Manchester United’s short turnaround after a midweek trip to Russia has been boosted by opponents Crystal Palace suffering from a number of first-team absentees for today’s game at Old Trafford.
We were busy beating CSKA Moscow 4-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday night and the FA sees it fit that we are playing at 3pm on Saturday in the Premier League.
Jose Mourinho has a number of absentees from his squad for this weekend’s game with Paul Pogba, Phil Jones, Marouane Fellaini, Anthony Martial, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo all ruled out.
Crystal Palace are without a single point or even a goal in their opening six games of the 2017-18 Premier League season.
The Southeast London club may have fancied their chances at getting a result at Old Trafford earlier in the week with the short turnaround. However, Roy Hodgson’s team news and injury update may have dented any hopes of that happening.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah has been about the only positive in an abject start to the season for the Eagles but the young centre-back is ineligible to face his parent club today as part of the loan agreement between the two clubs. Despite Palace’s results, Fosu-Mensah has performed so well that he earned his first senior cap for the Netherlands last month.
Roy Hodgson has previously confirmed that he expects Christian Benteke to out for around six weeks, whilst former-United winger Wilfried Zaha is not due back until after the international break next month.
The former-England manager then confirmed on Friday that he is without two more key players for the trip to Old Trafford. Hodgson said:
“I’m afraid there are a lot of injuries, which is bad news for us. Benteke you know about and he will be out for six weeks and Ruben Loftus-Cheek has a thigh strain whilst James Tomkins is sick so he is also out.
“Zaha’s injury is very similar to the one Christian has picked up. It has taken him six weeks to get back with us and hopefully he will be back with us in the international break, but tomorrow is too early for him, no question.”
James Tomkins would have been a good replacement for Timothy Fosu-Mensah to partner Mamadou Sakho in the centre of their defence but for his injury.
Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek has looked lively in attacking midfield for Crystal Palace but his injury means Hodgson will have to make another change in his starting XI.