WILLIE DUNCAN (@Willie_Duncan) runs the rule over Wednesday night’s televised Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Manchester United.
Crystal Palace v Manchester United | Wednesday 20:00 | BT Sport 1
There is a feast of football from the Premier League on Wednesday night, but the TV cameras will roll into Selhurst Park eagerly anticipating Crystal Palace’s clash with Manchester United.
To suggest that this match might throw up something of a contrast of styles is something of an understatement; the Eagles can’t stop scoring but the trouble is that Alan Pardew’s men are leaking goals galore too and, in fact, there have been no fewer than 36 goals scored in Palace’s last seven.
United’s defensive discipline
It has been much more sedate for Jose Mourinho’s men in recent months; indeed there have been more than two goals scored in just two of United’s last nine Premier League matches.
Mourinho, who often sneered at teams “parking the bus” when he was Chelsea manager, has made defensive discipline a central plank of United’s progress so far this season.
The men from Manchester have conceded just four goals in six games since suffering a chastening 4-0 thumping against the Blues back in October.
Few forward fireworks
At the other end, there have been few fireworks – particularly in the Premier League, where Mourinho’s side have managed more than a single strike in just one of their last nine outings.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been a bit-part player under Mourinho since making a big-money move to Manchester in the summer and just when the Armenian international looked to have found his feet for United – having scored two goals in as many games – the midfielder sustained an injury against Spurs that will see him sit this one out.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will, of course, lead the visitors in attack and the Swedish striker will surely fancy his chances of getting amongst the goals given how cheaply Palace have been conceding in recent matches.
The goals angle
Backing goals galore, however, when these two teams lock horns may not see punters pile up the profits, for just one of the last seven matches between these two teams has produced more than two goals inside 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, Palace have failed to find the net in five of their previous seven meetings with the men from Manchester.
Palace have prevailed in just two of the previous 25 meetings between the sides and it would be no surprise to see the visitors claim another vital victory from their trip to south London.
It would, however, raise an eyebrow if United grabbed a glut of goals on their way to three points and backing a typically tight tussle between these teams could well prove profitable.
Punters, therefore, are advised to snap up BetStars’ even-money quote for fewer than three goals to be scored when the Eagles host Mourinho’s men on Wednesday night.
Crystal Palace v Manchester United – Under 2.5 Goals (1/1 BetStars)