Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Match preview: United v Crystal Palace

Louis van Gaal insists his players will stay focused on the task in hand as United welcome Alan Pardew and his out of form Palace side to Old Trafford.

The Reds host the Eagles just three days before an FA Cup semi-final against Everton but the manager said that minds will not wander towards that match.

"I don't think our players shall do that because they have to focus on this game against Crystal Palace because we still have to qualify for the first four in the league.
"It is important for our opponents also and they have the same problem- they are in the semi finals also and maybe they shall be thinking about that game but we have to win.
"Of course I shall think about changing my selection, but that is the same with every game.
"You know that there shall be a lot of games and that some players may struggle with the load of matches so you always have to rotate"

Ander Herrera is in contention for a return whilst Bastian Schweinsteiger, Adnan Januzaj and Luke Shaw remain sidelined but there are no new fresh injury concerns.
Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial were rested against Villa as Wayne Rooney and Memphis came in so LVG has some decisions to make and looks set to shuffle his pack with Wembley on the horizon. 


Free-falling Palace have endured a miserable second half of the season, slumping from sixth in December to sixteenth in April- albeit well clear of relegation- after a shocking run of form

The reverse fixture at Selhurst Park ended goalless in October but the visitors have won only four league games since and their recent victory over Norwich was their first in 2016. 

Despite their poor league form, Palace have, like United, progressed in the FA Cup and face Watford at Wembley for a place in the final. 

That aside, Palace possess two of the most potent wingers in the top flight in the shape of former United man Wilfried Zaha and his left-wing lieutenant Yannick Bolasie whom scored his side's equaliser at the Emirates on Sunday.

The Congolese may be one of those to miss out as Pardew- with his side safe in the Premier League- also looks likely to rotate as he prepares for that semi-final on Sunday.

Form guide: United D W W L W W Crystal Palace W L D W D D
Match odds: United 8/15 Draw 16/5 Crystal Palace 13/2
Referee: Lee Mason 






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