- Published: Wednesday, 14 December 2016 06:02
Wednesday's Premier League clash at Selhurst Park is a 22:00 kick-off, with the game being broadcast live at the Keg and Beagle in Linksfield. United Supporters can enjoy pre-match build-up in from 21:30,
United are in buoyant mood after a welcome win against Tottenham on Sunday. The victory took the Reds to sixth in the table, three points adrift of Spurs, and the hope is a positive run of results over this busy festive period can nudge Jose Mourinho's men closer to the teams at the top. Palace will be out to avenge last season's FA Cup final defeat at Wembley and the pressure appears to have eased on manager Alan Pardew after a convincing 3-0 win over Southampton and entertaining 3-3 draw at Hull City, where ex-Reds striker Fraizer Campbell scored against another of his former clubs in the closing stages to earn a point. There have been 36 goals in the Eagles' last seven outings, suggesting it could be an exciting encounter in midweek.
As well as winning at Wembley, the Reds gained four points against the London club in the Premier League. Matteo Darmian scored his only United goal to date in the 2-0 home victory in April after a 0-0 draw in the away fixture on Hallowe'en 2015.
Antonio Valencia is suspended while Henrikh Mkhitaryan has joined Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling on the sidelines. There are plenty of options to replace the Ecuadorian and the Armenian in the team with Eric Bailly and Ashley Young among those in contention for right-back and Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and FA Cup final hero Jesse Lingard possible selections in Mkhitaryan's role. Palace's only absentee is suspended midfielder Jason Puncheon, another scorer in last May's big game at Wembley.
This will be the 10th time United have played away to the team the Reds beat in the previous season's FA Cup final - the previous nine have produced three wins but six defeats. United did not play against Brighton and Millwall in the campaigns after the 1983 and 2004 finals as those two sides were not in the top flight.
Wilfred Zaha was Sir Alex Ferguson's final signing as manager of United, although he never got to play for him, and he has been in outstanding form for Palace of late. "There was a magnificent performance by Wilf [against Hull]," said Pardew. "He was sublime and they couldn't cope with him." Campbell is another Old Trafford old boy while the Eagles' record buy Christian Benteke is a real danger man as he has a good record against us with his former clubs Liverpool and Aston Villa.
"It’s not an easy game. We're playing away against Crystal Palace and they score a lot of goals in almost every game. They have good players going forward, like Benteke, Zaha and [Andros] Townsend. They are a good team and we’ll need to play really good football to beat them." - David De Gea.