Manchester United will take on relegation team Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday, 14 September. David Moyes will be grateful of the fixture after playing tough matches against Chelsea and Liverpool in their previous two matches, and the next clash being against Manchester City.
Where to Watch Live
Kick-off is at 5:15 pm IST (Saturday, September 14) and live coverage will be available on Star Sports and ESPN.
United followed their opening day victory over Swansea City with a 0-0 draw against Chelsea and a 1-0 loss to Liverpool. As a result, the team has amassed only four points thus far and pressure is beginning to build up.
Moyes has particularly come under criticism for his defensive tactics, with the team seemingly content to sit back and allow the opposition to attack. A big-win against Palace would calm all tensions at the club ahead of a Manchester derby next weekend. But therein lies the problem; at such an early stage in the season, this is a must-win for Moyes. If the Scot fails to do so, pressure will increase doublefold.
Palace will be buoyed by their 3-1 victory against Sunderland in their last game. Ian Holloway's team lost to Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City in their opening games before beating the Black Cats. Although their outing at Old Trafford is expected to be tough, an early goal will put extra pressure on Moyes' team, and the fans in the stadium can make the situation even worse for the Red Devils. Ian Holloway will serve the first of his two-match touchline ban for improper conduct in the game against Tottenham.
United could introduce their new signing Marouane Fellaini. The Belgium international is the club's only significant purchase this summer and he is keen to get started.
"It was a big opportunity for me to join one of the biggest clubs in the world," he told ESPN. "I want to win trophies. I play football for this. With Manchester United I have a big chance to win something."
"The fee is not my problem," he continued. "Whether it is £25 million, £30 million, £20 million. Expensive or not. In football there is always a situation where some people don't like you or your quality. I don't care about this. I just want to play well for the team."
Wayne Rooney is still recovering from a cut to his forehead and will not feature. All eyes will be on whether Japanese international Shinji Kagawa, who has been left out of the team so far this season, features in midfield. Phil Jones and Rafael could plar after recovering from ankle and hamstring problems respectively.
Palace were active in the transfer market this summer. Their two notable signings were Marouane Chamakh from Arsenal and Jose Campana from Sevilla. Holloway has also signed Cameron Jerome from Stoke city on loan.
However, the injury list will worry the team Jonathan Williams, James Hunt, Jonathan Parr and Jerome Thomas will miss the game against United due to injuries. Paddy McCarthy (groin), Yannick Bolasie (hamstring) and Glenn Murray (ACL) are also unavailable.
Manchester United: De Gea, Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Fellaini, Nani, Kagawa, Welbec, Van Persie
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Gabbidon, Mariappa, Moxey, Dikgacoi, Bannan, Campana, Puncheon, Chamakh, Gayle