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TEAM NEWS: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 3,756

TEAM NEWS: Crystal Palace vs Manchester United

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 3,756

Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Selhurst Park on Wednesday.

After getting back to winning ways at Old Trafford against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, Manchester United will look to cash in on a favourable run of fixtures beginning with the trip to Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

The victory over Spurs, clinched by Henrikh Mkhitaryan's first-half strike, moved United back to within six points of the top four spots in the Premier League, and with Jose Mourinho having been happy with his side's performances for a number of weeks he will now be hopeful that they can finally start to secure the results to match. The visit to Selhurst Park will not be easy, but with West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and West Ham United also to come over the Christmas period it is vital United pick up some significant victories of the next few weeks.

United will not forget their last meeting with Alan Pardew's Palace in a hurry... They came from behind to win the FA Cup against the Eagles in May in what proved to be Louis van Gaal's last match in charge of the Red Devils.

MAN UTD INJURIES

Sunday's 1-0 win did come with a dose of bad news as match-winner Mkhitaryan left the field on a stretcher after a collision with Danny Rose, but at least the problem was not as serious as first thought, and Mourinho admitted to some relief in his pre-match press conference on Monday. "Hopefully he can play at Christmas. We believe it is possible. It is a pity he is going to miss matches in his best period but at least it won't be for too long," said the manager.

While the Armenian is out, Juan Mata should have no physical ailments blocking his path from a potential return having come off with a slight issue during the Europa League win over Zorya last Thursday. The Spaniard was among the substitutes on Sunday and will be available once more on Wednesday.

Chris Smalling's absence is likely to continue due to the after-effects of a toe injury, but with Eric Bailly now fit once more and Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones earning plaudits for their recent performances there is little need for Mourinho to rush the England defender back into action at this stage. "Until the end of the year hopefully we can manage with them three in those two positions," added Mourinho on Monday, suggesting Smalling will remain sat out until at least January.

MAN UTD SUSPENSIONS

After losing the likes of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini to one-match bans in recent weeks, United will be without first-choice right-back Antonio Valencia on Wednesday after the Ecuadorian was branded a fifth yellow card of the season in Sunday's win over Tottenham. The good news is that the Red Devils have no other players on the verge of a ban, and with an amnesty of sorts taking place on December 31 they should be free of suspension worries for a number of weeks at least.

Palace will have to do without FA Cup final scorer Jason Puncheon due to the midfielder's five yellow cards so far this season, the latest of which came in Saturday's chaotic draw at Hull City.

MAN UTD POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP

He may have picked the same starting XI for United's last two league fixtures but Mourinho will be forced into two changes and could make a fair few more against Palace. With Valencia suspended and Mkhitaryan injured two changes will need to be made on the right, while he has intimated that some rotation may occur at the heart of defence in the weeks to come.

The Portuguese has a number of options at right back, with a switch of Matteo Darmian from the left or the promotion of Tim Fosu-Mensah both possible, but Ashley Young could well be the man brought in for Valencia while Daley Blind could come in for Darmian on the left after the Italian struggled against the pace of Tottenham substitute Moussa Sissoko at the weekend. Bailly is likely to be given a run at centre-back, but Mourinho could make a late decision on which of Rojo and Jones sits out.

Further up there are all sorts of possibilities, but Michael Carrick is likely to be rested with Pogba dropping back slightly to allow either Rooney or Mata to play at No.10. If Mata starts in the centre of the attacking line, that could open the door for FA Cup final match-winner Jesse Lingard to come in on the right, while Marcus Rashford may be recalled on the left in place of Anthony Martial following an under-par showing from the Frenchman against Spurs.

CRYSTAL PALACE DOSSIER

Pardew has just about managed to steady the ship at Selhurst in the last couple of games after a six-match losing streak brought his future as Palace manager into serious doubt. A 3-0 home win over Southampton was of particular importance, while Saturday's 3-3 draw with Hull City showed battling qualities even if it was two points lost against a side who have been struggling for the past three months and look short odds for relegation.

Christian Benteke's eight goals have been key to Palace's ability to steer themselves away from the bottom three, while United will know all about Wilfried Zaha. The Old Trafford old boy was tormentor-in-chief in the 0-0 draw when United visited SE25 last season, and Mourinho will be keen to stop the supply to the wide positions this time around.

A win on Wednesday could take Palace as high as 12th, but defeat might well see them go level on points with a couple of sides in the bottom three.

BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS

Manchester United have played Crystal Palace 14 times in the Premier League and have never lost (W11 D3). The only side they have played more without tasting defeat is Charlton (16, W14 D2).

Manchester United’s only defeat in their last 21 games against Crystal Palace in all competitions came in the League Cup quarter-final in 2011/12 (W16 D4).

The Eagles have failed to score in 11 of their 14 Premier League games against Manchester United. Jason Puncheon is the only current Palace player to score for the club against the Red Devils.

Since the start of 2015-16, Manchester United haven’t won any of their six Premier League away games in London (W0 D2 L4), including a current run of three successive defeats.

Former Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha has had a hand in seven goals in his last seven Premier League appearances (two goals, five assists).

TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME

The game gets under way at 8:00pm UK time on Wednesday, with national TV coverage provided on BT Sport 1. The referee will be Craig Pawson, whose last assignment involving United was in August's FA Community Shield win at Wembley against Leicester City.

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