PREVIEW: MANCHESTER UNITED VS CRYSTAL PALACE
Manchester United will finally have their first taste of action this term against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Their supposed debut this 2020/21 season in the Premier League was against Burnley but the game was postponed. The Red Devil’s campaign started a week later than most top-flight clubs in England due to their Europa League commitment last season. The Eagles are up first at Old Trafford.
United will be hoping to build on a third-placed finish last term. Donny van de Beek aside, a poor transfer window coupled with a defeat to Roy Hodgson’s side would put early pressure on the club so soon after last season’s success. For Palace, Hodgson has been busy in the transfer market adding youth to an experienced squad. The Eagles will be confident given they won 2-1 on their last visit to the Theatre of Dreams- a late winner from Van Aanholt. Palace also won their opening game of the season as they defeated Southampton 1-0 at home.
As expected the match will be played behind closed doors at Old Trafford with no fans due to government guidelines regarding Covid19.
Paul Pogba remains a doubt for the home side. The world cup winner tested positive of Covid19 and he has since missed the majority of Man United pre season. He will play no part in the opening game of the season according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The absence of Pogba will mean summer recruit Van der Beek will be getting his debut on Saturday.
Palace will have plenty of options at the attacking third as summer arrival Ebere Eze and Mitchy Batshuayi will be available for selection. One man that will remain doubtful is Wilfred Zaha. Zaha is constantly linked with an exit. According to various reports Arsenal have submitted an offer for the player. Reis Nelson was reported to be included in the deal. But Hodgson will hope he can get at least a few good games from Zaha before he eventually leaves.