Shorthanded Manchester United Shouldn't Be Troubled By Crystal Palace

Manchester United is missing a slew of players, but it shouldn't be bothered by last-place Palace at Old Trafford.
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Manchester United host Crystal Palace on Saturday as top of the league meets bottom. 

The Red Devils will attempt to continue their unbeaten run against Roy Hodgson's deflated Palace.

United beat a tough Southampton last time out in the Premier League before dispatching CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, while Crystal Palace remain bottom of the table, without a win or a goal.

Former England boss Hodgson was recently appointed after the Frank de Boer debacle, but he is yet to secure a point from his first two games.

Here's what you need to know ahead of Saturday's match.

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Team News

Paul Pogba is still sidelined with a hamstring problem, while Marouane Fellaini is unlikely to feature due to an injury sustained in a collision with Southampton's Shane Long last weekend. 

Michael Carrick is also absent and Phil Jones looks set to miss a second game in a row but Antonio Valencia should be back after sitting out the trip to Moscow to recover from a knee issue.


Anthony Martial was forced to leave the game early with a slight muscle complaint and could be rested.

Crystal Palace's Timothy Fosu-Mensah will not be able to play as he is currently on loan from United. Christian Benteke has been ruled out for six weeks after suffering ligament damage against Manchester City and therefore leaves Palace without a recognised forward. 


With the growing problems facing Hodgson in the attacking department, Palace are said to want Carlton Cole but Bakary Sako is likely to deputise on Saturday.

Predicted Manchester United XI: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind, Herrera, Matic, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lukaku.

Predicted Crystal Palace XI: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Sakho, Van Aanholt, Milivojevic, Cabaye, Townsend, Puncheon, Schlupp, Sako.

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Key Man

Romelu Lukaku will once again be the key man in this fixture. His pace, strength and goalscoring talent has been too much for all six teams he has faced in the league this season. 

This, alongside Palace having the joint worst defensive record in the league alongside West Ham, will fall into Lukaku's favour massively. It wouldn't be at all surprising to see the Belgian take the match ball home for the first time this season.

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Manchester United are in scintillating form and nothing looks like changing any time soon, even with the injuries to Pogba and Fellaini.

Crystal Palace are weak and deflated after losing all six games this season and conceding five to Manchester City last weekend and this fixture against the red side of Manchester looks likely to be another goal fest. 

Considering United put four past West Ham, Swansea and Everton, all of whom are more solid defensively than Palace, the scoreline to be expected may be over the five goal margin.

Prediction: Manchester United 6-0 Crystal Palace