Manchester United’s 2018 struggles are slowly feeling like a distant memory. That’s all thanks to many excellent performances, including wins over Tottenham and Chelsea, alongside their most recent outing – a hard-fought stalemate against the ever-tough Liverpool. With that in mind, there’s little doubt that this match is going to be quite the challenge for home side Crystal Palace.
That being said, it is one that is not necessarily beyond their abilities, especially considering United’s injury struggles and in light of some high-quality performances from Palace. Just look at their most recent victory over Leicester for proof of that. However, Manchester United remain, even in a weakened state, a mountain to climb. Only time will tell if Palace are able to overcome it.
Crystal Palace vs Manchester United Prediction: Palace 1-2 Man United
The fact that Manchester United were able to fight off current Premier League top-spot holders Liverpool whilst being plagued by injuries gives us confidence that they are able to claw their way to victory against Crystal Palace, but only just. This will be a real test of the away team’s depth of talent and one where Palace – who showed in their last game just how adept they are at ruthlessly taking advantages of the weakness of their opposition – will be keen to exploit. However, their talent pool is deep and United are still one of the best teams in the league, meaning we think this one will end in a 2-1 victory for United.
Our recommended tip: Manchester United win
Sitting five positions and 16 points ahead of their opponents in the Premier League standings, it should hardly come as a surprise that Manchester United hold the advantage coming into this contest. They enjoy a 41% win probability, although Crystal Palace aren’t too far behind with a 31% win probability. At Betfair, the home side have medium-risk match odds of 11/5, while Man United have lower-risk odds of 7/5 on a win. Therefore, we recommend that you back the favourites for the best chance of winning your wager.
Considering that Manchester United have been a top team for so long, their previous match history should come as little surprise. These two have met over 50 times throughout the years and the away team have won with a little over five times the frequency of Palace. Plus, their modern meetings look even more dominant.
It has been over a dozen matches since United last tasted defeat in this fixture, with only a duo of draws giving their opponent some cause for optimism. One instance actually came in their last meeting in November 2018, where they went to a 0-0 stalemate. Overall though, it’s clear who has the historical advantage.
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Players to watch: Wilfried Zaha & Paul Pogba
Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha
We’ve already made it clear that we think these two will be relying on the big guns to get the job done here, and they don’t get much better for Crystal Palace than Wilfried Zaha. He scored twice against Leicester and has managed four goals in three games following a dry spell since last September. The man himself has attributed his renewed success to an improvement in overall attacking options opening up more opportunities. As of now, it certainly seems to be working.
Manchester United: Paul Pogba
With the team facing a huge injury crisis, there’s a good chance that a group of young players could be called up for this match. And as interesting as that will be, we think against a team as resilient as Crystal Palace, it will be the established players taking the lead. With that in mind, we’ll be looking to a reinvigorated Paul Pogba – who scored against both Fulham and Chelsea – to make up the difference.