Man Utd v Crystal Palace preview: Christian Benteke ruled out
Last Updated: 30/09/17 7:25am
Crystal Palace's tough start to the campaign could get a whole lot worse when they visit high-flying Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Palace are the first club in English League history to lose their opening six games of a league season without scoring. The basement boys could also become only the second team in Premier League history to go eight or more games without scoring - interestingly the only other team to suffer such a run was Crystal Palace in 1994/95.
Roy Hodgson's men face a Manchester United team going for their fourth straight home Premier League win this season. They have also yet to concede in wins over West Ham, Leicester and Swansea.
Going further back, Jose Mourinho's side have only lost two of their last 32 Premier League matches.
Worryingly for Palace, Romelu Lukaku (19) has more goals in his last 21 Premier League games than the entire Crystal Palace squad put together (18).
Mourinho expects Manchester United to be without several players.
Michael Carrick joins Paul Pogba, Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the sidelines, while Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia will be assessed having missed the midweek Champions League trip to CSKA Moscow.
Marouane Fellaini also missed the match in Russia with an ankle injury that is still under assessment, while Anthony Martial went off in the 4-1 win in Russia.
Rookie forward Freddie Ladapo could solve Crystal Palace's striker crisis.
The 24-year-old is Palace's only fit recognised striker after Christian Benteke was ruled out for at least six weeks with knee trouble.
Former Wolves winger Bakary Sako could be pressed into service as a makeshift striker. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has a thigh problem, and James Tomkins is ill.
- Manchester United have never lost a Premier League game against Crystal Palace in 16 previous meetings (W13 D3 L0). The only team they've faced as often without losing are Charlton Athletic (W14 D2 L0).
- Crystal Palace's last league victory over Manchester United came in May 1991 at Selhurst Park - Ian Wright scoring one and John Salako netting a brace in a 3-0 win.
- Eight of Manchester United's 17 Premier League goals so far this season have arrived in the final 10 minutes of matches (47.1 per cent) - as it stands, this is the highest proportion by any team in any single Premier League season.
- The Eagles are the only team in Europe's 'big five' leagues yet to score a goal in league competition this season.
- Only two teams in English football league history within the top four tiers have previously failed to score in their opening six league games of a season - Burnley in 1997-98 (third tier) and Halifax Town in 1990-91 (fourth tier). Halifax hold the all-time record, as they failed to score in their opening eight league games in 1990-91.
Crystal Palace had some good chances against Man City but they just could find the back of the net. And once they went two goals down quickly, it could then have been a cricket score. I'm concerned for Palace in this one. There's an international break just around the corner and I see United being ruthless. I can't see anything but a United win here and it's going to comfortable for Mourinho and his side.
It's difficult to see where Palace go from here if they suffer another big defeat at Old Trafford. After the international break it doesn't get any easier as they play Chelsea. And if the teams around them pick up a few points it just gets worse and worse for Hodgson. It's difficult times at Selhurst Park.
PAUL PREDICTS: 4-0 (8/1 with Sky Bet)
Manchester United are Sky Bet's shortest-priced favourites of the day at 2/11, with odds of 16/1 stacked against Crystal Palace, while the draw is an 11/2 chance. Lukaku is odds-on to continue his scoring streak and 2/1 to break the deadlock, with Bakary Sako considered the visitors' main threat at 14/1 to break the deadlock.
Man Utd v Crystal Palace is included in this weekend's Super 6 line-up, with £250,000 up for grabs again.