Manchester United head to Crystal Palace needing to make sure that they take all three points against a struggling side fighting to stay up in the top flight. The Eagles are currently in the 17th and final safety slot in the table, so they will be scrapping for points in this one as well. United are fighting it out with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur for the last three top four/UEFA Champions League positions, meaning somebody will be odd man out.
United head to London somewhat banged up, with significant injuries in both midfield and defense. In attack, the only concern is veteran Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is back in training having recovered from the knee issue which flared up again on Boxing Day.
He faces a late fitness test in order to feature, but is essentially a doubt.
Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho revealed Friday that Ibrahimovic is on his way out at the end of the season. Another player who could be out the door come summertime is Marouane Fellaini. Mourinho also said at the news conference today that Fellaini’s status at the club remains up in the air. There has been no progress to speak of on a contract extension. Fellaini is still out with an injury long term, with Mourinho stating that he could get the polarizing player back in action in a couple weeks time.
Meanwhile defenders Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Phil Jones have all missed recent matches due to injuries, and all three are expected to miss out on this one.
Additionally, midfielder Ander Herrera is a long term absentee and back-up goalkeeper Sergio Romero was left out of the squad that beat Chelsea.
On the flip side, Crystal Palace are experiencing nothing short of a full blown injury crisis, with 10 players ruled out. Yohan Cabaye, Joel Ward, Mamadou Sakho, Wilfried Zaha (remember him United fans?), Julian Speroni, Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Connor Wickham are all out.
On the plus side, Palace do get a boost from the return of the following troika of players: James Tomkins, Martin Kelly and Jeff Schlupp.
Odds: Crystal Palace 6/1, Draw 10/3, United 4/7
Jose Mourinho press conference video: go to this link
United starting XI Prediction: go to this link
Prediction: United 2, Crystal Palace 0
Feel free to post your own Crystal Palace and/or Man United starting XI predictions, as well as your best guess as to what the final score will be.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Powered by Sidelines
Related Posts via Categories