It’s a rare Saturday afternoon 3:pm kick off for Manchester United this weekend as they face Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
On paper, it should be their easiest fixture of the season so far, as Chelsea at home and Wolves away are usually both tougher assignments than a visit from the Eagles.
Roy Hodgson’s Palace have had an underwhelming start to the new campaign, having failed to register a goal in their two outings thus far. A 0-0 draw at home to Everton was followed by a 1-0 defeat at newly promoted Sheffield United, so Manchester United should feel that Palace are there for the taking.
Therefore, it already feels like a must win game for the reds, having dropped two points against Wolves last time out. If they are to keep pace with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City this season, they can’t afford to slip up in home fixtures against the lesser lights of the division. Failure to win this one could see United four or five points off the top of the table at the end of August.
Defenders Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are ruled out through injury and Alexis Sanchez is still negotiating a possible loan move to Internazionale. Other than that, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should have a full squad from which to choose.