Despite suffering four defeats in their last six league games, Crystal Palace have been able to hold seventh place in the table. However, they could soon face a journey downward, given how teams like Southampton, Liverpool, Everton, and Swansea are breathing down their neck. Alan Pardew will be somewhat desperate for a positive result against Man Utd.
Crystal Palace have flitted between low-scoring and high-scoring games in the league. After losing 3-1 to West Ham, they were edged out 1-0 by Leicester City. The temperamental Pardew will have been annoyed by both of those defeats, believing that is Palace side are better than both opponents.
An interesting fact about Palace is that they are sixth for away form, while they are ranked just 11th for home form. At home, they have scored six and conceded seven goals in five home games. There is an average of 2.6 goals in the Eagles’ home league games this season.
Man Utd controlled Man City and rarely looked to be under threat from their local rivals. Nevertheless, they looked ineffectual in the final third with Wayne Rooney playing as the lone striker. Rooney was consistently found on the sidelines or dropping back into midfield when he should have been leading the line.
Louis van Gaal needs to be brave enough to either drop Rooney or move him out to the wing, with the much more dynamic and dangerous Anthony Martial moved into the centre. Out of the two options, it would appear that the latter would be more likely, but there are no guarantees with the club captain. Either way, Rooney simply isn’t playing well enough to be the main striker right now.
Tip one: Draw @ 3.60
Tip two: Both teams to score @ 1.83
Rooney’s status as captain will earn him a few more starts in the Man Utd first XI before Van Gaal eventually benches him. Along the way, it is certain that points will be dropped. Two of those could be in a draw with Crystal Palace, which is available at 3.60 with bet365.