Manchester United v Crystal Palace: Five players under the spotlight

Old Trafford 3

David Moyes will have an excellent opportunity to secure his first Old Trafford win as United manager, as they face newly promoted Crystal Palace.

Ian Holloway’s men will not be expecting to take anything from the game, after their win at home to Sunderland the pressure has been lifted slightly after a bad start to the season.

There can be only one winner in this match, which will surely be a confidence boosting victory for the Manchester United squad.

Odds: Manchester United 2/9, Draw 13/2, Crystal Palace 16/1

Last meeting

Manchester United 1-2 Crystal Palace AET – Old Trafford 30th November 2011

A thrilling Carling Cup tie finished with a big upset as the Eagles came away with a famous victory at Old Trafford. Darren Ambrose scored a 30-yard screamer in the first half to put the then Championship side ahead but Frederico Macheda leveled for the hosts.

It went into extra time where both teams had chances to win but Glen Murray grabbed the winner for Palace in the 98th minute.

Five players to watch on Saturday:

Marouane Fellaini

Manchester United’s deadline day signing will be introduced to the Old Trafford crowd in his first appearance in the red shirt of United. Expect him to settle straight away because after five years at Everton he is quite used to the Premier League, the only concern would be a step in expectations at his new club will he be able to handle it?

Wilfried Zaha

Playing against your old team will always be a difficult experience for any player but this will affect Zaha more than most. If he gets on the field he will be playing against a team that he helped get promoted last year and a team that looks to be missing him quite badly. This could be the game that David Moyes decides to test the temperament of the young winger, a key day already in his United career.

Shinji Kagawa

It is puzzling that new United manager David Moyes hasn’t given the chance to have a run in the first team yet this season, will this be the week he does? There has been widespread criticism from fans and pundits for not using such a talented playmaker. Moyes team has looked to be lacking in creativity and that’s exactly what Kagawa gives a team.

Dwight Gayle

Perhaps the best story so far this Premier League season. Gayle was brought in from Peterborough in the summer he has already impressed Palace fans in only a handful of appearances this season. Only two years ago he was playing his football with Dagenham and Redbridge in Football League 2 and now he is about to step out at Old Trafford, can he add to his goal he got against Sunderland?

Kevin Phillips

He has been around scoring goals as long as anyone in the game and he usually has a taste for scoring important goals in big game, just look at the playoff final in May. Most likely he will feature off the bench but you can be sure he has the ability to make something happen when he does join the action.

image: © Gordon Flood

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