Man Utd vs Crystal Palace | Saturday 19th September 2020, 17:30 | Sky Sports
The Premier League started it’s 29th campaign without its most successful club Manchester United last weekend, as the Red Devils were granted an extra week of preparation given their Europa League exertions last month.
The 20-time champions get their campaign belatedly underway this Saturday with a home clash against Crystal Palace hoping to put an uncertain pre-season behind them.
The transfer window began with undeniable excitement as United were linked with a host of star names – notably Jadon Sancho – however, with the season on the horizon, the Red Devils have only captured one of their transfer targets – Donny van de Beek from Ajax.
While the Sancho saga rumbles on, United are seemingly falling behind their rivals in the transfer window too, with Sergio Reguilon, Thiago Alcantara and Gareth Bale all agreeing deals with rival Premier League clubs.
Manchester United’s struggles in the transfer market surprisingly aren’t the most prominent off the field issue at the club; Harry Maguire’s incident while on holiday, coupled with Mason Greenwood’s off-field troubles have created unrest at the club and a summer that hasn’t been ideal.
Followers of the Eagles, however, will be much more satisfied with the business their club has done in the transfer window. Eberechi Eze’s £16m move and the return of Michy Batshuayi on-loan has added undeniable competition to their forward line.
Palace got their league campaign up-and-running with a home success over Southampton, despite only having 29% of the ball. Wilfried Zaha, often the match winner for the Eagles, netted the only goal of the game.
Palace’s struggles to retain the ball against Southampton went unpunished but you suspect that with United’s undeniable firepower that retribution could be on the cards.
The Red Devils boast the longest unbeaten streak in the Premier League heading into the new season having took at least a point from their last 14 games.
The form of Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba was instrumental during this period and drew praise, but it’s hoped that this can be recaptured on Saturday.
It is difficult to make a read one two teams that have played out one league game between them, so last season’s data will be used to interpret the outcome of this fixture. Only relegated Norwich scored fewer goals than Palace’s 31 last campaign, a statistic that supporters hope will be bettered with the arrivals of Eze and Batshuayi.
The betting angles
Manchester United are the clear favourites for this contest and rightfully so, the Eagles fired blanks in 10 of their 19 Premier League away matches last season, only finding the net more than once on three occasions away from Selhurst Park.
One of United’s two home defeats did come at the hands of this weekend’s opponents, however, so the Red Devils will be wary of Palace’s previous success at Old Trafford. That memorable Old Trafford triumph is the only time Palace have ever beaten United in the Premier League era, though, so if the Eagles are able to come away with a positive result again on Saturday then it would be an achievement of some significance.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be eager to get points on board to remove any uncertainty that has been plagued with the club during pre-season, while Palace will be hoping to bounce back from their 11-10 penalty defeat in the Carabao Cup against Bournemouth.
United have kept a clean sheet in 8 of their last 14 matches, winning their last 9 by a two goal margin or more. They’ll face a test from Palace going forward so I fancy the prospect of this being relatively open. With that being the case, Manchester United to win and Over 2 Goals at 20/21 or Over 3 Goals at 9/4 (Bet365) are worthy punts given United’s threat going forward.
The hosts won a record 20 penalties in all competitions during last campaign and against a porous Crystal Palace side you wouldn’t back against them winning one here. United to take a penalty is priced at 11/4 (SkyBet) should you fancy a more risky bet.
Martial had his best season to date in a United shirt last campaign, scoring 17 goals in the Premier League. He will be hoping to replicate a similar campaign this time round and given the fact Martial netted 6 times and added a further four assists in his final 8 games, a bet on him to score anytime is another little play at 11/10 (Bet365).