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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Crystal Palace v Manchester United: Visitors can get job done early

Crystal Palace v Manchester United: Visitors can get job done early

Dan Fitch doesn't expect Manchester United to have any problems when they travel to Crystal Palace on Thursday night...

Crystal Palace 10.50 v Manchester United 1.37; The Draw 5.50
Thursday 16 July, 20:15
Live on BT Sport 1

Eagles have landed

There are three games of the season left, but Crystal Palace are very much playing as if the season has concluded.
Having restarted the season with an impressive win at Bournemouth, there was a chance for Palace to challenge for a European place. Instead they have lost five consecutive games and Sunday's defeat at Aston Villa was very much a demonstration of what can happen when a motivated team face a side without much to play for.
Once the unlikely European dream was over, it is somewhat understandable that Palace's standards have slipped. Any season without a fight against relegation has to be considered as a successful one for this club and Roy Hodgson's team have never looked in serious trouble.
Christian Benteke was sent off in the match against Aston Villa and now misses the rest of the season with a three game ban. He will join the injured Gary Cahill, James Tomkins, Jeffrey Schlupp and Cenk Tosun on the sidelines.

Stakes increase for United

Manchester United have been in great form since the season resumed, but suffered a now rare slip up, when they hosted Southampton on Monday night.
With United 2-1 up they were headed up to third in the Premier League. Instead they conceded an injury time equaliser and remained fifth.
United are now locked in a three-way battle with Chelsea and Leicester for two places in next season's Champions League. The potential of a fifth place finish being enough, has been removed by Manchester City's ban being overturned, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team have the easiest fixtures of the trio and should be confident of qualifying.
Solskjaer could have a selection headache, after his left-back Luke Shaw got injured against Southampton and then his replacement Brandon Williams also had to come off after a clash of heads. The pair could join long-term casualties Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe on the sidelines.

Red Devils will return to winning ways

Manchester United are the 1.37 favourites, with the draw at 5.50 and a Crystal Palace win at 11.00.
Given the respective form of the two teams, that does not seem like an unrealistic price for United. They may have failed to have beaten Southampton, but the Saints are a very capable side these days and are playing at a much higher level than Crystal Palace have shown lately.
Manchester United have been leading at the break in each of their last five Premier League games and you can back them to win half-time/full-time at 2.00. At a slightly bigger price of 2.10 is a Manchester United win and over 2.5 goals, with all of those five matches producing at least three goals.

Goals seem sure to flow

Over 2.5 goals is generously priced as a standalone bet at 1.81. Crystal Palace have conceded in each of the last five games, with Leicester and Chelsea both scoring three against them and Liverpool managing four.
All four of Manchester United's attacking quartet offer value in the Anytime Goalscorer market. Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood lead the market at 2.40, with Bruno Fernandes at 2.50 and Marcus Rashford at 2.60.