Palace vs Manchester United Preview, Betting Tips and Odds

Crystal Palace vs Manchester United Preview, Betting Tips and Odds

Crystal Palace vs Manchester United predictions for Thursday’s Premier League contest at Selhurst Park.

Following a dismal run of five defeats on the spin, any lingering hopes Crystal Palace had about securing a top-half Premier League finish this season have completely evaporated in recent weeks.

While their losses during that streak to Liverpool, Leicester and Chelsea weren’t exactly unexpected, the Eagles’ 2-0 reverse at relegation-threatened Aston Villa in their last outing on Sunday was particularly poor – and Roy Hodgson’s men will be determined to improve their performance this week.

With just two points separating Palace in 14th from Everton in 11th, there are incentives in terms of league places and pride for the Eagles this week when they welcome Champions League-chasing Man Utd to Selhurst Park.

United blow big chance
Manchester United meanwhile, blew a huge opportunity to jump from 5th to 3rd place in the standings on Monday evening, when they were held to a disappointing 2-2 draw by Southampton at Old Trafford.

Lacking their usual attacking sparkle, United were second best for large swathes of their contest against the Saints, who earned a deserved share of the spoils with a 95th minute Michael Obafemi equalizer.

While the result was from ideal for United, on an evening where they lost both their first and second choice left-backs (Shaw and Williams) to injury, Leicester’s shock defeat to Bournemouth allowed Solskjaer’s side to draw level on points with the 4th place Foxes.

With Chelsea, just a point better off in 3rd spot, a compelling three-way shootout for the remaining two Champions League qualification spots is in the offing over the next couple of weeks.

Both teams likely to score
Just as it did against Bournemouth on July 4, Man Utd’s backline proved far too easy to breach against Southampton on Monday evening at the Theatre of Dreams, and with individual mistakes still prevalent, we think United’s chances of keeping a clean sheet at Selhurst Park look slim on Thursday.

Clean sheets away from Old Trafford have been rare occurrences in general for United since August last year, and in total, Solskjaer’s side secured just four shutouts in 17 attempts on the road since the 2019/20 campaign kicked off almost a year ago.

But where United have fallen down in terms of defensive solidity, they have been more than making up for with some attacking play.

With Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba forming a devastating quintet, United plundered a whopping 16 goals in their last five Premier League assignments, and Palace, who conceded two or more times in four of their last five fixtures, lack the personnel and quality to keep the rapid-fire Red Devils at bay.

Roy Hodgson will be without key defenders Gary Cahill and James Tomkins for Thursday’s game, and with Mamadou Sakho, in particular, looking a substandard deputy, United should be able to find more final third joy against the Eagles.

With both Palace and United looking exploitable at the back, both teams to score market looks excellent value for Thursday’s game, though our correct score prediction backs Solskjaer’s Champions League hopefuls to eventually carve out a valuable 2-1 win.

The Eagles conceded an average of 2.6 goals per 90 minutes across their last five top-flight games, and United, top-heavy with attacking threat, should be able exact a measure of revenge for their defeat to Palace at Old Trafford by the same scoreline in August last year.

Key Battle: Mamadou Sakho vs Anthony Martial
Stand-in French centre-half Mamadou Sakho has looked off the pace for Palace since being drafted into the Eagles XI by Roy Hodgson, and following a string of unconvincing displays, the 30-year-old could again be a point of weakness to be targeted on Thursday.

Sakho’s compatriot and Man Utd forward Anthony Martial scored a superb goal against Southampton on Monday evening, bringing his Premier League total since the restart up to five in six appearances.

The 24-year-old has found finally found the consistency to match his ability in recent months, and the ex-Monaco starlet has the pace and trickery to cause Mamadou Sakho numerous headaches this week.

Crystal Palace vs Manchester United team news
James Tomkins, Jeffrey Schlupp, Martin Kelly and Gary Cahill are all injured and will miss Thursday's game for Palace, while Christian Benteke is also out through suspension.

The Belgian’s absence should see Jordan Ayew move into a more central attacking role, with Andros Townsend filling in on the flanks.

Crystal Palace predicted line-up: Guaita – Ward, Dann, Sakho, van Aanholt – Milivojevic, McArthur, Kouyate – Zaha, Townsend, Ayew

Luke Shaw’s ankle injury should keep him out of Thursday’s game for United, though Brandon Williams trained this week having received six stitches to a gash on his head, and could start in place of the aforementioned Shaw.

United looked a little leggy on Monday night against Southampton having fielded the same XI for the fifth game on the bounce, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might finally be forced to shuffle his pack to inject some energy into his team.

Manchester United predicted line-up: De Gea – Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams – McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes – James, Martial, Rashford
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