The Red Devils are on an unbeaten run that seems to stretch back to a time when Jesus wore short pants. They’re playing the best football in their history and are all set to rip Manchester City and Liverpool apart next season… perhaps.
They’re five points ahead of Sheffield United and lie fifth in the league, a mere 34 points off this season’s champions! THIRTY-FOUR! I obviously jest a small bit as United have actually been decent in their unbeaten 18 game run… but I stress the word decent (that is all, no more).
The joy being heralded by Man Utd fans is clearly coming from their attacking play which has been impressive. They’ve scored nearly 50 goals on this run, and while they have kept many clean sheets too, I think that they might be just getting slightly ahead of themselves.
The back four, in my mind, isn’t something to be writing home about. While Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba have been a revelation of late, I would be hugely worried about the quartet guarding the goal at the other end.
Captain Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw… this just isn’t a defence that fills me full of confidence in any way, shape or form.
I would doubt any of the above would make a starting XI for City or Liverpool and, at £80m, Harry Maguire should be walking into any team and commanding the back four with the confidence of a battle-hardened general who has been through the ringer. Instead, he looks indecisive and fluffy at times.
Crystal Palace have lost five games on the bounce now, and I would think they won’t put up much of a fight against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men tonight (20:15, BT Sport 1) with the beach very much on the mind.
If we take a look at the prices, we see that Man Utd are odds-on to win and Palace are around double digits for victory. I personally wouldn’t price this one quite so heavily in favour of Man Utd. Even given both teams’ recent form.
On that basis our first play will be on Crystal Palace +1 goal, this means your bet is a winner if the game ends in a draw or Crystal Palace win.
Palace have only scored two goals since return of football and one of those scorers, Christian Benteke, is suspended due to a red card in his last outing. Wilfried Zaha, the other man to net, scored an absolute stunner against Chelsea last week and will be taking up the mantle in the areas behind striker Jordan Ayew.
The former Red Devil will fancy his chances of scoring again tonight and I will invest some of my staking plan in this selection, given my thoughts about United’s back four.
There has also been a goal before the 25th minute in three of United’s last four matches so the last bet we will look at is ‘Time of first goal’ – Up to and including the 25th minute.
Tips for Crystal Palace vs Manchester United today
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