Man Utd v Crystal Palace preview: Jose Mourinho to ring the changes
Last Updated: 21/05/17 1:51pm
Jose Mourinho is set to play a weakened Manchester United team at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday as he rotates his squad ahead of the Europa League final.
Mourinho confirmed Joel Pereira, Kieran O'Hara, Scott McTominay, Josh Harrop, Matthew Willock, Zachary Dearnley and 16-year-old Angel Gomes will be involved against Sam Allardyce's Eagles at Old Trafford.
United are certain to finish sixth in the Premier League in Mourinho's first season in charge but do have a chance to qualify for the Champions League if they beat Ajax in Stockholm on Wednesday.
Palace secured their Premier League status for another season at home to Hull City last weekend.
Their late season charge under Allardyce has seen them take 22 points from their last 36 available.
Paul Pogba will feature alongside a number of youngsters in United's squad.
Marouane Fellaini is having a hamstring injury assessed, while Chris Smalling is set to be fit for Wednesday's Europa League final despite a "small problem" keeping him out against Palace.
Numerous first-team players will be rested ahead of the Ajax match, with captain Wayne Rooney set to be among them after playing 90 minutes at Southampton on Wednesday. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo (both knee), Luke Shaw (foot) and Ashley Young (hamstring) are out.
Crystal Palace are without Andros Townsend.
Yohan Cabaye faces a late fitness test, owing to a knock, while Scott Dann is again expected to miss out because of a knee problem.
Beyond his long-term absentees, Connor Wickham, Pape Souare and Mamadou Sakho, Palace manager Sam Allardyce otherwise has a near fully-fit squad from which to choose.
Manchester United have played Crystal Palace 15 times in the Premier League and have never lost (W12 D3). The only side they have played more without tasting defeat is Charlton (16, W14 D2).
Palace have lost 12 times to United in the Premier League, more than any other side they've faced.
United have won each of their seven Premier League home games against Palace; only against Wigan have they got a longer 100 per cent record of such kind (8).
Jose Mourinho is unbeaten against Sam Allardyce in the Premier League (W7 D3); only against Mark Hughes has the United manager won more top-flight contests (8).
United have won 16 of their 24 final day matches in the Premier League (D6 L2) - the most wins in the competition.
The Eagles have failed to win each of their five Premier League away trips on the final day (D2 L3), conceding 14 goals
Jose Mourinho will be overseeing his 250th Premier League game as manager, making him the 22nd manager to achieve this feat. Of those to make this milestone, Mourinho will have the most wins (currently 157 from 249 games) and five more than Alex Ferguson (152/250).
Regardless of the result of this match, United have won the fewest number of games in a single Premier League season (currently 17) - worse than their tally of wins in both 2013-14 and 2015-16 (19 wins).
Even with a win, this will be United's lowest total of home wins in the Premier League era (currently seven, with the previous low nine in 2013/14).
Palace have lost 20 Premier League games this season and a defeat in this match would equal their record of defeats in a single PL campaign (21 in 1997-98).
Christian Benteke has scored in his last two Premier League trips to Old Trafford, but both have ended in 1-3 defeats for his side.
There have been more draws at Old Trafford than at any other Premier League stadium this season (10) and if this game ends as a draw then United would set a new outright record for the most home draws in a Premier League season (11).
I think Jose Mourinho is getting caught here, he is getting a bit lost. He played a bit-part team against Southampton, a bit-part team the week before and he should have played his full team in one of those games. He must have a rough idea of what his Europa League final team is going to be and he should've played that.
I can United going into that final a bit rusty. As soon as you have two or three weeks without a game, the fitness is not great and he is just getting lost. I thought he would've played his team against Southampton if I'm being honest, then they would have had a nice week before the game.
Now, he will rest everybody this week and the next time they play, the last time they played together as a team would have been against Celta Vigo. I just think he has missed a trick. With this game, Palace are safe so it's a nice game if you like.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-2 (28/1 with Sky Bet)
Manchester United have drifted out to 7/5 to finish their league campaign with a win, with Crystal Palace priced at 19/10, while Sky Bet price the draw at 12/5. Marcus Rashford and Wayne Rooney are the 9/2 favourites to score first, while Christian Benteke is seen as the away side's biggest threat at 11/2. Mourinho's men have been installed as the 11/4 second favourites to win the Premier League next season, while the Eagles are the same price for a top-half finish next term.