The pressure will be on Manchester United as they strive to avoid a fourth straight defeat when they head to South London for a potentially difficult clash with Crystal Palace.
The home side have also lost their last three games, so will be equally desperate to stop the rot, particularly with a top half finish not yet out of the question. They played a distant second fiddle to Chelsea in their last game despite a resolute performance, with the Blues’ 1-0 win earning them the title.
Alan Pardew is the fourth different manager to lead Palace against United since their promotion in 2013, with his three most recent predecessors having overseen defeat in their last three meetings without scoring. This is possibly their best chance yet, especially thanks to the pace they have in wide areas and United’s vulnerability to the counter-attack.
Three wonderfully organised defences have been the downfall of Louis van Gaal’s side in recent weeks, with West Bromwich Albion claiming a surprise win at Old Trafford in their latest outing. For all their attacking riches, the Red Devils created few chances from open play and often looked short of ideas.
Even the award of a penalty did not ease their woes, and it means they are now in need of some points to be sure of a Champions League place. Robin van Persie was the man denied from 12 yards, and it appears his days at United are numbered, with new signing Memphis Depay waiting in the wings.
Glenn Murray and captain Mile Jedinak should be back in the starting line-up for Palace, who hope strikers Fraizer Campbell and Marouane Chamakh will be able to play again this season.
Man Utd are still without Michael Carrick, while several players have been hit by an intra-squad virus. Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are fit again.
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