Crystal Palace vs Manchester United: Match preview and predicted line-ups
Jose Mourinho is targeting back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time since August when Manchester United visit Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace tomorrow night. United’s 1-0 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend was a much-needed result for Mourinho, whose side cut the deficit to a coveted Champions League spot to six points. The Eagles meanwhile, are buoyed from scoring a last-gasp equaliser at Hull City on Saturday but, currently in 15th position, are still dangerously close to the bottom three. It has been a turbulent campaign so far for manager Alan Pardew, who spent big in the summer but has yet to find consistency in results.
Crystal Palace are unbeaten in two matches but actually dropped down the table following the thrilling 3-3 draw against Hull. Their 3-0 win against Southampton the last time they played at Selhurst Park ended a worrying sequence of six successive defeats that had some questioning Pardew’s position at the club. United themselves have had problems with closing out victories, but finally appear to be on an upward curve. Their last Premier League reversal came in the 4-0 defeat at Chelsea, Mourinho’s former club, back in October. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has rediscovered his scoring boots and Paul Pogba, the world’s most expensive player is beginning to justify his transfer fee.
Pardew will be forced into making at least one change after Jason Puncheon picked up his fifth booking over the season against Hull to incur a one-match suspension. On a positive note, Bakary Sako and James Tomkins are both in contention to return after being ruled out of that match. For United, defender Antonio Valencia has also picked up a one-match ban for collecting his fifth booking, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who scored in his last two appearances for United following a difficult start to life in Manchester, is ruled out after suffering an ankle injury that forced him to be stretchered off against Spurs.It is set to sideline him for a couple of weeks.
Crystal Palace predicted starting XI Manchester United predicted starting XI
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With a typically boisterous home support roaring them on, Palace will fancy their chances of causing a shock against United. Pardew needs a victory to ease the pressure on him and Christian Benteke, their record signing, could be a key factor in the outcome. However, the visitors are starting to hit their straps and although the absence of the in-form Mkhitaryan is a blow to their chances, they may prove too strong for the home side, who have leaked goals recently. Away win
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