Crystal Palace vs Manchester United preview: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to put trust in youth
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Last Updated: 27/02/19 2:57pm
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is facing an injury crisis with up to 10 players set to miss Manchester United's Premier League trip to Crystal Palace on Wednesday (kick-off 8pm).
As if bolstering their top-four chances at Selhurst Park was not hard enough, United are having to deal with a glut of absentees.
Anthony Martial, Nemanja Matic and Phil Jones missed Sunday's goalless draw with Liverpool, when Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard were forced off during an extraordinary first half.
All six will be missing at Palace, as will long-term absentees Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian along with highly rated 17-year-old Mason Greenwood.
Marcus Rashford's ankle injury also makes him a doubt for a match that caretaker boss Solskjaer approaches with a positive mindset.
"We've not really had a session yet, so I don't think there are a lot of positives, no," the former United striker said.
"We'll have a good team out on the pitch definitely. There'll be a chance for others.
"I've been sat on the outside getting a chance when this had happened.
"The players who came in (against Liverpool), Scott [McTominay] and Andy [Andreas Pereira], I thought they did fantastic.
"There you go, that's the way it is. You've just got to be ready when you get it."
United have posed a significantly greater threat since Solskjaer succeeded the sacked Jose Mourinho, who in November oversaw a goalless draw with Palace at Old Trafford.
"There's no doubt [Solskjaer's] had an effect on the team," said Palace boss Roy Hodgson of United's interim manager. "And the players have woken up a bit and started to smell the coffee and realise that they're Manchester United and the way they were going isn't quite good enough.
"I'm very impressed with the way he's conducted himself, but I don't like the comparisons [with Mourinho]. It's a lot more complicated than that."
Herrera, Mata and Lingard were forced off during the first half of Sunday's goalless draw against Liverpool - a match Martial, Jones and Matic were ruled out of in the build-up.
Valencia and Darmian continue to miss out, while Rashford's ankle issue will need to be assessed. Teenager Greenwood would have come in had he not been injured in recent weeks, but Tahith Chong, James Garner and Angel Gomes will be involved and Marcos Rojo returns.
Meanwhile, Palace's Mamadou Sakho has been ruled out of because of a knee injury suffered in the victory at Leicester.
The Frenchman will be joined on the sidelines by fellow defender Martin Kelly, who has a muscle injury. And right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is also expected to again miss out, owing to a hamstring problem.
- Palace have played more Premier League games without ever winning against Man Utd (D4 L15) than any side has against another in the competition's history
- United are unbeaten in their last 21 league games against Crystal Palace, since a 0-3 away defeat in May 1991 (W17 D4)
- Following their goalless draw at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture, Palace are looking to avoid defeat in both league meetings with Man Utd in a single season for the first time since 1989-90 (W1 D1)
- United have won their last seven away matches in all competitions, their best such run since April 2002 (also seven in a row); the last Premier League side to win eight away games in a row were Man City in November 2017 (11 consecutive wins)
- Only Huddersfield Town (6) have scored fewer home Premier League goals than Palace this season (9), with Selhurst Park seeing fewer goals than any other ground this season (21)
- United have won their last two Premier League matches in London, beating Spurs and Fulham; they haven't won three consecutive league trips to the capital since November 2014
United have got a lot of injures, Palace had a great result at Leicester... I'm going for Palace in this one! All of a sudden, I think United will be four points behind the top four.
I want to go for United, but they've got too many injuries to too many key players. They've come at the wrong time for United.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (10/1 with Sky Bet)