International football might be paused until March but club football is now entering a period of total chaos with the fixture congestion that is just around the corner.
Manchester United were outclassed by Manchester City before the two-week hiatus, while Crystal Palace are without a win in their last seven matches in all competitions.
Both teams are in need of the three points for different reasons, which should mean that this encounter will provide entertainment and value.
Here are Liam Canning’s betting selections:
It has been a difficult time for José Mourinho this season, but he extended his lifeline by beating Juventus in Turin before the Manchester Derby took place.
The Red Devils are currently lying in eighth place, seven points adrift from a top four position and 12 from league leaders Man City. Mourinho’s men desperately need to put wins together and add a level of consistency to their game.
Roy Hodgson has done a steady job in East London since taking over from Frank de Boer, but the lack of points this season will be worrying for the Englishman. Palace are in 16th place, sharing the same amount of points as relegation contenders Cardiff, and have famously struggled away at Old Trafford.
What bodes well for United is the fact they are unbeaten in 35 of their last 38 home games in the Premier League, suggesting that Mourinho has turned Old Trafford back into somewhat of a fortress since taking charge.
Manchester United have won their last six encounters with the Eagles and have not failed to beat them since 2011. This time round it should be no different, with Unibet offering odds of 2/5 for the Red Devils to return to winning ways.
If one thing is to be certain in this fixture, it is the fact that goals will be scored.
In the Red Devils’ last six matches, there have been over 2.5 goals scored, while Palace have conceded at least two goals in their last three away games. Both clubs have vulnerable defences to be attacked at as well as offensive players that can cause damage of their own.
In this fixture’s last six encounters, there have been four occasions in which there have been over 3.5 goals scored. Both teams have shown their ability to leak goals this season with defences that are shaky at best.
Manchester United’s Anthony Martial - who is 5/4 to find the back of the net at anytime with William Hill - is in red hot form, having scored six goals in his last seven appearances in the Premier League. The Frenchman has been unleashed by Mourinho and is now reaping the rewards of playing in a more offensive manner.
Wilfried Zaha will be the Eagles’ key player to unlocking his former club’s defence and is 7/2 to get among the goals at the weekend with Bet365. The Englishman has scored three goals and assisted twice in his 10 Premier League appearances so far in this campaign.
This selection is priced at an enticing 39/19 with Unibet.
Contrary to what has happened in the previous few weeks, Manchester United have a good record of scoring first against Crystal Palace.
In the last six meetings between these two teams, the Red Devils have scored in four of them. Even after falling behind in the other two, they have found ways back into the game to win come the final whistle.
While United’s record has not been pretty in scoring first recently, they are usually well accustomed to taking charge at Old Trafford, especially under Mourinho.
The win against Juventus away from home should have given them confidence, and with Paul Pogba, a key cog in this team who was absent against City, back in the frame to feature, United should take the game to the Eagles.
Hodgson’s record this season has been atrocious in taking the lead and in their last seven games, Palace have fallen behind in six of them, showing a lack of initiative from his players to create threatening chances.
Man United’s season has been manic at the best of times so far, but they now embark on a run of fixtures that are perfectly winnable, starting with Crystal Palace. They simply must shown they have the resilience needed off the back of their crushing loss to City and start well against Hodgson’s men by taking the lead.
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