Friday 8 May 2015

Match preview: Crystal Palace v United

Manchester United head to south London off the back of three successive defeats and desperately need a win to stay on course for a top four finish.
We have never lost four top flight matches in a row and, with Liverpool again breathing down our necks, victory in this Saturday tea time kick off is simply a must. 

Palace, like United, have lost three games on the bounce without scoring but  Selhurst Park a difficult place to go under Alan Pardew with the Eagles possessing pace and trickery in abundance.

On this match, United boss van Gaal said:
"We need luck and composure in front of the goal.
"That I cannot provide, the players shall need to do it for themselves.

"We have the pressure, Liverpool have to play these matches and have to win them also, but we have to focus on our match.
"They're at home but I still expect them to defend more than attack so it is up to us to find a solution.
"I am not very concerned (about our form recently) as I think that we have played well, but we must start finishing our chances."

Palace come into this game firmly entrenched in mid-table with arguably nothing to play for, but the same could be said for Everton and West Brom and they both recorded wins over us.
United remain a prize Premier League scalp and the Eagles will be bang up for this one.

Van Gaal delivered mixed news on the injury front in Friday's press conference.

Michael Carrick will miss the remainder of United's season after his injury was "worse than first thought", and, given his hugely important influence on the Reds this season, his absence comes as a massive blow on the run-in.
Luke Shaw and Phil Jones are both available and Jonny Evans could also feature, but Marcos Rojo is again doubtful. 

LVG added: "Carrick is not available, his injury is more heavy than we thought, we tried everything as we know he is important but now we have to think about next season.
"He shall not play anymore this season, it's better now to focus for him on next season and being fit to start.
"When you see the stats, it's clear that's he very important but that's also because we have only one right sided holding midfielder so our selection is not balanced.
"I want to restore that in the next transfer window, we have to look at that position first, I think.
"Evans and Shaw can both play football and this game, Evans doesn't have match rhythm as he was injured for six weeks and then after that he was suspended.
"He needs match rhythm so I am not sure yet whether he shall play."

Form guide: Crystal Palace W W W L L L United W W W L L L 
Betting odds: Palace 17/5 Draw 11/9 United 12/9 (bet365)
Referee: Michael Oliver 

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