Manchester United are back in Premier League action against Crystal Palace on Saturday after signing off from domestic duty with a disappointing 3-1 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium before the international break.
Jose Mourinho’s side had done well in the lead up to the Manchester Derby with late victories secured against Juventus in the Champions League and the previous weekend in league action against Bournemouth.
However, the match against Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering team was a bridge too far with United going down in comprehensive circumstances as a result of goals by David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan.
Mourinho will now be looking to realign United’s Premier League campaign – where they have won only six of their 12 matches so far. He will also be hoping to avoid falling behind – something they have done seven times in the Premier League already.
Indeed United have been behind for 395 minutes so far this season – more time than any other team sitting outside the relegation zone.
Man Utd Injuries
Paul Pogba missed the Manchester Derby with what was described as a minor injury – believed to be a thigh - and did not play for France in their Nations League defeat to the Netherlands or draw against Uruguay. He was spotted in Dubai during the international break alongside Salt Bae and Lionel Messi and it is hoped that he will be fit.
Fellow Frenchman Anthony Martial was called up by Les Bleus for the first time in eight months but was forced to withdraw from the squad with a minor hip injury. He was however spotted in United training earlier on this week and could well be fit to start against Palace.
Marcus Rashford was substituted from the England line-up against Croatia in the Nations League on Sunday and hobbled down the tunnel. He was scheduled to be seen by United medical staff before Saturday.
Marouane Fellaini did not join up with the Belgium squad for their games against Iceland and Switzerland and got his hair cut instead. He was also pictured back in United training this week as he continues he recovery from a groin injury.
His compatriot Romelu Lukaku did not feature for Roberto Martinez’s side having been assessed by Belgian doctors and he has been struggling with a calf injury. He is back in Manchester having seen a specialist in Antwerp this week.
Man Utd Suspensions
Luke Shaw was booked against Manchester City and therefore will serve a mandatory one-match ban after accumulating five yellow cards.
Man Utd Starting Line-Up
Mourinho could well be forced into a makeshift line-up without a clean bill of health. He will be making his decision based more on fitness than preference with so many key men struggling in the build up.
Alexis Sanchez scored in both of Chile’s international matches and could well be restored to the starting XI if Rashford, Martial or Lukaku don’t make it.
With Shaw suspended, it is expected that Ashley Young will switch over to left-back duties opening a space at right back for Diogo Dalot to make his Premier League debut.
Antonio Valencia has been available to Mourinho but has been forced to sit games out after an ill-advised Instagram post.
Mourinho will be picking from the under-fire Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Fellaini and Pogba in midfield.
Crystal Palace Team News
Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace side come to Old Trafford in alarming form with no wins in their last seven matches and are sitting just one point above the relegation zone.
Ex-Red Wilfried Zaha could well be missing for Palace. The talismanic forward did not play in the defeat against Tottenham before the international break due to a hamstring injury. Nonetheless, Hodgson is optimistic on the Ivorian’s recovery.
Defender James Tomkins was substituted in the loss to Spurs while there are question marks over the fitness of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Mamadou Sakho was also replaced due to injury during France’s recent draw with Uruguay.
Christian Benteke, Connor Wickham and Scott Dann are all due to be absent.
TV Channel & Kick-off time
The match at Old Trafford kicks off at 3:00pm GMT on Saturday, with no live coverage available in the UK. In the US the game will be shown on NBC Sports Gold at 10:00am ET.
Best Opta Match facts
- Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 20 league games against Crystal Palace (W17 D3) since a 0-3 loss in May 1991.
- Crystal Palace have lost their last 11 league visits to Old Trafford, failing to score on 10 occasions since a 2-1 win in December 1989 thanks to a Mark Bright brace.
- Manchester United have played 18 Premier League games against Crystal Palace without ever losing (W15 D3) – the highest amount of games one team has faced another in the competition without ever suffering defeat.
- Man Utd have conceded at least once in their last eight Premier League games – only once have they had a longer run without a clean sheet in the competition (nine games between August and October 1999). • Crystal Palace are winless in seven Premier League games (D2 L5), and have lost each of their last three away from home.
- Manchester United have trailed for 395 minutes in the Premier League this season – only the three clubs in the relegation zone coming into this weekend have been behind for longer (Fulham 553, Cardiff 474 and Huddersfield 454).
- Juan Mata has scored in two of his three Premier League home games against Crystal Palace for Man Utd. The Spaniard is currently on 49 goals and 49 assists in the Premier League.
- Romelu Lukaku has scored in six of his last eight Premier League appearances against Crystal Palace, including both for Manchester United last season.
- Anthony Martial has scored in his last five Premier League games for Man Utd, and could become just the fourth different player to score in six consecutive appearances for the Red Devils (after Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo).
- Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho has only lost one of his 51 Premier League home games kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday (W41 D9), with that defeat coming against Crystal Palace when he was Chelsea manager in August 2015.