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Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace v. Manchester United


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• Palace last beat Manchester United in the league in May 1991. However, they did win a League Cup fifth-round tie at Old Trafford in November 2011.

• United had 79.9% possession in their defeat by West Brom last weekend – the most by anyone this season and the second highest in the Premier League since 2003.

• The Eagles have won a league-high 18 points from losing positions this season.

The end of the 2014-15 Premier League season is near, and teams are in full gear jostling for the best possible outcomes.

On Saturday around 12:30 p.m. ET, Manchester United will trek to Selhurst Park to meet Alan Pardew and Crystal Palace for the second time this campaign.

Lately, United hasn’t been the fairly successful side that climbed the ranks to exist in the top four.

The Red Devils, currently in fourth place, still could drop out of a Champions League qualification spot. With three consecutive losses coming at the hands of Chelsea, Everton and West Brom, the attack of Louis van Gaal’s side has fallen under scrutiny lately, with all these matches ending in shutouts.

Versus the Toffees, a combination of defensive lapses and weak intent on the offensive end ultimately grounded Manchester as Everton’s 2-0 lead at halftime signaled a steep hill to climb.

Thirteenth-place Palace, a squad that United beat 1-0 in league play in November, has surged under manager Alan Pardew, who left Newcastle United at the beginning of 2015 to fill the opening left by Neil Warnock’s departure.

Since Pardew’s arrival, the Eagles have risen from 18th place to 13th currently, and are on their way to their highest finish in almost 24 years.

Similar to Manchester United, Palace failed to win in the past three games, all shutout results to West Brom, Hull City and Chelsea.

What they’re saying

Manchester United boss Loiuis van Gaal on Michael Carrick season-ending injury (Man United official website): “Carrick is not available, it was more heavy than we thought..We tried everything but now we have to think about next season. He shall not play anymore this season, it’s better now to focus for him on next season and being fit to start…When you see the stats, it’s clear that he’s very important but that’s also because we have only one right-sided holding midfielder.”

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew notes improvement of former Red Devil Wilfried Zaha (The Guardian): “He’s learned you have to do certain things defensively in the Premier League without taking away from your offensive ability. He never really had an opportunity to learn that at United because he just didn’t play enough. That’s no fault of Man United’s: it’s the standards they have. He perhaps wasn’t quite ready. But he is a player we hope will grow here and will make an impact tomorrow.”

Match injuries/absences

For Palace, Glenn Murray and Mile Jedinak are both expected get back into the starting XI, while striker Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh are nearing returns.

Manchester United players have been dealing with a virus, although it’s unknown who exactly has been affected. Michael Carrick, as stated earlier, is out for the remainder of the year due to a calf problem. Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Jonny Evans should be ready to perform as well.

Prediction

United hasn’t been capable of winning recently, but against a team that was in relegation at one point and has present difficulties, the Red Devils should be set to break their losing run. Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester United.

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