Friday 19 May 2017

Match preview: United v Crystal Palace

United manager Jose Mourinho looks set to field an under-23 side in the last Premier League fixture with the Stockholm final three days away.

Palace are safe whilst the Reds will finish sixth, and Jose name-checked several reserve and youth team players who are in line to feature at Old Trafford.
Matty Willock, Demi Mitchell, Zach Dearnley, Axel Tuanzebe, Joel Pereira, Josh Harrop and Scott McTominay will all play, while Kieran O'Hara and 16-year-old Angel Gomes could also make their debuts. 

Paul Pogba is expected to return following a family bereavement, and Tim Fosu - Mensah - back from injury earlier than expected - could be given a chance to stake his claim ahead of the Europa League final. 
Marouane Fellaini and Chris Smalling have picked up minor knocks and will not be risked ahead of the Stockholm showpiece, 
For Palace, Andros Townsend misses out and Yohan Cabaye is doubtful, but 15-goal striker Christian Benteke will lead the line for the visitors. 

The return fixture at Selhurst Park was a dramatic and controversial contest, as Zlatan popped up two minutes from time to settle a game littered with refereeing errors. 

The Eagles have flirted with the drop for much of the season but - after they appointed survival specialist Sam Allardyce is December - confirmed their safety last week.

The 4-0 win over Hull City, which followed a 5-0 thumping at Manchester City, ended any lingering doubts of relegation and sent Marco Silva's side down instead. 

That win for the south London side rendered this match a dead rubber, and Jose said: "I will bring three or four first team players to play a half each.
"Paul Pogba is fine, he is a strong guy with a strong mentality, he is ready to play and needs minutes so he will play against Palace, Tim Fosu - Mensah also.
"If he gives a good reaction with no problems then he gives us a strong, new option for the final. 
"In this moment, I'm not focused on the final as we still have Sunday's match to think about. 
"We want to try and get something positive in the last league game and in front of our own fans.
"We try to win as no one wants to lose or throw matches away
"It will be a great experience for the kids, many of them are new to the team and to play at Old Trafford in the Premier League is fantastic."

Form guide: United D W L D L D Crystal Palace D W L L L W 
Match odds: United 13/8 Draw 10/3 Crystal Palace 7/4
Referee: Anthony Taylor 

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