Manchester United make a delayed start to the 2020-21 Premier League season at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday, with bad memories of the Eagles’ last flight to Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side don’t begin their campaign until Week 2 following their run to the UEFA Europa League semi-finals in August. The squad will savor all the extra rest they can get.
Much debate at United has centered around who will start in goal for the Red Devils since Dean Henderson returned from an impressive loan spell at Sheffield United last term. David de Gea’s mistakes between the posts have become an increasing talking point at the club. It was in that 2-1 home defeat to Palace last August that an error from the Spaniard cost his side.
United have since returned the favor and defeated Roy Hodgson’s side 2-0 when they met at Selhurst Park in July, but it’s a worrying trend that they haven’t beaten Palace at home since September 2017.
The Eagles sealed a successful start this term after beating Southampton 1-0 at home in Week 1, though their first away trip of the new campaign promises to be more testing.
Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace Tune-In Information
When: Saturday, September 19
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. BST
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
Very little rest, coupled with a difficult pre-season mean United could be slow starters at home this Saturday against a Palace team who already have a win in the books. The Red Devils are unbeaten in 14 league games, but their two most recent home outings ended in draws against Southampton and West Ham United.
Hodgson’s men were also in action in midweek but ended up losing their Carabao Cup second-round clash away to Bournemouth on penalties following a 0-0 draw. Defender Mamadou Sakho made a welcome return to fitness in that game, though the manager will still be without injured Gary Cahill, Christian Benteke, James Tomkins and Patrick van Aanholt, who scored that winner at Old Trafford 13 months ago.
It’s uncertain as to whether 18-year-old Mason Greenwood will start (or be involved at all) after he was sent home by the senior England team following a breach of coronavirus rules while on international duty.
Solskjaer could hand an official United debut to his sole summer signing thus far, Donny van de Beek, who joined from Ajax earlier in September for nearly $45 million.
The hosts are also hoping to welcome Paul Pogba back into the fold after he tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of August, per Goal’s Emma Smith, meaning he may struggle to make the starting XI.