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A cup to defend

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Manchester United will begin their Carabao Cup defence when they take on Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in the third round of the tournament at 8 PM today.

Here’s the match preview, buildup, team news, and more as Erik ten Hag’s men seek to go back-to-back after ending their trophy drought with this cup last year!

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace preview

With Manchester United, a crisis is never far away and that is exactly the scenario they faced when they lost to Bayern Munich, conceding 14 goals in five in the process.

However, the train got slightly back on track after they beat Burnley at Turf Moor to break a winless streak.

Although the performance still left a lot to be desired, the game was a must-win fixture so the result is all that mattered.

Now it is up to them to make sure that wasn’t a mirage and instead, was a pre-cursor to better times with a win against Palace.

Roy Hodgson’s men, on the other hand, have been their usual mid-table selves capable of the odd thrilling game and upset. They are 10th in the Premier League table with a perfectly symmetrical record of two wins, two draws, and two losses from six games.

They beat Plymouth Argyle in the second round 4-2 to book a game against United.

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace predicted lineup

Manchester United team news

Manchester United’s long injury list could finally be clearing. Sofyan Amrabat made his club debut against Burnley by coming off the bench and he could start this game.

Varane also returned from injury and he should get some minutes back in his legs in this game as well.

Other returnees for this game should include Mason Mount and Harry Maguire, whose return will be timely as Sergio Reguilon was sick against Burnley and could need resting here.

Ten Hag will have a choice to make in attack, though. Facundo Pellistri could only impress in spurts against Bayern and was back on the bench against Burnley. Garnacho should start after not playing against Burnley but Rashford and Hojlund’s match-load could be monitored for this one.

Bayindir might make his United debut in place of Onana.

Predicted Manchester United XI: Bayindir, Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Lindelof, Amrabat, Eriksen, Pellistri, Fernandes, Garnacho, Martial

Crystal Palace team news

Palace’s team news will depend upon how seriously they take this tournament. Playing their first-choice squad will give them a chance to stage an upset against what should presumably be United’s rotated side.

On the injury front, Palace will keep missing Olise, Edouard, Tomkins, and Lerma.

A big storyline to watch could be the reunion of Dean Henderson with his United mates as he hasn’t yet made an appearance for Palace since signing on a £15 million deal.

Predicted Crystal Palace XI: Henderson, Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell, Doucoure, Hughes, Ayew, Schlupp, Eze, Mateta

Manchester United vs Crystal Palace prediction

The aura of invincibility around Manchester United at Old Trafford was broken by Brighton in their 3-1 win about two weeks ago.

However, coming on the back of a confidence-boosting victory, United should be heavy favourites for this one.

The benefits of playing a rotated side can be that the fringe players will relish a chance to make their mark in the first team and hopefully give the manager some selection headaches.

An early goal will be key to calming the fans’ nerves.

FootTheBall predicts Man Utd 2-0 Crystal Palace.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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