Man United vs Crystal Palace – Preview, Predictions, and Best Bets
3 December 2021
Man Utd host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in the English Premier League on Sunday. Ralf Rangnick starts work as head coach after Michael Carrick decided to resign after his caretaker role. Palace has won on their last two trips to Man Utd albeit under Roy Hodgson. United are 12 home matches without a clean sheet.
Man United Form
After a run of seven losses in 13 matches in all competitions, United parted ways with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The team’s defending with 19 conceded in seven matches and humiliating thrashing at the hands of Liverpool and Watford were too much to overlook. Michael Carrick took caretaker charge for the last three matches.
He oversaw a 2-0 win in Villarreal and then parked the bus at Chelsea to draw 1-1 after having only two shots and 34% of the ball. Their last match saw a 3-2 home win against Arsenal in an open match. Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice (one penalty) with Bruno Fernandes getting the other.
Man United Team News
Man Utd is still without Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane for this match. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has a hand injury but could return to play in this one. Nemanja Matic has a hamstring complaint and Edinson Cavani is out. Luke Shaw is close to a return from a concussion.
Ralf Rangnick favour a 4-2-2-2 formation and could immediately implement it. Ronaldo could be partnered up top by Marcus Rashford with Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho as two tens. Some rotation may be needed with Eric Bailly and Jesse Lingard hoping for involvement.
Man United Motivation
Rangnick plays very attacking football. There will be no parking on the bus and his side will throw numbers forward, use fast transitions and press high. There isn’t time to implement these changes so he may just play to win the match.
A draw would be seen as a poor result after the three impressive results that Carrick achieved.
Crystal Palace Form
Patrick Vieira had Palace in some very good form before consecutive defeats in their last two. The Eagles were on a run of one defeat in ten league matches before that. That run saw a 3-0 win against Tottenham, a 2-0 win at Man City, and a 2-0 home win against Wolves, plus six draws.
After four draws in a row, they had the City and Wolves wins before throwing away two leads to draw 3-3 at Burnley. Their last two matches have seen losses at Aston Villa won 2-1 at Selhurst Park. Their only match saw a 94th-minute penalty to lose 1-0 away at Leeds in galling fashion.
Crystal Palace Team News
Palace is without Joel Ward at right-back for this match due to suspension. Martin Kelly or Nathaniel Clyne will deputize. James McArthur and Joachim Andersen are both out injured, big losses in midfield and defence respectively. Will Hughes and James Tomkins are favourites to take their spots.
Christian Benteke is set for a recall up front with Jordan Ayew most likely to make way. Eberechi Eze is back from a long-term injury but will be slowly eased in.
Crystal Palace Motivation
Palace is quite an open, attacking side under Vieira. They have scored in 10 of their last 12 matches with just two clean sheets in ten. They will be capable of defending in numbers without the ball but will get men forward in numbers when on the attack.
A draw would be a decent result on the road but they won’t play for one by parking the bus.
Man Utd have lost 3 of their last 5 home matches
Man Utd have conceded in each of their last 12 home PL matches
Palace have kept 2 clean sheets in their last 10 matches
Palace have lost 2 consecutive PL matches
Crystal Palace have scored in 10 of their last 12 PL matches
Palace are unbeaten in 3 trips to Old Trafford (W2, D1)
This should be a very good match to watch. Palace has enough to cause United problems and could score. Rangnick will want a home win to start his reign and his side look to have better confidence after three good results.
Best Bet: Both teams to score at 1.83
Value Bet: Man Utd win and over 2.5 goals at 2.40
Goalscorer Tip: Ronaldo first goalscorer at 3.80
Correct Score Tip: Man Utd 3-1 Crystal Palace at 12.00