Manchester United play host to Crystal Palace as the curtain comes down on the Premier League season this weekend.
Jose Mourinho’s men played out a dour goalless draw with Southampton at St Mary’s on Wednesday night and, with the men from Manchester fully focused on Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax Amsterdam in Stockholm, Sunday’s showdown with Sam Allardyce’s men is something of a sideshow.
United are chalked up as a 5/4 (2.25) chance with bet365 to take all three points at Old Trafford, with 5/2 (3.50) that the match ends in stalemate – a selection that would have seen punters profit from no fewer than 10 of the 18 Premier League matches at Mourinho’s side have contested on home soil so far this season.
For Palace, their objective has been achieved - a thumping 4-0 win against Hull City at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon ensured that the Eagles will be playing Premier League football next season. The south Londoners can be backed at 2/1 (3.0) to sign off for the season in style with victory in Manchester.
Those hoping for a thrilling finale to the season, though, may well be left disappointed. There is nothing at stake for either side and United’s injury-hit squad may well be rotated to ensure that a number of Mourinho’s key men are fit and fresh for Wednesday’s match in the Swedish capital.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that just one of Manchester United’s last 11 fixtures in all competitions – a 2-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane last weekend – has seen more than two goals scored at the end of 90 minutes, while there have been fewer than three goals scored at the end of normal time in each of United’s last eight fixtures at Old Trafford in all competitions.
Palace have scored in four of their last five away matches in the Premier League and there is 3/4 (1.75) that both teams are on target in this game, while the Eagles can be backed at 13/8 (2.63) to score two or more goals against United – a selection that would have landed in each of the six Premier League away wins that the south Londoners have recorded this season.
Better value, though, may lie in backing another drab affair and the 17/20 (1.85) quote for fewer than three goals to be scored may offer punters a path to profit from Sunday’s showdown at Old Trafford.