Crystal Palace host Manchester United in the Premier League on Wednesday evening as this relentless season continues.
The Red Devils visit Palace in desperate need of a win following a goalless draw with Chelsea on Sunday afternoon, leaving them 12 points adrift of league leaders Manchester City and just one point ahead of third-placed Leicester.
The hosts, meanwhile, sit 13th following a weekend draw against relegation-threatened Fulham. And while they’re not in a scrap for safety themselves, one win from their last four league games has seen them fall behind in mid-table, with others around them fighting to get into the top half.
United wound up 2-0 winners at Selhurst Park last season with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial among the goals, and a similar result would be the perfect response to their weekend stalemate.
Here’s 90min‘s preview of the game.
When is it? Wednesday 3 March
What time is it? 20:15 (GMT)
Where is it played? Selhurst Park
TV Channel? Sky Sports Main Event/Premier League/Ultra HD, Peacock Premium (USA)
Referee? Andre Marriner
A preview of the Premier League clash between Chelsea and Manchester United on Sunday
Previewing Manchester United’s clash with Real Sociedad, the second leg of a Europe League last 32 tie.
A preview of Arsenal’s Europa League round of 32 clash with Benfica on Thursday evening
Player ratings from Chelsea and Manchester United’s goalless draw in the Premier League on Sunday.
Roy Hodgson confirmed after their draw with Fulham that Wilfried Zaha is again unlikely to make his return from injury against former club United on Wednesday, despite returning to training. He has been dealing with a hamstring issue since the beginning of February.
Nathaniel Clyne and Jeffery Schlupp also remain unavailable for the Eagles.
Scott McTominay made a surprise return from injury against Chelsea and was thrown straight into the starting XI, although he looked off the pace so perhaps won’t start against Palace.
Donny van de Beek has also recovered from an injury and was fit enough for a place on the bench at the weekend, but Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani remain injured and are unlikely to make the cut for Wednesday’s game. Juan Mata is also out.
Crystal Palace: Guaita; Ward, Kouyate, Cahill, Van Aanholt; Riedewald, Milivojevic, Eze; Townsend, Benteke, Mateta.
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Matic; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.
Crystal Palace 0-0 Fulham – Premier League (28/2)
Brighton 1-2 Crystal Palace – Premier League (22/2)
Crystal Palace 0-3 Burnley – Premier League (13/2)
Leeds United 2-0 Crystal Palace – Premier League (8/2)
Newcastle 1-2 Crystal Palace – Premier League (2/2)
Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United – Premier League (28/2)
Manchester United 0-0 Real Sociedad – Europa League (25/2)
Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle – Premier League (21/2)
Real Sociedad 0-4 Manchester United – Europa League (18/2)
West Brom 1-1 Manchester United – Premier League (14/2)
Crystal Palace stormed to a 3-1 victory at Old Trafford in September’s reverse fixture this season, but Zaha – who scored a brace – is all but ruled out of the clash.
The Eagles have hit a slump in recent weeks without their star man and drawing to Fulham has done them no good. They face a trip to Tottenham after United, which could make for a long week and one that sees them slip away from a top-half finish if they aren’t careful.
United must be vigilant, however. Palace away is no easy fixture and three points is a must having drawn against Chelsea. And with one eye on Sunday’s derby clash against Manchester City, a win becomes even more key in building momentum and securing their place in second.
The Red Devils will have to fight, but will leave London with a win.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-3 Manchester United