To be played on Saturday 22nd February 2014 at 17:30. Venue: Selhurst Park, London.
Odds: Crystal Palace 11/2, Draw 3/1, Manchester United 8/13
Last season: N/A
Preview & injury news
Selhurst Park is increasingly becoming a difficult place for visiting teams to go which is testament to the job that Tony Pulis has done for Crystal Palace and this weekend they welcome the reigning champions, Manchester United. The Eagles are undefeated at home since before Christmas and their last three league defeats have come against Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City. They currently sit two points above the relegation zone in 15th place, and will not make it easy for the visitors. If Manchester United want to keep any slim chance they have of getting into the top four then they simply must win here, as they are 11 points off the Champions League places with 12 games to go, and languishing in seventh place. In recent league matches, United have struggled having only picked up two points in their last three games which included a defeat away to Stoke City and a draw at home to bottom club Fulham.
On the injury front, Crystal Palace can report no major injury worries which must be a great luxury for Tony Pulis at such an important game in the season against such esteemed opposition. For Manchester United, David Moyes is still without Danny Welbeck with a knee injury and has a number of defenders on the sidelines. One man who could be available for selection, however, is Phil Jones, after he suffered concussion a couple of weeks ago. Rafael also suffered concussion not so long ago and is a doubt, and Jonny Evans is unlikely to be fit with a calf problem, and Nani is still sidelined with a hamstring problem.
Here are the two side's top scorers in the Premier League this season:
|Marouane Chamakh||Crystal Palace||FW||5||24||1,811|
|Dwight Gayle||Crystal Palace||FW||3||19||741|
|Robin van Persie||Man Utd||FW||10||15||1,233|
|Wayne Rooney||Man Utd||FW||9||21||1,756|
|Danny Welbeck||Man Utd||FW||8||17||1,141|
Both sides average possession statistics in the league:
And the amount of clean sheets the sides have kept this season:
5 players to watch
Mile Jedinak - Jedinak has been a big presence in the Palace midfield for much of the season and Saturday will be no different. However there seems to be options around him at the moment and the way Pulis has got the side playing it gives Jedinak a more comfortable role in the team.
Darren Fletcher - Fletcher has perhaps United's best midfielder for the side this season, and has earned a recall to the Scotland squad this week. The visitors could do with Fletcher showing his class in what is going to be a very tough battle.
Joe Ledley - Ledley made an impressive start to life at Palace by scoring on his debut against West Bromwich Albion and has shown he isn't afraid to get forward. Though he does have an eye for goal, he can pick out a killer pass to open up defences.
Robin Van Persie - No matter how poorly you may think United have been playing this season, Van Persie has always looked a threat which is testament to how good a footballer he is. He's scored three goals since his return from injury, and perhaps should've scored against his old club. But it wasn't to be. Will he put things right this weekend?
Thomas Ince - Finally, the Premier League got to see why Ince is worthy of playing in a side at Premier League level. His control, pace, and eye for goal are all worthy assets and with United not in the best situation when it comes to full backs at the moment, he could cause some trouble in the wide areas.
Earlier on in the season
Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace, September 2013
Two set-pieces ended up being enough for United to see off 10 man Palace as David Moyes secured his first home league win. Palace held the home side for much of the first half and went close themselves. Robin Van Persie hit the bar before converting a penalty on the stroke of half time after Kagisho Dikgacoi was adjudged to have brought down Ashley Young in the area. Palace were still in the game until ten minutes from time, when Wayne Rooney's well-taken free kick doubled the home side's advantage.