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Manchester United have had to wait a week more than most to get their campaign up and running, though they’ve got the opportunity to do so when they welcome Crystal Palace to the Theatre of Dreams this weekend.
This fixture ended very well for Palace last year, as they became the first visiting team to score a stoppage time winner at Old Trafford in the Premier League era courtesy of Patrick van Aarnholt’s 93rd minute goal sealing a 2-1 victory.
The visitors started the season strongly with a 1-0 win at home to Southampton as Wilfried Zaha’s 13th minute strike was enough for the three points. They actually have two more games under the belt this season than their hosts having also faced Bournemouth in the League Cup on Tuesday night, and played out an extraordinary 11-10 defeat on penalties after a goalless draw.
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Manchester United To Win To Nil
What’s noticeable is the continuation of Palace’s trend of low scoring affairs, with just the one strike from those two matches. Last season on Sheffield United (2.05) had less goals per game than the Eagles (2.13), though against the bigger sides that trend tends to be bucked.
Under Roy Hodgeson, they’ve gone W4-D5-L26 against top six finishers, with only 13 of those 35 games seeing less than three strikes in total so we’re not convinced by the unders market on this one.
Man United haven’t added to their squad as much as they would have liked, though the introduction of Donny van der Beek undoubtedly improves what is an already potent attacking force, with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes all carrying a significant goal scoring threat, netting a whopping 72 goals for the Red Devils between them last season.
United have won each of their last five opening fixtures, scoring 14 times across these and netting three or more in over half. That will fill manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with confidence heading into this, and we can’t see anything other than a home win here though at such as short price, it’s another market that we’d like to couple the win with.
Since Roy Hodgson took the reigns at Selhurst Park, only Brighton and Newcastle have scored fewer Premier League goals from sides that have remained in the top flight over that period, and up against the better sides Palace’s woe in front of goal only gets deeper.
Last season, they only managed to find the net in four of their 11 matches against the top six since they last played here, two of which came against an out of sorts Spurs side and a leaky Chelsea defence, so the win to nil for the hosts looks a tantalising proposition.