Crystal Palace v Man United
Monday, Mar 05 – 20:00
Crystal Palace lost 1-0 when they hosted Tottenham last week, with a late goal from Harry Kane securing three points for the visitors. In his post-match interview, Roy Hodgson admitted that his side does not have the fire-power or players needed to go toe-to-toe with ‘these’ teams, which was a little shortsighted of the former England boss, with Palace set to face another ‘Big Six’ club tonight. Both Martin Kelly and Jeffrey Schlupp are set to return for the Eagles, with full-back Timothy Fosu-Mensah ineligible to play against his parent club.
Man United claimed a hard fought 2-1 win over Chelsea last weekend, thanks to a dazzling performance from striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian finally proved his worth against a ‘Big Six’ side with a goal and an assist, and will be looking to add to his 13 league goals tonight. Midfielder Scott McTominay was another player than excelled in the Chelsea match, and could now make his fourth consecutive start for the Red Devils. Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not expected to feature, despite returning to first team training this week following a knee issue.
What the stats tell us:
- Crystal Palace have failed to win any of their last 17 matches against Man United in the Premier League (D3 L14) – no club has played more matches against an opponent without recording a single victory in the history of the competition.
- In fact, the last time Man United lost against Crystal Palace was back in May 1991 (3-0) with Ian Wright and John Salako scoring for the Eagles.
- Palace have only managed to find the back of the net in four of their 17 matches with Man United in the Premier League, netting five times in total.
- Crystal Palace have won eight of their 23 matches on a Monday in the Premier League – beating Arsenal 3-0 in their last Monday game back in April 2017.
- The Red Devils on the other hand, have the best record of any Premier League club on a Monday, winning 69% of their matches (42/61).
- The Eagles have lost al eight of their matches in the Premier League in which Wilfried Zaha has not featured – shipping 18 goals in the process.
- The last time Man United lost three successive games away from home was back in January 1996 – Jose Mourinho has only lost three away matches in a row once in his managerial career.
- Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial have combined for six goals in the Premier League this season (three assists to each other) – the most of any Man United partnership since Rooney/Martial in 2015/16.
- Paul Pogba has found the back of the net in each of his last two Premier League matches against Crystal Palace.
- Anthony Martial has been involved in six goals as a substitute this season (four goals, two assists) – more than any other Premier League player.
With Chelsea losing out at the Etihad yesterday, Man United have a huge opportunity to secure a Top 4 spot tonight, and could put a nine point gap between themselves and fifth place. The Red Devils earned a comfortable 4-0 win in the reverse fixture back in September, and whilst Crystal Palace have improved since then, it’s hard to see them taking any points from tonight’s match. The Eagles are suffering with injuries and United will be full of confidence. It’s unlikely to be another 4-0 thrashing, but we’re expecting an efficient performance from Jose Mourinho’s side.