Old Trafford - Premier League
Manchester United are looking to make it two wins in two at Old Trafford so far this season as they host Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. The Red Devils spurned a great chance to claim a victory away to Wolves on Monday, while Palace are aiming for an unlikely first win of the campaign this weekend.
United won 3-1 the last time the teams met, which was at Selhurst Park in February. The Eagles claimed a point at Old Trafford last season though courtesy of a goalless draw, but United won six in a row before that - including the 2016 FA Cup final at Wembley.
Daniel James was handed his first start against Wolves and will hope to keep his place here. Juan Mata is pushing for a start despite a disappointing cameo at Molineux though, while Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are both out with knee injuries. It's appearing increasingly unlikely that Alexis Sanchez will play for United again amid rumours of a move to Inter Milan.
James Tomkins is approaching a return to action after an operation last April ended his season last time round. Apart from that, Mamadou Sakho is Roy Hodgson’s only other injury absentee. The Eagles boss must decide whether to continue with the goal-shy Christian Benteke up front, with Palace yet to score in their opening two fixtures.
Manchester United v Crystal Palace Preview and Predictions
Although the circumstances of their draw at Wolves were somewhat disappointing, Manchester United can still take positives from their point at a ground where they lost twice last season. Crystal Palace meanwhile will take heart from their draw at Old Trafford last term, but the visitors still start as the major underdogs in the betting.
Paul Pogba’s penalty miss cost United a 2-1 lead with 20 minutes left of Monday’s game at Molineux, while there was some sloppy defending for Wolves’ equalising goal. The Reds are looking a lot more solid at the back though thanks to the arrival of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, so Palace aren’t going to get many chances in this match.
The Eagles didn’t have too many opportunities last year either, but still came away with a point. United were awful that day under Jose Mourinho, and with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s methods beginning to take shape, this one should be more lively. The issue appears to be with implementing the high press and quick passing for 90 minutes at the moment, but we can expect the home team to start quickly.
Even if they don’t manage an early breakthrough, United are the strong favourites against a team who lost 1-0 to newly-promoted Sheffield United at the weekend. The Eagles couldn’t break down 10-man Everton in their season opener, so the away win looks unlikely at 19/2. The hosts are 3/8 for the victory, while the draw’s priced at 17/4.
Man United to win to nil at 6/5
With United looking much better at the back this season and Palace yet to hit the back of the net, this bet looks a good way to enhance your odds on the home win.
Man United to win and over 3.5 goals at 5/2
This bet would’ve paid out in three of the last four matches between these teams, as well as in United’s first home game of the season - a 4-0 victory over Chelsea.