Copy of 2023-01-14T115309Z_231654335_UP1EJ1E0X0J47_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-ENGLAND-MUN-MCI-REPORT-1673953458079
On the up... Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag can take his side to second in the table if he masterminds a win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: Erik Ten Hag has turned the fortunes of Manchester United around and the club is now on the up again. They head to Selhurst Park where they will face Crystal Palace in the Premier League with the chance to secure their 10th consecutive victory in all competitions.

In their last matches the Red Devils beat their close rivals and reigning champions Manchester City 2-1 at Old Trafford while Patrick Vieira’s Eagles fell short in their clash with Chelsea, losing 1-0.

The South London club sit 12th in the table following a run of one win from their last five league games. Vieira will be hoping his side return to winning ways against United but the visitors are favourites to take the three points. They have already closed the gap on City to one point and now the fans believe they can catch leaders Arsenal and possibly pip them to the title.

Three point gap

They are nine points away from the Gunners and that is a lead which by no means is insurmountable. And on the weekend, the two sides will meet at the Emirates and if United beat Palace and were to win at Arsenal then the gap would suddenly be down to just three.

It has been a while since United won 10 on the trot, in fact it last happened in 2009 when Sir Alex Ferguson was still manager. They will have to work hard for the points – Palace won this fixture last season and have lost just twice in their last six against their esteemed visitors.

But they were dealt a blow at Stamford Bridge when they lost ever-present centre-back Joachim Andersen to a calf injury and the Dane could miss the United clash. Palace are already without long-term absentees James McArthur and Nathan Ferguson but Vieira has no other injury concerns. Palace will look to Wilfried Zaha to provide the attacking threat and with the winger lining up against his former team he will be keen to add to his tally of three league goals against them.

World Cup

United will hope Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford will be fit after they both suffered knocks against City but Donny van de Beek, Axel Tuanzebe, Diogo Dalot and Jadon Sancho are out of contention. Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez had been given time to build up his fitness following the World Cup and could be given a start.

Burnley loanee Wout Weghorst will likely be named on the bench but his physical attributes would give United a different option if the Dutchman is needed.

In recent memory Palace have done well against United but if they are without Anderson then they could struggle to keep a clean sheet. It seems certain that Ten Hag will make it 10 wins from 10.