Manchester United predicted line-up vs. Crystal Palace - five changes made as illness ravages squad
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Fresh from a comfortable win over Crystal Palace’s second string in the EFL Cup in midweek, Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United face what is likely to be a tougher test against Roy Hodgson’s first team as the two sides face each other again in the Premier League.
United are looking for a morale-boosting third win on the bounce after beating Burnley at Turf Moor last weekend, but are still hobbled by a number of injuries in defence – but Ten Hag will at least have some key midfielders back in action for the Saturday afternoon kick-off.
With the club still dogged by off-field issues as well as having to cope with a lengthy queue for the physio’s room, there may well be no fewer than 12 players missing out this weekend for the Red Devils, so let’s run down all the latest team news and injury updates ahead of the game as United look to put their stuttering start behind them.
Goalkeeper & Defence
The injury crisis in defence has been softened slightly by the return of Raphaël Varane, who played alongside Harry Maguire in the EFL Cup tie, but loanee left-back Sergio Reguilón could miss out again due to an unspecified illness. He apparently played through it against Burnley last weekend before being given some rest, so it’s still possible that he takes the left-back role again instead of Sofyan Amrabat, who deputised on Tuesday.
Lisandro Martínez is presumed to be unavailable thanks to a foot injury with no return date yet set, while Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Tyrell Malacia are all long-term absentees, as is reserve goalkeeper Tom Heaton. Varane and Victor Lindelöf will most likely be paired at centre-back, but Jonny Evans’ strong display at Turf Moor could see him given the nod instead.
Christian Eriksen and Scott McTominay are also victims of illness and both could be out for the game this weekend, although with Ten Hag deciding not to supply specifics, there’s at least some chance that they’re fit and ready to play. Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat, who both returned from knocks to play against Palace in midweek, should be available to play from the start.
The only other absentee in midfield is youngster and long-term injury concern Kobbie Mainoo, so Ten Hag should be able field something close to his best midfield unless Amrabat is required to deputise in defence again. Hannibal Mejbri’s impressive recent form means that the hirsute youngster could push for a start if necessitated by illness and injury.
Jadon Sancho will continue his enforced absence after refusing to apologise to Ten Hag after their falling out, and while the club today announced that Antony will be made available for selection while he faces criminal charges in Brazil, he is unlikely to play this weekend having not trained for the past fortnight. Amad Diallo has begun gym work after his knee injury, but the young wideman won’t be back in action for at least a couple more games.
Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Højlund will almost certainly continue in starting roles, while the obvious vacancy at right wing could encourage Ten Hag to experiment with Mount in a more advanced role, unless Facundo Pellistri’s performance in midweek was deemed impressive enough to earn the 21-year-old Uruguayan another chance to make the position his own.
Man Utd full predicted line-up vs. Crystal Palace
Onana; Reguilón, Lindelöf, Varane, Dalot; Casemiro, Amrabat, Fernandes; Rashford, Højlund, Mount.