Crystal Palace vs Man Utd preview | Injury boost for United | Expected Line-ups
Man Utd will be returning to London for the second time in under three days as they look to take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, kick off 20:15.
The game was originally scheduled for the 20th March, however, following Utd’s success in reaching the Quarter-Finals of the FA Cup – also scheduled to take place that weekend – the fixture has been rearranged to this evening.
Having played only three days ago, it will be a quick turnaround for the Utd squad. Nevertheless, after their stalemate against Chelsea, it is even more important for Utd to take all three points from Palace if they want to secure their place in the top four and close the ever-growing gap with Man City.
As expected, Paul Pogba, Phil Jones and Juan Mata will not be travelling having not yet returned from injury.
When asked in his pre-match press conference how far Pogba was from returning to action, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said, “Paul is still not ready for us, no. He’s feeling better. He’s not been training with the squad so he’s definitely not travelling down to London, no.”
A possible silver-lining to take from this is the fact Pogba is ‘feeling better’ and depending on his ability to train, could potentially return to action in Sunday’s derby or, more likely, the fixtures in the following week.
Nevertheless, Utd have received an injury boost as Edinson Cavani has returned to training with the squad and may potentially have some involvement within the game. Solskjaer has said, “Edinson trained, he’s joined in, that’s good. Let’s hope there’s no reaction after the session. Hopefully, he will travel with the squad.”
As for Crystal Palace, Roy Hodgson has provided an update on some of his players including Wilfred Zaha, James McArthur, James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho who will all miss the game.
Hodgson also confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Nathaniel Clyne and Tyrick Mitchell are also missing with “minor injuries that will keep them out for a week or two”.
However, Hodgson was able to provide some positive news stating, “I’m happy that Jeff Schlupp and Connor Wickham have recovered … they will be available even for tomorrow evening.”
Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1): Guaita; Ward, Kouyate, Cahill, van Aanholt; Milivojevic, Riedewald; Townsend, Eze, Ayew; Mateta
Man Utd (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Telles; Fred, Matic; Rashford, Fernandes, Greenwood; Martial.
With the Manchester Derby only four days away, Utd will be expected to rotate the squad and rest some key players for Sunday.
At the back, there is a possibility that Eric Bailly will come in for Victor Lindelof and Alex Telles for Luke Shaw, as Solskjaer will be wanting to preserve their fitness for Sunday’s game.
Scott McTominay may also be rotated out of the starting eleven, as he had only just returned to action on Sunday – playing for the full 90 minutes – after being out for a week or so with a muscle injury. Nemanja Matic would be the most likely replacement for the Scotsman.
Donny van de Beek will be pushing for game time after being out for two weeks with a muscle injury. However, previous fixtures would suggest that Solskjaer is more likely to use the Dutchman as a substitute, giving Matic better odds to start.
Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood may all retain their place in the starting line-up with Anthony Martial rotating into the squad as a centre-forward. This would allow Dan James some rest after enjoying a spell of consistent first-team action in the past few fixtures.
Edinson Cavani is more likely to be used as an impact substitute due to the fact he has only just begun training again and this would give the Uruguayan some minutes without too much risk of further injury.
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