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Time to shatter dreams: United vs Crystal Palace Preview

Crunch timeIn May last year Yannick Bolasie tore past Glenn Johnson, exposing him for the over weight, overrated and over priced footballer he really is. Powering into the penalty area and whipping in a delightful cross for Dwight Gayle to stab into the net, willed on by United fans across the globe, and in doing so destroying all hope for Liverpool fans that it might finally be their year.

Make us dream, scousers whispered into their tear soaked Luis Suarez jerseys, possession of which was soon to become as painful as waking up to another day in Liverpool.

For that, United fans will always be grateful. Crystal Palace need to do us one more favour on Satuday and restore the confidence that has inevitably been damaged after last weekend’s derby defeat.

United were unworthy losers of last weekend’s derby and on another day, with centre backs with a higher IQ than a jar of pickles, they might have taken all three points, or at least one However it is the performance that fans were calling out for, not just a spirited display, but good, positive attacking football throughout the 90 minutes.

Despite being down to ten men United chased the game until the end whereas under Moyes last season United would have become as limp and disappointing as David Moyes’ last wedding anniversary.


The United defence could well resemble a patchwork quilt this weekend unless Van Gaal chooses to go with youth. With Phil jones, Marcos Rojo, Johnny Evans injured and Chris Smalling suspended, United might well field a youth centre back pairing of Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair. Alternatively Michael Carrick gave a very competent understudy performance at centre back on his return from injury, so could well feature as a level head alongside one of the youth defenders. Rafael is also out, meaning Valencia will fill in at right back.

News circulating has also suggested that Robin Van Persie could be dropped and replaced by James Wilson, while Falcao is still out with an injury, the facts behind this injury appear more allusive than the existence of Adrian Chiles.


After last weekend’s home defeat to a poor Sunderland side Crystal Palace could well field a very defensive team. Current bottom of the table strugglers Palace need points and are likely to put out a team with the intention of parking the bus.

Palace have a nearly fully fit squad at their disposal, but the loss of Jedinak through suspension is a big blow.


With Palace notoriously packing the midfield well and having a team of big, strong players this battle could well be won in the middle of the pitch. United will likely play the diamond, with Wayne Rooney, Di Maria and Van Persie definitely being fit, so the responsibility to contain Palace will lie with the energy of Ander Herrera and Daly Blind. Both have looked good so far, but need to ensure they don’t allow themselves to get bullied by Palace’s strong men tomorrow. This could well be another opportunity for Fellaini to continue his good run of form.

United will have to keep tabs on Dwight Gayle, who is Palace’s leading goal scorer with five goals and is always a nuisance at set pieces, an area United have been particularly weak in of recent weeks. It is likely that Warnock’s side will look to expose this at every opportunity.


Even under David Moyes united were able to do the double over Palace last season, though the wins came with the help of set pieces, this fixture should be used as a great opportunity to get points on the board and restore some confidence. United have only ever lost out five out of 28 matches against the London side and should be confident in securing a win.

Obviously that makes tomorrow’s match a potential banana skin.



William Dawson

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