Manchester United will attempt to get back to winning ways in the Premier League when they host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Red Devils seemed to have turned a corner when they chalked up three successive victories by beating Everton, Bournemouth and, most impressively, Juventus , but took a step backwards before the international break as they were outplayed 3-1 by Manchester City in the derby.
Eighth in the standings, the expectation is that they will challenge for the top four this season, but if they are to make up the seven-point deficit to Tottenham, then they must demand maximum points from games such as these.
|Game||Manchester United vs Crystal Palace|
|Date||Saturday, November 24|
|Time||3pm GMT/10am ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live on the NBC Sports Gold app.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||NBC Sports Gold|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be shown live as it will be played during the blackout period.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Man United squad|
|Goalkeepers||De Gea, Grant, Romero|
|Defenders||Lindelof, Bailly, Jones, Rojo, Young, Dalot, Shaw, Valencia, Darmian|
|Midfielders||Pogba, Mata, Lingard, Pereira, Fred, Herrera, Fellaini, Matic, McTominay, Gomes, Hamilton|
|Forwards||Sanchez, Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, Chong, Bohui|
Manchester United starting XI: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Lindelof, Young; Mata, Matic, Pogba; Lingard, Lukaku, Martial
|Position||Crystal Palace players|
|Goalkeepers||Hennessey, Guaita, Speroni|
|Defenders||Sakho, Tomkins, Dann, Riedewald, van Aanholt, Schlupp, Souare, Ward, Wan-Bissaka, Kelly|
|Midfielders||Milivojevic, Kouyate, McArthur, Meyer, Puncheon, Williams, Kaikai, Townsend, Zaha|
|Forwards||Benteke, Ayew, Wickham, Sorloth|
Crystal Palace starting XI: Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt; McArthur, Milivojevic, Kouyate, Meyer; Townsend, Zaha
Betting & Match Odds
Man Utd are favourites ahead of the game, with bet365 offering odds of 2/5 on a home win. Palace can be backed at a price of 7/1, while a draw is 17/4.
Twelve points behind league leaders Manchester City, the prospect of Manchester United winning the Premier League title already appears to be a distant one, yet anything short of fourth place would have to be considered a major failure for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Prior to the international break, it seemed they were starting to get a handle on matters after a disappointing start to the season. Steady victories over Everton and Bournemouth suggested brighter days ahead, as did the smash-and-grab success over Juventus in the Champions League, but they were brought down to earth with a bump as they lost 3-1 to City in the derby.
Nevertheless, Mourinho is confident by the end of the year, the Red Devils will have closed the seven-point chasm to Tottenham, who occupy fourth.
"I know it’s a big gap but I also know until the end of December if I’m not wrong we have eight Premier League matches to play, and eight Premier League matches we are speaking about 24 points," the Portuguese boss said.
"That's 24 points for us to fight for and the other ones in the top four to fight too but I believe we are going to be there."
In an interview with Univision Deportes he revealed that a “lack of maturity” has been holding his side back in recent times.
“The people who surround the players, who protect them too much, who give them – in my opinion – too much care, too many excuses. There’s always an excuse for everything,” he argued.
“People are maturing more slowly. For example, the young lad Luke Shaw, who is the left-back of the national team, who arrived there [at United] two years before me. He didn’t know how to compete. He had great potential, yes, but he didn’t know how to compete.
“When we talk about Luke Shaw, [Anthony] Martial, [Jesse] Lingard, Marcus Rashford, we’re talking about young lads but who also are still missing a word that I can’t use but you like to use. They are missing a bit of that.
“Character, personality, as they say in Spain as well, bad blood, that natural aggression.”
Mourinho will hope to see these attributes at Old Trafford in Saturday against a Crystal Palace side that has picked up six of its eight points away from home.
Hodgson will set his side up to counterattack United, and if they are not on their mettle the pressure will only mount against a Portuguese manager, who is fully expected to led his side to three points against opponents depleted in numbers.